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How To Get Hair Dye Out Of Carpet

by | Feb 25, 2024 | Cleaning Tips

Playing with different hair colours is a fun way to experiment with different looks and express your personality. However, salon jobs can be pretty costly – that’s where at-home hair dye kits come in.

However, it’s pretty easy to make a mess while colouring your hair. The dye can get in all sorts of places, from the mirror to the carpet.

How to get hair dye out of carpet? You can try some of these solutions:

  • Hair spray
  • White vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Laundry stain remover

For deep-set or old dye stains, use a longer vinegar soak or an ammonia-based cleaning solution.

Afterwards, make sure to wash any remaining dye and cleaning product out of the fibres. Then let the carpet air dry.


Can You Remove Hair Dye Stains from Carpet?

Close-up of chemical hair color dye set with comb and brush

Yes – with some elbow grease. There are several solutions, but you’ll need to be patient and thorough when cleaning.

Sometimes, though, the stains will stick – especially if the dye is old or a very vivid/dark colour.


Before Removing Hair Dye from Carpet

Different carpet fibres have different cleaning solutions. Synthetic carpets (such as nylon or polyester) are more durable and easy to clean.

On the other hand, leather and natural fibres (like wool or silk) are more sensitive and may require specialised cleaners. It may be best to take them to a cleaning professional.


living room with carpet


Different Types of Hair Dye

There are several types of hair dye available depending on your colour needs. 

Note that permanent, semi-permanent, and demi-permanent dyes will be the most difficult to remove from carpet fibres.


Permanent hair dye

This type contains oxidising agents like ammonia, and causes the hair to undergo chemical processes.

It lasts incredibly long and may fade, but never really be “stripped” from your hair for several months. You’ll still have to retouch or reapply dye every 4-6 weeks.


Semi-permanent hair dye

Bowl of henna cream.

These dyes don’t contain ammonia – instead, they work by depositing colour on top of the hair cuticles. Henna is a form of semi-permanent dye.

Depending on whether you’ve bleached your hair or not, the colour will last around 4-12 washes.


Demi-permanent hair dye

People usually prefer demi-permanent dyes to cover greying hair. They don’t contain ammonia, and are less chemically harsh than permanent dyes.

You typically have to mix demi-permanent dyes with a developer. This will help the colour penetrate your hair shaft, letting it last longer.


Temporary hair colour

a hair color using spray

There are also temporary dyes – they’re not meant to last more than a day. One form is shampoo-on dye, which you can simply shampoo into your hair. It will deposit some colour on your hair shafts.

Spray dyes or chalk dyes are even more temporary, and are usually used for parties or performances. They’ll come out immediately after a shower.


Preparing to Remove Hair Dye Stains

Hair dye stains are tough – they’re meant to deposit chemical colours for long periods of time, after all. 

It’s best to prep before tackling a dye stain.


Before removing hair dye stains

Use a spoon, dull knife, or plastic card to remove any liquid clumps or partially-dried dye from the fibres.

Be careful while scraping so you don’t push the dye in deeper. You can also use a paper towel or clean cloth to blot any dye off.

Test your cleaning method on an inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn’t do damage!


Does hair dye colour matter?

High angle view of hand cleaning stain from the carpet

Black and red hair dyes are notoriously harder to remove, since they’re “stronger” colours.

The best methods for getting black hair dye out of carpet include rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. It’s the same for red dye stains.


What to avoid when cleaning hair dye on carpet

Will acetone remove hair dye from carpet? Yes, but it’s very harsh, it can destroy or discolour the fibres.

You can opt for an acetone-free nail polish remover instead. Use it in the same way as rubbing alcohol.

Do not use bleach-based products when cleaning hair dye off a carpet. You’ll damage the fibres and the base underneath.


How to Get Hair Dye Out of Carpet

When cleaning a hair dye spill, try to act quickly. The longer you let the dye sit, the harder it’ll be to remove.

Never rub when cleaning dye stains – that’ll just push the dye further into the fibres.

These cleaning methods will only work for synthetic fibres and other carpets that specifically allow for them. Anything else (especially silk, leather, or wool carpet) is best left to professionals.


Getting hair dye out of carpet with hairspray

This is a quick fix for fresh spills, especially if you already have hair spray handy. It also works to get nail polish out of carpet!

Spray the stained area from a few centimetres away. Blot the stain with a white paper towel or cloth.

Repeat until the hair dye is completely removed. Rinse the area with some cold water afterwards.


