Dyeing your hair from the comfort of your home is all fun and games……….that is, until you accidentally spill some of the dye onto your gorgeous carpet. Yikes!
If this happens to you, I bet you’d instantly go on a Googling spree trying to find the answers to “how to get hair dye out of carpet fast” and waste time jumping from one article to another.
Well, count yourself lucky today because this article covers everything you need to know about how to get hair dye out of carpet using common household products.
I don’t think there’s a stain that can send you into full panic mode more than hair dye stains on carpet. These pesky stains have a way of making your carpet resemble a murder scene from a crime TV show.
Fortunately, it’s a mess that can be fixed.
I know you’re dying to get to the meat of the matter. So without further ado, let’s dive right into this do-it-yourself guide on how to get hair dye from carpet for good.
*This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
Can Hair Dye Be Removed From a Carpet?
The short answer is yes, it can.
Removing hair dye from a carpet is highly possible with the right product and technique.
So, don’t start shopping for a new carpet thinking there’s no way the hair dye stain could ever come off. Save those coins sis, and give these tips and tricks that I’m about to share a try.
But know that removing hair dye on your carpet requires lots of patience. You might need to repeat the removal process several times to see the desired results.
What to Do Immediately After a Hair Dye Spill
When it comes to removing hair dye from carpet, every second counts.
That means you should act right away as soon as hair dye spills on your carpet. The longer you take to treat the stain, the more frustrating the removal process will be.
So once you notice a dye stain on your carpet, grab a couple of paper towels or clean microfiber cloth and begin to blot the stain.
In other words, press the cloth or paper towel lightly on the hair dye stain to make it soak up as much of the dye as possible. Blotting is the best technique because as you press the cloth or paper towel, you absorb most of the dye before it trickles deeper into the carpet fibers.
Blot. Blot and Blot Some More…………
Change the cloth when it gets too wet with the dye, and continue blotting the stain until the cloth no longer gets soaked up with the dye.
Make sure you don’t scrub the fresh dye stain — only blot. Scrubbing will make the dye stain spread wider on your carpet.
Before Applying the Homemade Cleaning Solution………..
After a successful blotting session, you can proceed to use a cleaning solution to tackle the hair dye stain on your carpet. As you’ll see shortly, there are a few solutions that can help you conquer these stains.
But before you do this, it’s advisable to test whether your carpet can withstand the different cleaning solutions.
Will it burn or discolor the stained areas? Or have no damaging effect? The only sure way to find out is through a patch test.
Simply apply the solution to a stain-free spot on your carpet, let it sit for a few minutes, and observe how it reacts.
I recommend doing this test on an area of your carpet that’s not easily noticeable. For instance, a spot on your carpet that’s hidden under furniture.
If the cleaning solution doesn’t discolor or burn this spot, it’s safe to use it on the hair dye stain.
What Methods Are the Best for Removing Dye From Carpets?
There are a couple of simple but effective cleaning methods to remove hair dye from carpet for good. Let’s take a look:
Method #1 Removing Hair Dye Using Dish Soap, Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol
As basic as liquid dish soap, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol are, these three ingredients make a natural yet powerful hair dye remover when combined.
Dishwashing liquid soap helps loosen the dye molecules, making it easier to get hair dye off the carpet.
White vinegar’s mild acidity makes this household staple corrosive enough to cut through hair dye stains. Rubbing alcohol, on the other hand, breaks down and dissolves these stains (rubbing alcohol’s well-known chemical property is its solvency)
Does Vinegar Discolor Carpets?
It’s rare for white vinegar to discolor carpet in its diluted form. That’s why it’s important to mix vinegar with about two cups of warm water before applying it to the areas of your carpet stained by hair dye spills.
When you work on the dye stain using diluted white vinegar, it’s unlikely to discolor your carpet and turn it into a tie-and-dye masterpiece.
But just as with the other methods in this list, be sure to test the diluted vinegar on a small area of your carpet before applying it to the entire dye stain.
