In the mad dash to keep up with the Kardashians, the overenthusiastic fashionista in you may be thrilled to try out Vibgyor hair colors. But visiting a salon can often burn a hole in your pocket. It is more convenient and much cheaper to dye your hair at home.
However, there is a dark side to dying your mane yourself. Since dye, by its very definition, implies staining something, it is inevitable that you’ll leave a few blotches here and there while trying a new brunette shade or daring to go dark pink or blue.
Hair dye is quite infamous for leaving nasty stains. But it is not entirely impossible to get the stain out of your clothes. There are some pretty easy ways to treat a stain using common ingredients. The key is acting on it as swiftly as you can. We have also come up with simple methods to help you remove hair dye stains from your skin.
Based on the most popular cleaning solutions available online, we tried the top eight pretreatment methods to get hair dye out of clothes. While chlorine bleach, ammonia, hair spray and hydrogen peroxide got the stain out completely, the other household products only lightened the stain but did not remove it satisfactorily. However, they could come to the rescue in a pinch.
Read on to learn how to remove hair dye from clothes using either chemical or chemical-free products.
- Method 1: Chlorine Bleach
- Method 2: Hair Spray
- Method 3: Ammonia
- Method 4: Hydrogen Peroxide
- Method 5: Vinegar & Soap
- Method 6: Rubbing Alcohol
- Method 7: Lemon & Citric Acid
- Method 8: Nail Polish Remover
Method 1: Chlorine Bleach
Chlorine bleach is your best bet when it comes to getting stains out of white clothes. Even though hair dye is one of the toughest stains to remove, you won’t be disappointed using this remedy.
Note: Do check the garment label for its tolerance toward bleach. Also, do not use any chlorine-based bleach on colored clothes and fabrics, such as silk, wool or spandex.
Step 1. Soak the garment in a bleach solution for 10 minutes
- Add 1 tablespoon of bleach to about 4 cups of water.
- Mix well to dissolve the bleach completely.
- Soak the stained clothing completely in the bleach solution.
- Let it sit for not more than 10 minutes. Soaking it longer could damage the fabric.
Step 2. Rinse and launder the clothing
- Retrieve the clothing from the soak and wring out the excess solution.
- Rinse it with water, then launder it in a regular wash cycle to remove hair dye from clothes.
Method 2: Hair Spray
Hair sprays are a quick fix to get that nasty dye stain out of your favorite tee. The alcohol present in hair spray is what works as the stain remover. You can also use hair spray to remove permanent marker stains from clothes.
Go for a cheap variety of hair spray, as it will be harsher than others and will work better on the stain. Don’t waste your expensive hair products on the stains.
Step 1. Rinse out any excess dye with water
- Turn over the stained item and pour a stream of water over it. This will help wash out the excess dye.
Step 2. Wet the stain with hair spray and blot with paper towel
- Place the stained clothing over a paper towel.
- Generously wet the stain with the hair spray.
- Blot the stain with a wadded paper towel to soak up the excess hair spray as well as the loosened dye.
- Spray the stain again and let it sit overnight. Do not remove the paper towel underneath the clothing, as it will soak up the dye overnight.
- Activate the leftover stain again with the hair spray.
- Repeat the blotting process to soak up the remaining dye.
- Give it a final rinse with water.
- Launder the faded stain to get it out completely.
Method 3: Ammonia
A staple cleaning agent found in every household, ammonia serves well as a stain remover for rigid dye stains, too. It is also safe to use on colored clothes.
Caution: Do not mix ammonia and bleach together. It could result in a strong chemical reaction that emits poisonous fumes. Only use one of the ingredients at a time.
Step 1. Soak the stained garment in ammonia solution
- Add about ¼ cup of ammonia to about 4 cups of water. If needed, increase the quantities in the same proportions.
- Submerge the dye stain completely in the solution.
- Let it soak for 30 minutes.
Step 2. Rinse and launder the garment
- Remove the clothing from the solution.
- Rinse it thoroughly under running water.
- Launder the clothing as usual. The stain should be sufficiently gone after the regular detergent wash.
