How to Remove Hair Dye From Clothes & Skin

Written by tricia chaves
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How to Remove Hair Dye From Clothes & Skin
Rubber gloves protect the skin on your hands when you dye your hair. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

A few basic precautions will limit stains caused from dye. Wear gloves and a smock or a top designated for dye jobs. Keep a can of aerosol hairspray on hand --- a quick spray can prevent fabric stains if you catch them immediately. When dying hair, protect the skin at your hairline with an emollient facial moisturiser or petroleum jelly and use cotton wool to prevent dye from running. When accidents happen, you can remove the stains.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Smock or old T-shirt
  • Aerosol hairspray
  • Terrycloth towel
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cream of tartar
  • Lemon juice
  • Toothbrush
  • Liquid washing powder
  • Turpentine
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Toothpaste
  • Dye remover

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  1. 1

    Saturate a small, white terrycloth towel with rubbing alcohol. Dab the alcohol-saturated fabric on the stain and wash with cold water.

  2. 2

    Examine the garment for stains before putting it into the dryer or ironing, since heat will set the stain. If the stain persists, retreat. Make a paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice. Scrub the stain in a straight-line motion, saturate it with a liquid washing powder and wash with cold water.

  3. 3

    Check for persistent stains before drying or using an iron. Retreat the garment if you still see stains. On items made of wool or cotton, saturate a white terrycloth towel with turpentine and lightly dab it over the stained area. For synthetic fabrics, substitute hydrogen peroxide and apply in the same manner. Launder in cold water.


  1. 1

    Search your skin for traces of hair dye immediately after you've applied it, before rinsing your hair. Using a gloved hand, take a trace amount of hair dye from your head and run it in a circular motion over the stain on your skin. Although it seems as though you are adding more colour, applying more dye to the stain will neutralise it.

  2. 2

    Soak a cotton ball in 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and immediately wipe off areas of the skin that come in contact with dye. This is an alternative to the neutralising method in Step 1.

  3. 3

    Remove persistent stains with the toothpaste of your choice. A formula with exfoliating granules is best. Place a dab of toothpaste on a wet, warm terrycloth washcloth and buff the stain in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water and repeat as needed.

  4. 4

    Purchase a product specifically designed to remove hair dye from your beauty supply retailer. You can find formulas in stick, cream, liquid and towelette.

Tips and warnings

  • When using chemicals, perform a patch test on your garment's hemline to check for colour fastness or your facial jawline to see if you have a product allergy.

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