That said, here’s how to use white vinegar to remove hair dye stain on carpet:
- Once you’ve blotted as much hair dye as possible with a dry cloth, grab a spray bottle and add one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, one tablespoon of vinegar, and two cups of warm water.
Give this mixture a good shake, and wet a clean microfiber cloth with the solution.
- Dab the cloth on the stained area, and switch to blotting after some minutes (alternate between dabbing and blotting). This will help squeeze the cleaning solution deeper into the carpet fibers where the dye may have seeped.
- Dab and blot repeatedly (after some time, dampen the cloth again with the cleaning solution and continue dabbing).
- Next, gently dab a dry cloth on the stain. This is to absorb the solution that has already mixed up with the hair dye stain.
- If the stain persists, reach for rubbing alcohol. Dampen your cloth with rubbing alcohol and blot it gently on the leftover stain. Repeat this step until the stain fully disappears.
- When your carpet is finally stain-free, rinse the area with a clean cloth dampened with cold water.
- Finally, let the carpet air dry, or use a vacuum or hair dryer to fasten the drying process.
Method #2 Removing Hair Dye Using an Ammonia Solution
Ammonia is a popular ingredient in various household cleaning products, including laundry cleaners.
This chemical is a laundry additive for one good reason — it’s an excellent stubborn stain remover, making it a reliable product to remove hair dye from carpets.
But before you begin making your ammonia solution, you need to take a few safety precautions.
You’re probably familiar with ammonia’s pungent, nauseating smell that can stink up your house in no time.
I’d advise you to wear a face mask and dilute this store-bought product in a well-ventilated room.
Also, wear rubber gloves before you start preparing this cleaning solution. Reason being, ammonia has corrosive properties. If it accidentally spills on your hand, you’ll experience the worst irritation ever.
Here’s how to go about using ammonia solution as your hair dye remover:
- After gently lifting excess dye with a clean microfiber cloth, prepare your ammonia solution.
- In a small bucket, add about one tablespoon of your store-bought ammonia, one teaspoon of liquid dish soap, and two cups of warm water. Swirl the bucket to mix up these ingredients (do this carefully to avoid spilling on the floor).
- Dip a clean cloth in the cleaning solution, and wring it to remove the excess solution.
- Gently dap and blot the damp cloth on the stained area until the entire dye stain is covered with the solution.
- Let this solution sit on the stain for about thirty minutes to allow it to flow deeper into the stained carpet fibers.
Ensure your pets and kids are nowhere close to this ammonia-drenched spot or near the bucket containing the diluted ammonia solution.
- After thirty minutes, dip another cloth in the ammonia solution every five minutes and dab more solution on the stain until it disappears completely.
- Rinse the area using a clean cloth dampened with cold water to prevent the smell of ammonia from lingering on your carpet.
- Let the area air dry, or use a hair dryer or vacuum for faster drying results.
Method #3 Removing Hair Dye Using Hydrogen Peroxide
That bottle of hydrogen peroxide chilling in your first aid cabinet can help you fight off stubborn stains like nail polish and permanent hair dyes on your carpet.
Hydrogen peroxide is a super effective product for removing hair dye stains. But it has a not-so-amazing side to it — its bleaching properties.
If the dye stains are on your colored carpet, hydrogen peroxide will clear the stains but leave the area slightly bleached. That’s why you should only use hydrogen peroxide as a last resort.
Here’s how to use hydrogen peroxide to remove hair dye on your carpet (wear gloves before you start this cleaning process):
- Once you’ve completed the initial blotting process, use an eye dropper, cotton swab, or a teaspoon to apply hydrogen peroxide on the dye stain. Be careful not to get the hydrogen peroxide on the surrounding stain-free areas.
- Leave the hydrogen peroxide on the dye stain for around 24 hours. This will give the cleaning solution time to work on the deep-set stains. Keep your pets and kids off the carpet during this time.
- Finally, use a clean cloth dampened in cold water to remove the leftover solution and leave the carpet to air dry (you can also use a hair dryer or vacuum).
