How to Remove Hair Dye from Clothes (We Tried Top 8 Methods)


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.

Remove hair dye stains from clothes using simple hacks
Remove hair dye stains from clothes using simple hacks

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

Before and after using chlorine bleach to get hair dye out of clothes
Before and after using 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

Soak the garment in a bleach solution to get hair dye out of clothes
Soak the garment in a bleach solution
  • 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

 Wring out the excess solution and rinse to get hair dye out of clothes
Wring out the excess solution and rinse
  • 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.
After using the chlorine bleach on the stain to get hair dye out of clothes
After using the chlorine bleach on the stain

Method 2: Hair Spray

Before and after using hair spray on the hair dye stain to get hair dye from clothes
Before and after using hair spray on the hair dye stain

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

Wash out the excess dye with water to get hair dye out of clothes
Wash out the 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

Wet the stain with hair spray and blot with a paper towel to get hair dye out of clothes
Wet the stain with hair spray and blot with a 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.
After using hair spray on the dye stain to get hair dye out of clothes
After using hair spray on the dye stain

Method 3: Ammonia

Before and after using ammonia solution to get hair dye out of clothes
Before and after using ammonia solution

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

Submerge the dye stain in ammonia solution to get hair dye out of clothes
Submerge the dye stain 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

Rinse and launder the cloth to get hair dye out of clothes
Rinse and launder the cloth
  • 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.
After using ammonia to remove the hair dye stain from clothes
After using ammonia to remove the hair dye stain

Method 4: Hydrogen Peroxide

After using hair spray on the dye stain on clothes
Before and after using hydrogen peroxide on the hair dye stain

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

Pour hydrogen peroxide over the stain to get hair dye out of clothes
Pour hydrogen peroxide over the stain
  • 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

Wring out the excess liquid from the clothing to get hair dye out of clothes
Wring out the excess liquid from the clothing
  • 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.
Results after using hydrogen peroxide on hair dye stain on clothes
Results after using hydrogen peroxide on hair dye stain

Method 5: Vinegar & Soap

Before and after using vinegar & soap on hair dye stain to get hair dye out of clothes
Before and after using vinegar & soap on hair dye stain

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:

Things you'll need to get hair dye out of clothes

  • White vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • Liquid soap – 1 tablespoon
  • Warm water – 2 cups

Step 1. Soak the stain in the vinegar-soap solution

Soak the stained cloth in the vinegar-soap solution to get hair dye out of clothes
Soak the stained cloth 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

Rinse and wash the clothing to get hair dye out of clothes
Rinse and wash the clothing
  • 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.
Results after using vinegar & soap on the hair dye stain

Method 6: Rubbing Alcohol

Before and after using rubbing alcohol on hair dye stain to get hair dye out of clothes
Before and after using rubbing alcohol on hair dye stain

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

Blot the stained area with rubbing alcohol to get hair dye out of clothes
Blot the stained area 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

Pour rubbing alcohol over the stain again to get hair dye out of clothes
Pour rubbing alcohol over the stain again
  • 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 and wash the garment to get hair dye out of clothes
Rinse and wash the garment
  • 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.
Results after using rubbing alcohol on hair dye stain to get hair dye out of clothes
Results after using rubbing alcohol on hair dye stain

Method 7: Lemon & Citric Acid

Before and after using citric solution on hair dye stain to get hair dye out of clothes
Before and after using citric solution on hair dye stain

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:

Things you'll need to get hair dye out of clothes

  • Lemon juice – ½ cup
  • Citric acid powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Liquid soap – 1 tablespoon

Step 1. Soak the stain in the citric solution

Soak the stained area in the citric solution to get hair dye out of clothes
Soak the stained area 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 and launder the garment the next morning to get hair dye out of clothes
Rinse and launder the garment 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.
Results after using citric solution to get hair dye stain out of clothes
Results after using citric solution on hair dye stain

Method 8: Nail Polish Remover

Before and after using nail polish remover on a hair dye stain on clothes
Before and after using nail polish remover on a hair dye stain

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

Soak the stained area in nail polish remover to get hair dye out of clothes
Soak the stained area 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

Rinse and wash the garment to get hair dye out of clothes
Rinse and wash the garment
  • 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.
Results after using nail polish remover to get hair dye stain out of clothes
Results after using nail polish remover on hair dye stain

Tips

  • 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.

Comments 2

  1. Hey John
    Thanks for your query.
    We assume it’s a Real Madrid t-shirt probably white and not a jersey. Carefully read the washing instructions on it and if its bleach tolerant, you can soak the stained area in fabric bleach for 10 minutes. and then launder as usual.
    We’d appreciate if you could post a picture of your t shirt with the stain, so that we can assist you better.
    -Team Fabhow

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