how to get hair dye out of clothes

how to get hair dye out of clothes

Hair dye stains on clothes can be a nightmare to deal with. Whether it’s from a DIY dye job gone wrong or a trip to the salon, these stains are notoriously stubborn. However, with the right approach and a few household items, you can save your favorite garment from being ruined.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover various methods and tips on how to get hair dye out of clothes effectively.

how to get hair dye out of clothes

Hair dye contains strong pigments designed to penetrate hair strands, making them difficult to remove from fabrics. The pigments in hair dye are created to be long-lasting and resist fading, which is why they can be so challenging to remove from clothing.

These dyes can bind tightly to the fibers of the fabric, especially if the stain is allowed to set for a long time. Therefore, the type of fabric and dye play significant roles in how effectively you can get rid of the stain. Understanding these properties will help you choose the best method for removal.

Immediate Actions: What to Do Right Away

When you first notice a hair dye stain, it’s crucial to act quickly. Here are the immediate steps to take:

  • Blot the Stain: Use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the stain gently. Do not rub, as this can spread the dye and push it deeper into the fabric. Blotting helps to absorb the excess dye, preventing it from spreading to other parts of the fabric.
  • Rinse with Cold Water: Hold the stained area under cold running water to flush out as much dye as possible. Always rinse from the back of the fabric to prevent the dye from spreading further. Cold water helps to prevent the dye from setting and makes it easier to remove.

Pre-Treatment: Preparing the Stain for Removal

Before applying any stain removal method, pre-treating the stained area can improve the effectiveness of the treatment. Pre-treatment helps to break down the dye and makes it easier for the cleaning agents to remove the stain.

  1. Soak in Cold Water: Soak the stained garment in cold water for at least 30 minutes. This helps to loosen the dye from the fabric fibers and prevent it from setting in.
  2. Apply a Pre-Treatment Solution: Use a stain remover or a mixture of liquid detergent and cold water to pre-treat the stain. Gently rub the solution into the fabric with your fingers or a soft brush. Allow the pre-treatment to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the stain.

Effective Methods to Remove Hair Dye Stains

Method 1: Using Dish Soap and Baking Soda

Materials Needed:

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Cold water
  • Soft brush


  1. Mix a Solution: Combine equal parts dish soap and baking soda to form a paste. Dish soap helps to break down the dye molecules while baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive.
  2. Apply the Paste: Spread the paste over the stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. This allows the cleaning agents to penetrate the stain and start breaking it down.
  3. Scrub Gently: Use a soft brush to gently scrub the stain in a circular motion. Scrubbing helps to lift the dye from the fabric fibers.
  4. Rinse: Rinse the fabric under cold running water to remove the paste and the lifted dye.
  5. Wash: Launder the garment as usual to remove any remaining residue.

Method 2: Applying White Vinegar and Liquid Detergent

Materials Needed:

  • White vinegar
  • Liquid detergent
  • Cold water
  • Soft brush


  1. Mix the Solution: Combine one part white vinegar with two parts cold water. White vinegar helps to break down the dye and neutralize any remaining pigment.
  2. Soak the Stain: Soak the stained area in the vinegar solution for 30 minutes. This helps to loosen the dye from the fabric fibers.
  3. Apply Detergent: Apply a small amount of liquid detergent directly to the stain. Liquid detergent helps to break down the dye and remove any remaining pigment.
  4. Scrub Gently: Use a soft brush to scrub the stain. Scrubbing helps to lift the dye from the fabric fibers.
  5. Rinse and Wash: Rinse the fabric under cold water to remove the cleaning agents and any remaining dye. Launder the garment as usual.

Method 3: Utilizing Hydrogen Peroxide

Materials Needed:

  • Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution)
  • Cold water


  1. Apply Hydrogen Peroxide: Pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain. Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidizing agent that can break down the dye molecules.
  2. Let It Sit: Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. This gives the hydrogen peroxide time to penetrate the stain and start breaking it down.
  3. Rinse and Wash: Rinse the fabric with cold water to remove the hydrogen peroxide and any lifted dye. Wash the garment as usual.

Method 4: Commercial Stain Removers

Materials Needed:

  • Commercial stain remover (follow the product instructions)


  1. Apply Stain Remover: Apply the commercial stain remover directly to the stain. Commercial stain removers are formulated to break down and remove tough stains.
  2. Follow Instructions: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. This usually involves letting the stain remover sit for a specified amount of time.
  3. Launder: Wash the garment according to the care label to remove the stain remover and any remaining dye.

Special Considerations for Different Fabrics

Different fabrics react differently to hair dye stains and cleaning agents. Here are some tips for specific fabrics:

Cotton: Cotton is durable and can handle most cleaning methods. However, always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure that the fabric does not get damaged.

Wool and Silk: These delicate fabrics require gentle care. Avoid harsh chemicals and consider professional cleaning if the stain persists. Always test a small area before applying any cleaning agents.

Synthetic Fabrics: Polyester and other synthetics can be more resistant to stains but may require repeated treatments. Synthetic fabrics can sometimes hold onto stains more stubbornly, so patience and persistence are key.

Preventing Future Stains

Preventing hair dye stains is easier than removing them. Here are some tips:

  • Cover Your Clothes: Use an old towel or cape when dyeing your hair to protect your clothes from splashes and spills.
  • Wear Old Clothes: Choose old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained, so you don’t have to worry about ruining your favorite outfits.
  • Protect Your Workspace: Lay down plastic or old sheets to protect surfaces from dye splashes and spills. This will help to contain any mess and make clean-up easier.

Read more… How To Get Nail Polish Out Of Clothes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use bleach to remove hair dye stains?

A: Bleach can be effective on white or colorfast fabrics, but it may damage colored fabrics. Always test on a small area first to ensure that the fabric can handle the bleach.

Q: What if the stain doesn’t come out completely?

A: Repeat the treatment. Some stains require multiple attempts. Alternatively, consider taking the garment to a professional cleaner who may have more specialized tools and techniques.

Q: Are there any natural stain removers?

A: Yes, natural options like lemon juice and baking soda can be effective. However, they may not work as quickly as commercial products. Natural stain removers are a good option if you prefer to avoid harsh chemicals.

Q: Can hair dye stains be removed after they’ve set?

A: Set-in stains are more challenging to remove but not impossible. Repeated treatments and professional cleaning can help. Persistence and patience are key to removing set-in stains.


Removing hair dye stains from clothes can be a daunting task, but with the right methods and quick action, you can save your garments from permanent damage. Always start with pre-treatment, choose the appropriate method for your fabric, and be patient. By following the tips in this guide, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your clothes dye-free and looking their best.

Remember, prevention is key. Taking steps to protect your clothes before dyeing your hair can save you a lot of hassle. And for those inevitable accidents, now you know how to tackle those stubborn stains effectively. Happy stain removal!

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