Method #4 Removing Hair Dye Out Of Carpet Using Baking Soda
Baking soda’s mild abrasiveness makes it an effective stain remover — it can cut through and lift tough stains like hair dyes.
Here’s how to use baking soda to remove hair dye stains:
- Combine a teaspoon of liquid dish soap with a teaspoon of baking soda to make a paste.
- Cover the stained area with the paste and let it sit for a couple of minutes before scrubbing the area gently with a soft toothbrush.
- If the stain hasn’t disappeared, repeat the second step until you see the desired results on your carpet.
- Once the dye stain is out of the way, wipe off the baking soda using a cloth dampened with cold water.
- Let the cleaned area air dry, or use a hair dryer or vacuum for faster results.
How to Get Black Hair Dye Out of Carpet
While black hair dye gives the transformation we all love to see on our hair………you know, concealing those gray hair strands and making our hair pop with that jet-black color, there’s nothing good to say about the sight of black hair dye stains on a carpet.
If you’ve accidentally spilled black dye on your carpet while in the middle of a DIY dye job at home, it’s easy to assume your carpet will remain stained forever.
There’s a way to remove black hair dye on carpet completely. Here’s how to go about it:
- Use a dry microfiber cloth to blot the stain and absorb as much black dye as possible.
- Prepare your vinegar solution or (baking soda paste), dampen a clean cloth or sponge with this cleaning solution, and use the wet sponge or cloth to dab the stain repeatedly.
- If the stains are still visible despite several dabbing attempts, try a much stronger cleaning solution, like ammonia.
- Dampen a clean cloth with the ammonia solution, and dab the entire stain repeatedly to clear away the leftover dye.
- Finally, rinse the treated area with a clean cloth dampened with cold water. Let the area air dry, or use a vacuum or hair dryer.
How to Get Red Hair Dye Out of Carpet
Red hair dye is among the most stunning and sought-after hair colors. But when it spills on your carpet while dyeing your hair, I bet you’d curse the day this hair color was invented.
Red dye stains are usually quite frustrating to remove — be it on fabric, clothes, or hair (even the most talented hair colorist will agree).
But that doesn’t mean removing stains of red hair dye on your carpet is impossible.
If your worst nightmare comes to life — red hair dye spilling on your carpet — here’s what you can do to fix the mess:
- Start by blotting the stained area with a clean cloth, and do this repeatedly until the cloth no longer gets soaked up with the red hair dye.
- Try out a mild remover like baking soda paste or white vinegar first to see if the stain will come off without the need for more solution like ammonia or rubbing alcohol.
- Dip a cloth in the vinegar and dab the damp cloth on the carpet stains as often as needed. The stain should begin coming off with every dab.
- If you decide to use baking soda, apply the paste and let it sit on the stain for several minutes before scrubbing with a soft toothbrush. Wipe and reapply the paste until the stain disappears.
- If the dye stain has faded completely, rinse the area with a fresh cloth moistened with cold water. But if the white vinegar or baking soda paste hasn’t worked well to your satisfaction, you can use rubbing alcohol or ammonia solution.
Fresh Dye Stain Vs. Dry Dye Stain
Dye stains are generally tough stains to tackle. But if the stains in question dried up on your carpet long ago, it’s a whole different struggle.
Dry dye stains are pretty much the heavyweight champions of dye stains that are stressful and time-consuming to deal with.
It’s much easier to remove fresh spills than dye that has already dried up on the carpet’s fibers.
Removing Fresh Dye Stain From Carpet
Getting rid of a fresh dye stain on your carpet isn’t complicated — simply use any of the four stain removal methods mentioned above and follow the steps carefully.
Vinegar is an incredible fresh dye stain remover.
For instance, if you decide to use vinegar and rubbing alcohol:
- Blot the stain gently with a clean cloth or paper towel to transfer as much fresh dye from the carpet to the cloth as possible.
