How to Get Hair Dye Out of Carpet

It can be fun to experiment with hair color and get your hair dyed right from the comforts of your home. But if the hair dye gets on the carpet, the nightmare begins. It’s nice to get the dye in your hair, but if it ends up in the carpet fibers, you’ll surely have a hard time taking it out. It’s so difficult you’d wish you had installed linoleum floors!

how to get hair dye out of carpet

In fact, hair dye is one of the toughest stains on carpets. If you accidentally spilled some and are now finding out how to get hair dye out of the carpet, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help you take out this stain like it never happened at all!

Simple Ways on How to Get Hair Dye Out of Carpet

There’s only one thing that you must remember when hair dye gets on your carpet. Act fast!  Never let the dye dry out or higher are the chances that it will stay there forever. So, the moment that you notice a drop of hair dye on your carpet, get to work. Gather all the materials you need and start following the steps below.

Here’s a reminder though. Since the hair dye may be composed of chemicals, you’ll need an equally strong solution to take it out. Some of the materials used below may be harsh on certain carpet fibers. Therefore, before you go ahead and try the step, put a very small amount of solution on a discreet end of the carpet to test it. If the solution doesn’t damage your carpet, proceed with it. If it does, skip to the next step and test that one instead.

Materials Needed

  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Ammonia
  • Hairspray
  • Astringent
  • Clean white cloth or paper towel
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Carpet shampoo
  • Liquid detergent
  • Baking soda
  • WD-40
  • Borax
  • Lighter fluid

Step 1. Use carpet shampoo or laundry detergent.

Use carpet shampoo or laundry detergent

Always start with the basics. Before using any strong chemical on your carpet, attempt to remove it using the traditional way. Use the shampoo you’re cleaning your carpet with and try to rub away the stain. In any case, any baby shampoo will do. If that won’t work, switch to a stronger laundry detergent. While this method is no magic eraser, you simply can’t skip it at all.

Step 2. Make a vinegar cleaning solution.

Vinegar is a very popular carpet cleaner. On its own, it can remove almost all types of carpet stains. However, since permanent hair dye is a tough one, it will need other liquids to be effective. For this method, you’ll also need some liquid dish soap and rubbing alcohol.

Make a vinegar cleaning

In a bowl, add one tablespoon each of dishwashing liquid and white vinegar to two cups of water. Blot the stained area with a clean cloth. Press firmly onto the carpet fibers to absorb as much stain as you can. Then dip another piece of cloth into the vinegar solution. Dab it onto the stain.

Alternate wiping the area with a dry cloth and the one dipped in the solution. Do it repeatedly until the stain has faded. Then rinse the area with cold water. Use a sponge to soak up excess water. Allow it to dry for some time.

Once dried, check if all the stain is gone. If the stain is still visible, apply some rubbing alcohol to the area using another piece of cloth. Add more alcohol as needed and wipe until the stain is gone. Rinse the carpet again.

Step 3. Use Ammonia.

Another compound that is known to be effective against hair dye stains is ammonia. However, this solution can’t be used on wool carpets. If yours is a wool carpet, skip to the next step. If unsure, test how the ammonia will react to the carpet fiber and check for damage.

Use ammonia cleaning

If all is good, add combine one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and ammonia into two cups of water. Using a clean cloth, dab the solution onto the stain. Leave it there for about 30 minutes. After that, use a sponge to add a few more drops of ammonia to cover the area. Do this every a few minutes until no more stain is visible. Rinse the carpet using cold water.

Step 4. Try the astringent technique.

Hair dyes can be very tricky to remove but if you have some astringent and hairspray at home, you can use them to get the stain off the carpet. Use the hairspray first. Just spray enough to cover the stain. Leave it for a few minutes. Then rinse with cold water.

Try the astringent technique

Next, dab the stain with the astringent. Leave it again for a few minutes. Then rinse using cold water. Use a paper towel or sponge to absorb excess water. Repeat until the stain is gone. Leave it to air dry or use a fan to speed up drying.

