How To Get Hair Dye Out Of Your Carpet

When it comes to carpet stains, some stains are definitely more dreaded than others. Hair dye might be one of the most intimidating out there. After all, it's literally meant to dye materials! Thankfully, hair dye doesn't have to be permanent on your flooring. A little research revealed that there are several ways you can get it out of your carpet as long as it's fresh. 

All hair dye stains will involve some level of heavy cleaning, but how it's done can vary greatly. The most common methods include:

  • Using hydrogen peroxide
  • An ammonia solution
  • A mixture of vinegar, dish soap, and water

Almost every single color of the rainbow can be adequately removed if you use the right methods. However, it's all about the technique. This guide will give you the advice you need in a pinch. So be sure to keep reading. 

Elevated view of a janitor cleaning stain on carpet with sponge, How To Get Hair Dye Out Of Your Carpet

Before You Begin

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A hand wearing yellow rubber gloves cleaning up a spilled cup of coffee on a carpet with a sponge and a bottle of carpet cleaner

Before you do any kind of treatment on your carpet, it's always best to try to do a spot test in a nondescript corner of your room. If you notice staining, be prepared to re-dye your carpet as soon as you finish your stain removal. Thankfully, most carpets have a similar dye out there that you can use. If you aren't sure what dye you should use, get a carpet repair kit. 

While we're on the topic, check out these 11 steps on how to dye carpeting.

Click here to get a carpet dye kit from Amazon.

If you notice your carpet breaking, or worse, turning into a bald spot, do not use that method and contact a carpet care professional immediately. They will be better suited to clean your carpet. 

How Do You Get Hair Dye Out Of Your Carpet?

The first thing you should do is take a deep breath and try not to panic. As long as you act reasonably quickly, you should be able to fix your carpet well enough. When choosing a method, consider what you have around you as well as the age of your stain.

The Dish Soap Method

If you're a regular reader, you already know dish soap does it all. It cleans wood paneling, clears up stains on lampshades, and can be mixed into a solution that gets rid of hair dye. Unlike the other methods, this will not lighten your carpet! Here's how you can do it:

  1. Add 1 tablespoon each of vinegar and dish soap, then stir in 2 cups of water. Stir gently. 
  2. Get a microfiber cloth and dip it in the mixture.
  3. Start blotting at the stain using the damp cloth. Do not scrub, as this can smear the stain and also work it deeper into the carpet fibers. 
  4. Continue to blot away, switching cloths when they become saturated. 
  5. After the stain is lifted, rinse using a wet sponge and top it off with some rubbing alcohol. 

Click here to get dish soap on Amazon.

The Ammonia Method

It's not a secret that ammonia is a powerful cleaning agent. With this method, you will be able to get the cleaning power of ammonia to remove your dye stain. Please note that you may have to re-dye your carpet its former color if you use this method. Just follow the steps below to make it happen:

  1. Mix a tablespoon of ammonia with a tablespoon of dish soap in two cups of warm water. Stir gently. If you have sensitive skin, put gloves on your hands at this point.
  2. Grab a clean white microfiber cloth and dunk it in the solution. 
  3. Use the cloth to dab at the stain, making sure that the solution penetrates your carpet as well as it can. 
  4. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, possibly longer if your hair dye was black or red. 
  5. Start adding more solution as you notice the stain dissipate. Eventually, you will be able to see the entirety of the stain dissipate. 
  6. Once the stain is no longer visible, sponge the area down with a clean rag dipped in cold water and let it air dry.

Click here to get ammonia on Amazon.

The Hydrogen Peroxide Method

Let's not mince words. If you're going to use the hydrogen peroxide method, it's almost certainly going to lighten or discolor your carpet. It's a harsh treatment, to say the least. Hydrogen peroxide will bleach most carpet fibers, but it's also the most reliable way to ensure that your carpet won't have a dye stain. This is how to use this method:

  1. Grab an eyedropper and start applying hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain, making an effort to make sure that you don't get the peroxide anywhere else. Don't bother diluting the peroxide, as you will need the full strength of standard peroxide.
  2. Walk away from the stain and let the peroxide sit for an entire day. Do not let your pets anywhere near the stain, and just leave it be. As your peroxide sits, it will lighten the stained area.
  3. Take a wet sponge and dab at the stain until the entirety of the stain has been removed. 
  4. Allow your formerly stained area to air dry, and then redye your carpet. 

Click here to get some hydrogen peroxide on Amazon.

Important Questions To Ask About Removing Hair Dye

Woman cleaning red stain on brown carpet using blue rag and pink rubber gloves

If you have a hair dye stain, it's safe to say that you have a pretty bad mess on your hands. Hair dye is a notorious carpet-ruiner in many cases, particularly when it comes to antique carpets, organic carpets, and silk fabrics. If you are unsure of whether or not your carpet can handle these treatments, either stick to the dish soap and vinegar trick or call a professional. 

Obviously, there's more to this entire issue than just knowing when to call a professional. These questions below are the commonly asked. 

How Long Does It Take To Remove Hair Dye From Carpet?

This all depends on the method that you use. At the very least, you should expect to take at least one to two hours for a small stain with the dabbing method. If you are looking to use peroxide, it will take more than a day for the entire process to finish up. Regardless of what method you choose, you should bank on spending at least a couple of hours working away at the stain. 

What Happens If You Leave The Stain Remover On Too Long?

Stain removers are meant to be used in their allotted time. What happens to your carpeting will depend on how much longer you leave it on. Here's what you need to know:

  • If you left it on for 5 to 10 minutes, you probably will not have too much noticeable damage. 
  • After half an hour of extra time with ammonia, you will start to notice textural damage to your carpet. 
  • After an hour or two of exposure to ammonia or more than 26 hours with peroxide will most likely deal considerable textural damage to your carpet. This can include discoloration, fraying, or at worst, bald patches on your carpet. 

What's The Best Method For Removing Old, Stubborn Hair Dye Stains From Carpet?

While one could cheekily say that the best way to remove a stubborn old stain is to treat it while it's new, that wouldn't help. What would help is to advise you to use hydrogen peroxide or ammonia on the stain. Both are exceptionally powerful stain removers and have the strength needed to take out stains that cling to fibers.

If you cannot get the stain out with peroxide or ammonia, then you should probably call professional stain removers or change a small portion of your carpet. Sometimes, stains won't be able to get removed and it's important to realize that you might be beat. 

In Closing

Hair dye on a carpet is a renter's worst nightmare, or at the very least, one of the worst. If you have the misfortune of having a spill on your carpeting, the best thing you can do is act quickly, do a spot test, and try to remove it with whatever cleaning agents you have on hand. The sooner you start working on the stain, the less likely it is to become a permanent fixture in your home. 

Of course, the best way to handle hair dye is to avoid areas that are carpeted while you handle them. By keeping your dye far away from your carpets, you prevent all the spilling shenanigans from ever happening. With a little hope, you'll have a better hair dye protocol after learning the sheer amount of effort it takes to get rid of a single dye stain. 

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