If you’ve ever tried to dye your hair without putting plenty of newspaper underneath our work space, you’ve likely experienced the horror of spilling hair dye on your or someone else’s expensive carpet. Hair dye can be difficult to get out, especially because in most cases it’s intended to be permanent.
Permanent coloring usually ends up bonding quickly to the carpet. The faster you get started with stain cleanup, the easier it comes out. You don’t have to use commercial cleaners for hair dye; you can use some products that you likely already have in your cabinet or pantry.
Here´s how you get hair dye out of a carpet:
Remove Excess Liquid
First, you need to use a clean cloth to blot up the hair dye as much as possible. This cloth isn’t going to be used again, so you may be able to get away with using absorbent paper towels. Remember to only blot the stain. If you try to scrub, all you’re doing is making the dye stain spread further and working it deeper into the carpet. Just blot. You may need to do this with a different paper towel several times, depending how much dye you spilled. Get as much as possible.
Create Cleaning Solution
Your first line of cleaning solution will consist of dish soap, white vinegar, and water. Dish soap is an obvious cleaner, and the benefits of vinegar rinse for removing old hair dye are well-known. It works well on carpets. Anyway, you need two cups of water and a tablespoon each of white vinegar and dish detergent. Mix well.
Pour this cleaning solution onto the dye stain and gently work it in with a sponge or a clean cloth, taking intervals to dab at the stain with a dry cloth and absorb some of the liquid. You should see the stain gradually begin to lighten.
Clean with Alcohol
Pour a tablespoon of isopropyl alcohol onto the stain and work it in. As with the dishwashing solution, blot it up with a paper towel. This step should absorb most of the remaining hair dye. Afterward, you should put cold water on the carpet. This is one method to get rid of a pesky dye stain on your carpet.
For Stubborn Stains
Most of the time, the previous actions should get rid of most of your problems. If you have an old hair dye stain or a large one, it may be a little more challenging. This is when you try ammonia.
Ammonia is a common chemical in most households, but if you don’t have any you can find it at any home supply store or supermarket.
Once you have your ammonia, create a solution of similar concentration to the one you made before. The only difference is that you’re using ammonia as an ingredient instead of vinegar. Follow the same steps as you would have before until you don’t see the stain anymore.
If vinegar and subsequently ammonia don’t get rid of the stain, you may have to try commercial products. Just make sure your carpet is entirely free of one chemical before going to the next step. You don’t want to mix chemicals unless you know what you’re doing.
Before using any kind of cleaning solution on your carpet, you need to know if your carpet is colorfast. That is, can the fibers stand up to cleaning without losing color? To find out, make your cleaning solution of choice and go to a far corner of the room. Drip a little of it onto the carpet and allow a couple of seconds for the cleaner to work. Then, blot it up with a paper towel. If you see bleaching, don’t use this cleaner.
Commercial Hair Dye Removers
We found a few hair dye removers that might do the trick. Just follow the instructions on the container before use. Here are the dye removers:
- Remove It! Paint, Oil, Dye, and Pen Remover
- Redken Color Stain Remover
- Motzenbocker’s Lift-off Stain Remover
You’re probably better off double-layering the protection. Also, avoid opening the bottle or working near the carpet. It’s better to work with hair dye near a hard surface like a sink bowl, which is far easier to wipe up than cleaning a stain on the carpet.