How to remove hair dye stains from clothing and carpets?

If you dye your hair at home, you probably have experienced stains on your clothing and even carpets. The best thing you can do is take care of it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more it sets. It will end up being hard or even impossible to remove. Depending on the type of dye you use, cleaning approaches may vary. Fortunately, the things you need for the cleaning of such stains are easily found at home. Important things to pay attention to are: treat the stain as soon as you see it and never put any fabric with hair dye on it in the dryer. The heat may set the stain and make it permanent. Never scrub or rub the stain in, since that may cause it to spread and soak further in the fibres. Keep reading to find out how to remove hair dye stains.

Extra tip: Do not treat dry-cleaning only fabrics as you may damage them or cause the stain to become permanent. Bring it to a professional as soon as possible.

In this article, we will show you how to remove black/brown and red hair dye from clothing and carpets.

How to remove black, blue, or brown hair dye?
1. Spot-treat with liquid laundry detergent – Use a heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent to rub in the stain. Use gentle motions and make sure not to spread it around. You can use a soft-bristled brush to work it in the stain.
2. Soak in oxygen bleach – Fill a sink or a bucket with cool water and add oxygen bleach. Submerge the piece of clothing in the solution. Let it soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
3. If the stain is gone, wash the garment as usual. If there is some hair dye residue, repeat this step with fresh oxygen bleach solution.
4. Use chlorine bleach soaking for white clothes – Soak the white garment for 15 minutes then wash as usual. Do not use this for coloured fabrics.

How to remove red hair dye from fabrics?
1. Soak in a cleaning solution – Mix 1 quart of water, ½ teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap, and 1 tablespoon of household ammonia in a plastic container or bucket.
2. Soak – Submerge the garments in this mixture and let them soak for 15 minutes.
Extra tip: Never mix ammonia with any product that contains chlorine bleach. The combination of the two may create some extremely toxic fumes.
3. Soak in white vinegar and water solution – Mix 1 quart of water and ¼ cup distilled white vinegar. Allow the stained area to soak in for 30 minutes. If you do not manage to remove all of the dye, move on to the next step but do not place the garment in a hot dryer yet.
4. Soak in oxygen-bleach and water solution – If the stain remains, fill a container with cool water and add oxygen bleach according to the instructions. Let the piece of clothing soak in this solution for 8 hours or overnight. Repeat if needed.

Remove hair dye from carpets or upholstery
Upholstery and carpets cannot be soaked in cleaning solutions. That makes hair dye stain removal a bit trickier. Always make sure to treat the stain as soon as possible and be careful not to spread it any further.
1. Lift any solids first – Use a spoon or a dull knife to remove any solid residue. Make sure not to rub since you may cause the dye to soak further into the fibres.
2. Treat with cleaning solution – Mix 2 cups of cool water with 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in a small non-metal bowl. Use a clean white cloth to work this mixture into the stain. You can also use a sponge or a cotton ball, depending on the size of the stain. Start working from the outside of the stain to its centre. That will prevent it from spreading. Make sure you don’t oversaturate the area.
3. Blot – Use a paper towel to blot all the moisture away. If there is any stain residue left on the fabric, repeat the step above and blot again. If the stain is stubborn, let the cleaning solution soak on it for 10-15 minutes.
4. Try rubbing alcohol – If necessary, you may want to use rubbing alcohol on the stain. Apply it, then blot the area with a paper towel.
5. For white carpets or upholstery fabric – Dip a cotton ball in 3% hydrogen peroxide and work the stained area. Blot the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.
6. Final rinse – Use a sponge or a clean cloth dipped in water. Blot the solution residue away from the fabric. Allow the carpet or upholstery to air-dry.