Getting hair dye out of carpet with white vinegar

One of the best and simplest ways for removing hair dye from carpet is by using white vinegar.

Don’t worry – the vinegar shouldn’t be strong enough to discolour the fibres.

Mix two cups of warm water (or slightly cool water) with one tablespoon white vinegar and one tablespoon dishwashing liquid.

Use a clean cloth or sponge to gently work the cleaning solution into the carpet. Work from the outside in, and be gentle while dabbing.

Wring the cloth or sponge out before cleaning – you’ll want to minimise the wetness on the fibres.

You could also use a spray bottle, but don’t get the carpet too wet.

Follow the vinegar solution with paper towels, blotting frequently until the stain disappears.

NOTE: After the vinegar has dried, you can sprinkle some baking soda onto the carpet to absorb the odours. Let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum the residue with the carpet attachment.


Getting hair dye out of carpet with rubbing alcohol

man holding ethyl alcohol bottle and cotton ball

Rubbing alcohol is best for smaller stains or for removing dye traces.

Dip a cotton swab or soak a cotton ball in some rubbing alcohol. Apply to the hair dye stains, then blot with a paper towel.

Repeat until stain removal is complete.


Getting hair dye out of carpet with hydrogen peroxide

Never use this method on dark-coloured carpets, as the product could discolour the fibres. It’s better saved for light-coloured or white carpet.

Mix two parts of water with one part 3% hydrogen peroxide. For a more stubborn stain, you can simply apply hydrogen peroxide undiluted.

Use a cotton swab to apply the solution to the stained area. Let the hydrogen peroxide sit for a few hours – or for tough stains, overnight.

Rinse the area with cool water as soon as you see the stain has disappeared. Then use a dry cloth to soak up any excess moisture.


Getting hair dye out of carpet with laundry stain remover

If your carpet is washable, you can try your preferred laundry stain remover (such as Zero Co’s Stain Remover or Clorox2 Laundry Stain Remover).

Follow the package instructions when applying the product to the hair dye stain. Then blot the stain with a paper towel or cloth.

Repeat until the stain has lifted. Try not to spend more than a total of 10 minutes applying the product.

Rinse or steam clean the carpet afterwards.


Removing an Old Hair Dye Stain from Carpet

Woman hand pouring baking soda Sodium bicarbonate in long hair fur carpet for cleaning and stain removal.

For old or deep-set hair dye stains, try sprinkling some baking soda onto the stain. Then make the same mixture of two cups of warm water, one tablespoon dish soap, and one tablespoon white vinegar.

This time, instead of a light application, thoroughly apply the mixture to the stain. Let it sit for an hour (or for old dye, overnight).

Afterwards, wipe the carpet with a damp cloth and vacuum up any excess residue.

Another method is using an ammonia solution, but we generally don’t recommend this. Ammonia is a very strong product and can damage the carpet fibres. It could also damage the carpet base, causing the fibres to fall out.

If you’re willing to risk it, mix one tablespoon of ammonia in two cups of warm water. Add a few drops of dish soap. While wearing gloves, use a sponge or clean cloth to apply the solution to the carpet stains.

Let it sit for 30 minutes at most before rinsing with a wet cloth. Then use a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture.


After Removing Spilled Hair Dye

Give your carpet a good wash afterwards to remove any trace stains and cleaner residue.

You can use a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and warm water to lightly saturate the carpet. Alternatively, use your favourite carpet cleaner.

Rinse the carpet thoroughly with lukewarm to cold water.

If your carpet manual says it’s allowable, you can also steam clean a carpet.

Afterwards, let the carpet air dry – either by a window or outdoors in the shade. You can also speed up the process with an electric fan or hair dryer.


Other Tips for Dealing With Hair Dye on Carpet

Before dyeing your hair, always lay down old newspapers or towels on the floor. These will catch any hair dye spills so you don’t have to clean afterwards.

For dye on other surfaces, such as the bathroom sink or walls, act ASAP. Wipe the stain off with a damp sponge or cloth and some liquid dish soap, then rinse.

Alternatively, scrub the stained area with a paste of baking soda and water. Use a sponge to gently scrub the area with the paste, then rinse after an hour.

(Or call up a reliable home cleaning service near you so they can clean the space for you.)

If the carpet stain has dried but is still recent, try wetting the area to “rehydrate” the dye or make it easier to remove.

When figuring out how to get hair dye out of carpet, never mix cleaning products unless directed. If you’re using an ammonia solution, do not add anything except water or dishwashing detergent.

About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.