Method 4: Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to remove hair dye from clothes. It works as an oxidizing agent to remove any stain. Also, it is safer to use than chlorine bleach. You can use hydrogen peroxide to clean almost anything; even to remove tea stains from clothes.
Step 1. Soak the stain in hydrogen peroxide
- Place the stained area of the piece of clothing over a container.
- Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide over the stain.
- Push the item further into the bowl, so that the stained area is completely submerged in hydrogen peroxide.
- Let the clothing soak overnight.
Step 2. Rinse and launder the clothing item as usual
- In the morning, wring out the excess liquid from the clothing.
- Rinse it thoroughly with water.
- Run it through the normal wash cycle to remove the stain completely.
- Repeat the process if needed.
Method 5: Vinegar & Soap
If you don’t have any chemical bleaches at hand, then a mix of white vinegar and soap can be used to lighten the stain considerably. However, the quicker you act, the better the chances of removing the stain.
Things you’ll need:
- White vinegar – 1 tablespoon
- Liquid soap – 1 tablespoon
- Warm water – 2 cups
Step 1. Soak the stain in the vinegar-soap solution
- Add 1 tablespoon each of vinegar and liquid soap to 2 cups of warm water.
- Mix well to form a uniform solution.
- Soak the stained area of your garment in the solution overnight.
Step 2. Rinse and wash the clothing with detergent
- The next morning, remove the clothing from the solution.
- Squeeze out the excess liquid and rinse it with cool water.
- Launder the clothing item as you normally do.
- If needed, repeat the entire process to remove hair dye from clothes.
Method 6: Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol, is another popular stain remover and is especially useful for removing ink-based stains from carpets. It helps remove the stain by reactivating the ink, or in this case, the dye. Though the outcome may not be as great as in the case of bleach or ammonia, you can use it if you have nothing else at your disposal.
Step 1. Blot the stain with rubbing alcohol
- Place the stained area of your garment over a paper towel.
- Pour enough rubbing alcohol over the stain to wet it completely.
- Wait for 1 minute, then blot the stain with a folded paper towel.
Step 2. Soak the stain again in rubbing alcohol
- Place the stained area of the clothing in a bowl.
- Pour a generous amount of rubbing alcohol over the stain, so that it is completely submerged in the liquid.
- Let the stain soak overnight.
Step 3. Rinse and wash the clothing
- Rinse the clothing under running water.
- Wash it in a normal wash cycle.
- Repeat the soaking and washing process until the stain has lightened to your liking.
Method 7: Lemon & Citric Acid
Lemon can be used for a number of cleaning hacks in and around the house, as it is a natural bleaching agent. For a more powerful cleaning solution, combine it with regular liquid soap and citric acid, which is another skin-friendly cleaning agent. You can also mix it with liquid detergent to remove ink stains from clothing.
Things you’ll need:
- Lemon juice – ½ cup
- Citric acid powder – 1 tablespoon
- Liquid soap – 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Soak the stain in the citric solution
- Put 1 tablespoon of citric acid powder in a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of liquid soap to it.
- Pour in ½ cup of lemon juice.
- Mix them well and soak the stain in the solution overnight.
Step 2. Rinse and launder the clothing the next morning
- Rinse the garment with water to get rid of the sudsy solution.
- Launder it as you normally do.
- Repeat the soak and wash steps to remove hair dye from clothes.
Method 8: Nail Polish Remover
If in a pinch, you can also use a nail polish remover to salvage your stained clothing. It won’t give you great results, but something is better than nothing!
Step 1. Soak the stain in nail polish remover
- Place the stained area over a container.
- Pour nail polish remover over the stain.
- Press the stained area further into the remover to submerge it completely.
- Let it soak overnight.
Step 2. Rinse and wash the garment as usual
- Take the clothing out of the solution.
- Rinse it thoroughly with water.
- Throw it into a regular wash cycle to wash out the loosened stain.
- Repeat the process if needed to remove hair dye from clothes.
- Do not rub the clothing while using any of the pretreatment solutions, as it will only spread the stain further.
- Always check the garment care label before using any of the stain removers. If the label isn’t very clear, do a patch test first on an inconspicuous part of the clothing item.
- Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin while using chemical cleaners.