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How to Get Hair Dye out of Carpet

How to Get Hair Dye out of Carpet

Let’s face it — there’s nothing worse than spilling something dark and nasty onto your beautiful carpet. Whether it’s wine, makeup, or coffee, seeing your lovely cream-colored carpet sporting a dark stain can be both frightening and annoying. While some products are simple to remove from standard carpet fibers, others, such as hair dye, can be especially difficult to eliminate.

If you’ve had the dreaded experience of accidentally spilling hair dye onto your carpet, fear not as we have a number of solutions for you! Below are some common ways to remove hair dye from your carpet using a few simple household materials. With that in mind, let’s get cleaning!

Initial Considerations

One of the most important things to consider before embarking on a dye removal quest is to know whether your carpet is colorfast. In other words, can the fibers stand up to the pressures of cleaning without losing their color? Carpets that are made in this style are manufactured with special dyes that will hold their color when exposed to moisture, light, and cleaning products.

If you’re not sure if your carpet is colorfast, do a test on a small, hidden area (or even better, a carpet sample). Drip your cleaner of choice onto the carpet and then wait a couple of minutes. Then blot it with a cloth or paper towel and evaluate the area. If the fibers appear bleached or faded, your carpet might not be colorfast.

However, it’s worth testing out a few other products to see whether the fade is due to your carpet or the cleaner.

Blot the Stain

Before you set about cleaning the actual stain, blot it with a dry cloth or paper towel. This will ensure that you’re removing any excess liquid and getting as much dye out as possible. Remember, hair dye is intended to last for a long time on a person’s hair, so you’ll want to make sure you’re assisting the process as much as possible.

Pro Tip: If you’re using a cloth to do the dabbing, it will likely be dyed forever, so make sure it’s one you won’t mind throwing away!

Alcohol

Perhaps one of the most basic techniques for removing hair dye is rubbing alcohol. We recommend trying this method first to see how far you get. Who knows? It may come out on your first try!

What you’ll need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Clean cloths

Step 1

Pour 1 tablespoon of isopropyl alcohol onto the affected area, and then blot with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Step 2

The step above should remove most of the remaining hair dye. After that, pour cold water on it, and then blot out the excess liquid.

If this technique isn’t successful, there are more heavy-duty options below!

Dish Soap, Vinegar, and Rubbing Alcohol

This method is quite effective for removing hair dye, and the good news is that it requires ingredients that aren’t particularly toxic.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 small bucket
  • Warm water
  • 2 clean cloths (1 for dabbing and 1 for drying)
  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Rubbing alcohol

Step 1

Add 2 cups of warm water to a small bucket. Then add 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

Step 2

Once you’ve mixed it, take a clean cloth and dip it into the liquid. Wring out the cloth so that it doesn’t soak the carpet.

Step 3

Dab the carpet in the same way that you did when you blotted the stain. Avoid rubbing as it will only push the dye further into the carpet fibers.

Step 4

After dabbing it a few times, take the dry cloth and dab the area. This should lift more of the stain from the carpet. Alternate between dabbing with the wet and dry cloth until the stain disappears.

Step 5

Once you’re confident the stain has gone, sponge the area with water and use a clean cloth to soak up the excess.

Pro Tip: If excess bits of dye remain, use rubbing alcohol to remove it. Simply pour the alcohol and then dab the area. Repeat if necessary.

Ammonia and Dishwashing Liquid

While ammonia is corrosive, it has proven to be an effective hair dye remover. However, bear in mind that the toxicity of this chemical means you’ll have to take additional precautions.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 small bucket
  • Cleaning gloves
  • Sponges
  • Clean cloths
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Ammonia

Step 1

In a small bucket, mix 2 cups of warm water with 1 tsp of dish soap and 1 tsp of ammonia. Be sure to ventilate the area by opening the windows or doors as exposure can be poisonous.

Step 2

Put on cleaning gloves and dip a cloth or sponge into the ammonia mixture and wring it out. Then dab the cloth onto the dye stain until the entire area is covered.

Step 3

Set a time and let the solution sit for 30 minutes. During this time, don’t allow any children or pets to enter the area due to the risk of ammonia exposure.

Step 4

After 30 minutes, soak a sponge or cloth in the ammonia solution and wring it out. Make sure the cloth or sponge is clean and that it isn’t the same one that you used to initially apply the solution. Then dab onto the stain and leave it for 5 minutes.

Step 5

By this time, the stain should be disappearing. Once it’s removed, wet a clean cloth or sponge and wet the area with clean water. Dab up the excess liquid with a new cloth and then air dry for 24 hours.

Hairspray, Astringent, and Baby Shampoo

While it might sound strange to use one hair product to remove another, this can be an effective way to remove dye from your carpet. The key here is to combine it with an astringent.

What you’ll need:

Step 1

Spray some hairspray onto the affected area. Make sure all parts of the stain are covered.

Step 2

Apply the astringent solution onto the area and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then rinse it with cold water.

Step 3

Dab the stain with a clean cloth or paper towel. This will absorb the hairspray and the dye and will start to lift the stain.

Step 4

Rinse the carpet with cold water. Dab the area with another clean cloth or paper towel until it’s fairly dry.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a useful stain remover; however, it does have the potential to discolor the carpet. Therefore, this method should only be used as a last resort or unless you’ve previously tested your carpet with this substance.

What you’ll need:

  • Eyedropper or teaspoon
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Sponges
  • Clean cloths

Step 1

Apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain with an eyedropper. If you don’t have a dropper, use a teaspoon instead. The stain should be covered completely but be careful not to spread it too far onto other areas of the carpet.

Step 2

Leave the hydrogen peroxide on the stain for 24 hours. During this time, don’t allow children or pets around the area. The stain should fade and disappear once the allotted time has passed.

Step 3

After 24 hours, blot out the hydrogen peroxide with water. Press a wet sponge onto the area and press firmly. Then leave the area to air dry.

Pro Tip: If the area is slightly bleached afterward, you can purchase a felt tip fabric marker that closely matches the carpet color. Apply the color in light strokes until the faded area begins to look the same as the surrounding carpet.

Commercial Options

If all the above fails and you’re still in dire need of a solution, commercial stain removers are also an option. Products like Goof-Off are known for lifting all kinds of nasty products out of fabrics, such as ink, shoe polish, makeup, glue, adhesives, and more. Stain-removing pens or carpet cleaners such as Spot Shot can also do the trick.

Or, if funds (and space) allow it, you could even invest in a carpet cleaning machine as they can be quite effective at removing stubborn stains.

Prevention

Last, but not least, it’s always good to be preventative. If home hair dyeing is a frequent affair, make sure you avoid potential stains by covering the floor completely. This includes placing plenty of newspapers, absorbent towels, and paper towels around your work area.

You may even want to create a base using a plastic sheet and placing the towels and newspapers on top. This will ensure that the hair dye stays where it’s supposed to!

Final Thoughts

Carpet stains are a nuisance at the best of times, but there are usually ways to get out even the peskiest of spots. When it comes to hair dye, you may need to experiment a few times, but you should see results using one of the suggestions above.

Whether it’s applying ammonia or dish soap and vinegar, deep hair dye stains can be eliminated with a bit of elbow grease. Good luck with your stain removing!

Team Beauty Mag

At Beauty Mag, all of our writers are passionate about skincare, makeup, haircare, and beauty. From lipstick experts to those who know everything about Korean face masks or how to tame frizzy locks, we’re here for all your beauty and style needs. The only thing we love more than finding our holy grail mascara? Sharing that knowledge with you. No matter what your style is, we’ve got the tips, tricks, reviews, and tutorials to help you shine.