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How to Get Hair Dye Out of Carpet

Let’s face it, hair dye can easily get everywhere when applying it — the wall, our gloves, bathtubs, the carpet, and everything we accidentally touch. Hair dye is one of the harder stains to remove, but with these methods we’re confident you’ll be able to get that stain out. 

If you catch the stain while it’s still wet, hurry and soak up as much of it as you can before starting these methods. Try not to scrub as this can push the hair dye further into the fibers.

You can get hair dye out of the carpet with dish soap and vinegar.  Mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap, 1 tablespoon of vinegar,  and 2 cups of water.  Then, apply the solution to the carpet and soak it up using a paper towel.

Method 1: Dish Soap, Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol to Remove Hair Dye Stain

This first method should do the trick for most stains, and doesn’t require any special products. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, then nail polish remover, or even hairspray will work.

What you’ll need:

1. Dish soap

2. Vinegar

3. Cloth

4. Paper towels or sponge

5. Rubbing alcohol (or nail polish remover)

Steps to remove hair dye with dish soap and vinegar:

Step 1: Combine 1 tablespoon of dish soap with 1 tablespoon of vinegar for every 2 cups of water.

Step 2: Apply the solution gently to the affected area without scrubbing. 

Step 3: Use the paper towels or sponge to soak up the solution and hair dye.

Step 4: Repeat applying and soaking up the solution until you can’t remove any more.

Step 5: Pour a little rubbing alcohol onto a piece of paper towel and gently rub to remove any remaining hair dye.

Step 6: Apply water to the carpet and dry to remove remaining rubbing alcohol.

Method 2: Dish Soap and Ammonia on Carpet Stains

Ammonia is strong and used for more stubborn stains. However it cannot be used on wool carpets as the ammonia will damage the wool. Also be sure to work in a well ventilated area, the scent of ammonia can be quite potent and dangerous in enclosed areas.

Note: If you are not sure what kind of carpets you have it’s possible they contain wool. Keep an eye on the carpet and wash out the ammonia at the first sign of discoloration. Be careful when cleaning with ammonia.

What you’ll need:

1. Dish soap

2. Ammonia

3. Gloves

4. Cloth

Steps to remove hair dye with ammonia and dish soap:

Step 1: Combine 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 1 tablespoon of ammonia for every 2 cups of water.

Step 2: Apply solution in and around the affected area with a cloth without scrubbing.

Step 3: Let the solution sit for 30 minutes.

Step 4: If the stain is not completely gone, keep applying the solution every 5 minutes until it’s no longer visible.

Step 5: Wash out the ammonia with a cloth and water. Soak up the water and let it dry with a fan. 

Method 3: Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide should only be reserved for the most stubborn stain as it is a strong chemical that can discolor your carpet. As with ammonia make sure that the area is well ventilated. Also use gloves to avoid irritation to your skin.

What you’ll need:

1. Teaspoon

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

3. Paper Towel or sponge

4. Gloves

Steps to remove hair dye with hydrogen peroxide:

Step 1: Use a teaspoon to apply the hydrogen peroxide to just the area with the stain and be careful not to get any on other parts of your carpet. 

Step 2: Leave the hydrogen peroxide to work on the stain for 24 hours.

Step 3: Soak up the residue with a wet paper towel or sponge, then let dry with a fan.

The Bottom Line

While it is normal to find hair in your carpet, it is not normal to find hair dye stains. Hair dye is made to stain and can cause you to panic when you find it’s started to stain the carpet. However no matter how stubborn your stain is, there are options to get it out. Although we strongly recommend starting with the gentler options first and then moving to hydrogen peroxide when all else fails.

Will ammonia stain carpet?

Be careful when using ammonia that your carpet does not contain wool. Test on a small area of the rug first, and water down your ammonia if it is too strong for your carpet.

What can I do if hydrogen peroxide discolored my carpet?

Don’t worry, you can buy fabric marking pens at the craft store. It’s likely you’ll be able to find a shade close enough to your carpet that it will cover up the discoloration. 

What should I do if I can’t remove hair dye from carpet?

If these methods didn’t get rid of your stain, you may need to call a professional carpet cleaner. Professional cleaners have tools such as powerful steamers that can help remove hair dye from your carpet.

How do I dry my carpet more quickly?

For drying wet carpet after cleaning, using a fan or turning on the furnace in the winter will help it dry out more quickly and prevent wet mildew smell.

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