- Spray the vinegar solution on a clean cloth, then dab the stain over and over again until the stain begins to fade away.
- If the stain doesn’t disappear completely despite applying the vinegar treatment on it a few times, apply rubbing alcohol — it will handle the remaining traces of the fresh dye stain on the carpet.
- Once the stains have come off, clean the area using a clean cloth dampened with cold water and dry the area with a hair dryer or vacuum.
Removing Dry Dye Stain from Carpet
If you want to remove hair dye stains that have been sitting on your carpet for quite some time, follow these steps:
- Rehydrate the stain. You can’t remove a dry dye stain completely without introducing cool water to it.
Use a teaspoon to pour cold water on the stain until the stained area feels wet enough, or place a wet cloth on the stain and leave it there for a while. This will allow the water to seep deeper into the carpet fibers stained by the dry dye.
- Apply carpet cleaner or a few drops of baby shampoo to the wet stain. Simply soak a cloth or cotton swab with the cleaner or shampoo, and use it to blot and dab the stain.
- Use a dry cloth to soak up the mess on the stained area, apply the baby shampoo or carpet cleaner again, and dab/blot the stain some more.
- Repeat the process until the hair dye stain disappears.
- If these products don’t remove the stain completely, try to apply hydrogen peroxide. But if your carpet’s color doesn’t allow it, consider getting a commercial dye stain remover that tackles permanent dyes or engage a professional carpet cleaner.
How Do You Get Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Out of Carpet?
If semi-permanent hair dye accidentally spills on your carpet, you can combine baking soda and vinegar for the best results.
The fizzing reaction that occurs when you mix vinegar and baking soda is strong enough to get remove semi-permanent hair dye completely:
- Simply mix one tablespoon of vinegar, a teaspoon of baking soda, and a few drops of dish soap to make a paste.
- Apply this paste on the stain (ensure to cover the entire stained area with the paste).
- Let the paste sit on the stain for a couple of minutes, then scrub it gently using an old toothbrush.
- Rinse the stained area with a cloth dampened with cold water.
- If the stain hasn’t come off completely, repeat the cleaning process until you see the desired change.
- If the stain persists, you can try other stronger solutions like ammonia.
Useful Tips for Dealing With Dye Spills
If you’re a fan of at-home hair coloring, I’m sure you’ll agree that, sometimes, hair dye spills can still happen even when you’ve been super cautious while handling the dye.
If you encounter this dreaded accident, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you try to get hair dye off your carpet:
- Act immediately when you notice the spillage. The sooner you begin to deal with the hair dye spill, the easier and less time-consuming the removal process will be.
- Before applying cleaning solutions to the stained area, you should first blot the stain with a dry cloth. This will ensure you absorb as much hair dye as possible before it seeps deeper into the carpet fibers.
- Be patient. You may need to repeat the cleaning process a few times before your carpet becomes stain-free. It can be quite a messy process but don’t quit halfway.
- Before trying out a stronger cleaning solution like ammonia, start off with stain removers that aren’t too strong — like baking soda or vinegar.
- I’ve said it before, but I don’t mind repeating it: Before applying any homemade dye remover on the stained areas, test it on a small area of your carpet.
How to Get Hair Dye Out of Carpet 101: Final Thoughts
While coloring your hair at home is meant to be an exciting moment, hair dye might drip or splatter on the carpet, ruining the fun atmosphere.
But these carpet stains don’t mean it’s the end of the road for your beautiful carpet.
With readily available household staples like vinegar, baking soda, dishwashing liquid soap, rubbing alcohol, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and baby shampoo, you can get hair dye stains from your carpet without the help of a professional carpet cleaner.
I hope you found these hair dye cleaning methods helpful. Good luck in your stain removal endeavors!
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Grainne Foley is a wife and mother of 2 great kids. During her 5 years of full time RV travel, Grainne learned to become very efficient at household chores, in order to make time for family adventures. Now, back in a house, she has continued to create tools and techniques to help others lighten the load of household organization and cleaning.