How To Get Hair Dye Out of Clothes

You’ve wanted to color your hair, but accidentally you’ve dyed your clothes as well. It can happen to anyone, but because hair dye is a dye, it can leave stains. If you’re wondering, “How to get hair dye out of clothes before they are ruined?” you are in the right place.

Well, since each dye color contains various ingredients and pigments, you may need different treatments to remove dye stains from your t-shirt or sweater. In this post, we will share helpful tips and information on getting hair dye out of clothes.

How to Remove Hair Dye From Clothes: Is It Possible?

Like most homeowners, you probably want to know how to remove hair dye from clothes and whether removing dye is even possible. Yes, it is possible, and the most important thing is to act quickly by applying white vinegar or rubbing alcohol on your clothes. There are commercial stain removers that also do an excellent job removing hair dye spots on your pants or blouse.

However, it is essential to consider the clothes’ color. For example, if you wear white clothes, most of them require chlorine bleach to remove any hair dye residue successfully.

The most efficient way to remove hair dye from any type of clothing is to catch the stain while it is still fresh. If you notice a drop or two on your clothes while coloring your hair, remove it immediately. However, after you wash your clothes and put them into the washer or dryer, removing a hair dye stain becomes more difficult.

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How to Get Hair Dye Out of Fabric: The Best Methods to Try

Before we explain how to get hair dye out of fabric, let’s see some efficient methods to prevent stains on your favorite pieces of clothing.

After prepping the hair dye, it is a good idea to wear an old t-shirt, a protective cape, or a cotton-blended material that you don’t mind getting stained. If you don’t have any of these items at the moment, you can also use a garbage bag as a cape which is cost-effective, and you won’t mind throwing it away later.

All you need to do is cut three holes into it for your arms and head to wear while you color your hair. If, despite your effort, you still notice a few drops of hair dye on your clothes, here is how to remove them:

Liquid Laundry Detergent

Believe it or not, liquid laundry detergent is one of the most efficient ways to remove hair dye stains from your shirt or pants. First, take a dollop of the detergent and saturate the stain. Then, if you have an old toothbrush at home, use it to scrape the stain. If not, you can also use a washcloth.

Then, soak the clothes in a bowl of warm water or the sink and let them sit for a couple of hours. If the hair color is darker, you can let the clothing sit for 24 hours. After that, you can rinse it out and throw it in the washing machine.

Letting your clothing sit in a liquid laundry detergent prepares it so the stain doesn’t set into the fabric. However, you need to wash it after that.


Hairspray is an efficient method for getting stains out of jeans, sweaters, pants, and shirts. We recommend using an old hairspray to keep the color from spreading further into the fabric.

One of the reasons why hairspray successfully removes hair dye from clothes is due to the alcohol base. It helps break up the color and absorb it into the material. You will need to spray over the stain and cover the entire area.

After spraying your clothes, soak them in a bowl of cool water for 30 minutes. Then, wash your clothes in the washing machine as usual.


White wine vinegar is an old trick for removing hair dye stains from various pieces of fabric. Like hairspray, it stops hair dye from absorbing further into the material.

Although it doesn’t smell nice, it doesn’t release dangerous fumes or toxic substances like commercial products. If you splash vinegar on your skin, you can wash it off with water without worrying about irritations.

The simplest way to use white wine vinegar is to soak the clothes in cool water. Ideally, you need to cover the piece of garment in water and add one cup of distilled white vinegar. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes, and then rinse out the vinegar under cold water.

Rubbing Alcohol  

When homeowners ask for solutions online on how to get hair dye out of clothes, one of the standard solutions they come across is rubbing alcohol. Alcohol was and still is the go-to product for removing stains from clothing and furniture.

Isopropyl alcohol is a natural stain remover for most stains, including hair dye ones. All you need to do is add a folded paper towel between the stain and other parts of the clothing piece. Then, soak a cotton ball in isopropyl and start cleaning the stain with it.

Once you see color staining the ball, discard it and use another ball. Repeat the process from the inside of the fabric to ensure the stain is 100% removed. When you finish, rinse the alcohol under cold running water.

Baking Soda

Like white wine vinegar and rubbing alcohol, baking soda is a standard household product with various cleaning uses. From cleaning your furniture to your kitchen appliances, many homeowners also use it for cleaning hair dye stains on clothes.

Take a clean bowl and mix ⅓ cup of warm water with six tablespoons of soda. It is essential to create a thick paste to remove the stain successfully. Rub the paste into the stain using a toothbrush in circular motions.

Allow the paste to dry (it may take a couple of hours), and then run the clothing piece through cold water. Next, add it to the washer and let it air dry.

Related: What To Do When Sorting Laundry.

Commercial Stain Remover

Besides the good old household stain removers, there are commercial products that are also successful at removing hair dye stains from clothes. For example, you can find various stain removers in local supermarkets, including OxiClean, Tide, Zout Triple, and others.

If you haven’t used any of these products, it is best to use the instructions on the package. In general, you apply the product as a pre-wash treatment on the stain. You need to let some products sit overnight, while 30 minutes is enough for others.

After each product, it is essential to wash the material in cold water in your machine and let it air dry. Most of these commercial stain removers won’t damage your clothes, but for extra safety, perform a spot test to ensure you don’t experience any discoloring.

How to Remove Hair Dye Stains: Consider Professional Laundry Services

While all of these methods are effective, you might still see smudges if you don’t notice the stain immediately, act fast or use the correct method. No matter how old your shirt or pants are, you still want to save them and eradicate the stain.

If you want to know how to remove hair dye stains like a pro, consider Martinizing Dry Cleaning. We pride ourselves on being a leading dry cleaning service in the East Bay Area. We know how to get hair dye out of jeans, jackets, shirts, pants, and other pieces of clothing quickly and successfully.

Local homeowners choose us for our professional approach, exceptional services, and affordable prices. Before returning your clothes, we inspect them using green and eco-friendly methods. Call us today at 925-528-4688 to schedule a pick-up, learn how to get hair dye out of clothes, and preserve your favorite pieces. 

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