Step 5. Apply hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is also a useful hair dye stain removal solution. However, you can only use this on white carpets stained with red dye. Otherwise, it may cause discoloration. Remember that hydrogen peroxide is a very strong compound. So, use it with care. Use gloves to protect your hands.

Apply hydrogen peroxide to get hair dye out carpet

Just apply hydrogen peroxide over the stain. You may use a dropper or a teaspoon to make it easier for you. Leave the solution like that overnight. Then dab the carpet using a wet sponge or damp cloth. Dab until the stain is gone. Air-dry the carpet or use a fan. You may also use a vacuum cleaner over the area.

Step 6. Use a nail polish remover.

If it happens that you don’t have hair spray and astringent, check if you have some nail polish remover stocked up in your dresser. Just pour a few drops of the solution into a cotton ball. Rub it onto the stained area. Leave it for a few minutes then come back to it to cleanse the area with a sponge dipped in soapy water. Rub repeatedly until the stain is gone.

Use a nail polish remover to get hair dye out carpet

Step 7. Try baking soda. 

Clean the stained area using any type of liquid detergent. Using a spoon, try to cover the entire stain with baking soda. Then pour vinegar carefully on the area. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub the stain. Rinse and dry. This method is also effective for food coloring stains.

Try baking soda to get hair dye out carpet

Step 8. Use oxygen-based bleach.

Combine equal parts of oxygen-based bleach and water. Apply it to the stained part of the carpet. Leave it there for a few hours. Come back to it and try to clear off the stain using a piece of cloth dipped in liquid detergent. If the stain remains, just repeat the whole process until it is no longer visible. You may also use chlorine bleach but be sure that it’s the type that won’t damage the carpet’s fibers.

Use oxygen-based bleach to get hair dye out carpet

Step 9. Try turpentine.

If the stain proves to be very difficult to remove, use turpentine. Again, test it out on a discreet part of the carpet before proceeding. Turpentine can be very harsh on synthetic fibers, but it could work on wool or cotton. Also, take note that turpentine fumes are toxic. Wear protective gear like gloves and a face mask before doing anything. Make sure that the area is well ventilated as well.

to get hair dye out carpet

Soak a piece of cloth in turpentine and dab it onto the stain. Blot the excess hair dye stain until it’s gone. Then wash the area with warm water and laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid. Rinse using cool water. Air-dry the carpet.

Step 10. Use lighter fluid.

If you don’t have turpentine at home, maybe you have some lighter fluid. However, this method will only work on wool carpets. For the other carpet types, be sure to test it out before proceeding. Just soak a piece of cloth into the fluid and dab it carefully onto the carpet stain. Let the carpet fiber absorb the fluid for a few minutes. Then rinse with water.

Step 11. Use WD-40.

WD-40 is a popular lubricant used to clean metals. However, it is known to be effective in removing hair dye stains on carpet fibers as well. Just spray WD-40 onto the stain and leave it there for a few minutes. Come back to it and use a piece of cloth to blot the stained area. Rinse and air dry.

Use WD-40 to get hair dye out carpet

Step 12. Clean it with Borax.

Borax is commonly used with other cleaners like laundry detergents to improve results. You may use the same principle on your stained carpet. Prepare the mixture by combining equal parts of Borax, salt, and white vinegar, about a quarter of a cup each.

Clean carpet with Borax

Use an old toothbrush to apply the sticky mixture onto the stained area of the carpet. Let the fiber absorb the mixture before rinsing it out with water. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone. Let it dry and use a vacuum cleaner over the area to remove residues.

These are the known tips and tricks that could remove hair dye stains from your carpet. Again, no need to follow all steps. Just pick a method that you think will work for you best. Your task is done as soon as the stain is gone. If the method fails, feel free to jump to the next applicable step.

But if it is a very stubborn stain, then it can’t be removed by any of the methods above. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to hire a professional carpet cleaner. They’ll help you remove any stains from your carpet with absolutely no hassle on your part. Some of them can even do upholstery cleaning as well, which is a two-in-one convenience for you!

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