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How to remove hair dye stains

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Hair dye can be incredibly difficult to remove from clothing. If you have accidentally dripped some on yourself, this is how you can remove it. 

  • Before treating your stain
  • Black, brown, or blue hair dye 
  • Red hair dye

Before treating your stain

Before you begin treating your stain, check your item’s care label. If it says ‘dry-clean only’ do not treat the stain yourself. Instead, book your Laundryheap dry cleaning service and let us handle it. If your care label doesn’t say ‘dry-clean only’ you are safe to proceed. 

Black, brown, or blue hair dye

To treat your hair dye stain you will need…

  • A soft-bristled brush
  • Water
  • A basin 
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent 
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Chlorine bleach (for white clothing)

Begin treating your stain by holding your garment under a cold water tap. This will help remove any hair dye lingering on the surface of your item. Make sure that you use cold water only as hot water will only aid the stain in setting further into your clothing

Next, pour a capful of heavy-duty laundry detergent over the stain and use a soft-bristled brush to gently rub it in. It’s best to use a laundry detergent with stain-lifting enzymes, so double check you are using the right detergent prior to pouring. Continue rubbing your stain for 5-15 minutes, or until you begin to see the hair dye become lighter in colour.

Once you are satisfied that your stain is a lighter colour, fill a basin with cold water and add oxygen-based bleach per the instructions on the packaging. Submerge your garment in the water and bleach mixture, making sure that the hair dye stain is completely in the water, and leave it to soak for at least 8 hours. 

After 8 hours, lift your item out of the water. If your stain has been removed, you can wash your item as you normally would. Should the stain remain, mix a fresh basin of cool water and oxygen-based bleach and leave your garment for another 8 hours. 

If your hair dye stain is on a white item of clothing and mix a solution of 1 gallon of water and 1-fourth a cup of chlorine bleach. Submerge your stained garment in this mixture, and leave it to soak for 15 minutes. Do not leave your item in the solution for any longer than 15 minutes as the chlorine bleach will begin to weaken the fabric. 

After 15 minutes, remove your item from the solution.

Removing red hair dye 

Red hair dye has a different composition than black, brown, or blue hair dye, and so the stain needs to be treated in a different way. 

To treat your hair dye stain you will need…

  • 2 soaking containers
  • Dishwashing liquid 
  • Ammonia
  • Distilled white vinegar 
  • Oxygen-based bleach 
  • Water 

As with removing black, brown, or blue hair dye, begin treatment by running your stained item under a cool water tap to remove any surface hair dye. 

Next, mix a solution of 1 quarter of water, one-half teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and one tablespoon of ammonia, in a container. Submerge your stained garment in this solution and leave it to soak for 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes, remove your garment from the solution and, using your fingers, rub the stained area. This will help loosen the hair dye and allow it to be removed from the fabric with greater ease. Once you have rubbed your stain for around 5-10 minutes, submerge it in the previously used solution for a further 15 minutes. 

Whilst your item is soaking, use a separate container to mix 1 quarter warm water with 1 quarter distilled white vinegar. Once your item has completed it’s 15-minute soak, rinse it well, and submerge it in your new solution. Leave your item to soak for 30 minutes. 

After 30 minutes, remove your garment from the solution. If your stain has been removed, wash your item as you usually would.

Should your stain remain, fill your sink with cold water and add oxygen-based bleach per the packet’s instructions. Submerge your stained item in the solution, and leave it to soak for 8 hours. If, after 8 hours, the stain has not been removed, repeat the process with fresh water and fresh oxygen-based bleach. 

The most effective way to remove any stain is to get it treated by a professional. When you book your Laundryheap service, let us know what item(s) of clothing is stained and where the stain(s) is located. To book your Laundryheap service, head to the Laundryheap website, or download the free Laundryheap app. 

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