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How To Get Hair Dye Out of Carpet

Hair dye has become essential for many people, and wearing hair dye makes them look young and good. But when this hair dye drops on one’s carpet, it becomes a tragic event.

A beautiful carpet is the pride of a homeowner, and when it’s ruined due to a hair dye stain, it can be heartbreaking.

Therefore, it’s important for a homeowner to know how to get hair dye out of the carpet. The very first thing to remember is to act as soon as one notices the stain.

Published: November 24, 2022.

hair dye 1

However, even if they notice it after a while when the stain already sets in, no worries! It can be removed; it would just need a little more effort.

While one can get a commercial carpet cleaning solution anytime, they can create such a solution even on their own with simple ingredients readily available in their house.

Soaking Up the Stain As Much As Possible

Before starting the cleaning process, one should first press a clean cloth on the stain to soak as much of it as they can and dry the stain out. They should fold the cloth over and press again until all the visible liquid is soaked.

But they should keep in mind not to rub on the dye or scrub it as that will cause the stain to spread and become more deeply absorbed in the carpet, and eventually harder to get out. It also carries the risk of damaging the carpet fibers.

removing carpet stain

Lifting The Stain

The user should also use a dull knife or spoon to lift any hair dye solids from the carpet. They should also remember not to rub the stain to avoid letting it penetrate deeper into the carpet fibers.

Dishwashing Liquid And Vinegar Mixture

The carpet owner should take a shallow bowl and mix dishwashing liquid (1 US tbsp or 15 ml), white vinegar (1 US tbsp or 15 ml), and water (2 cups or 480 ml) in it. Mix the ingredient by stirring a little.

This should be enough quantity to clean the spot. If the spill is larger, the user may need a larger quantity.


Now the user should dip a clean, white cloth in this mixture and dab it repeatedly on the stain. They should get the cloth damp and then press it on the dye stain. They should lift, then press again. They should continue dipping the cloth into the solution and pressing it back onto the spot to watch the dye come up onto the cloth from the carpet.

There are a few benefits of using white cloth:

  • The users don’t have to worry about any color of the cloth getting transferred onto the carpet.
  • The white cloth also makes it easier to see the dye they are pulling up.

The user should be careful about not pouring or rubbing the mixture into the carpet as this can damage the carpet fibers or cause the dye to embed more deeply into the carpet and, thus, more difficult to remove.

Rinsing The Area With Cold Water

Once the user stops seeing any more dye in the carpet, they should pour a little water over the stain to rinse out the solution. Then they should continue blotting with their cloth or with a dry sponge.

They might need to pour more water to rinse again. This depends on the user. If they still smell vinegar in the carpet, rinsing again is a good idea.

carpet stain soaking

Drying The Carpet

Now the user should blot up the excess water. They can usually just let the carpet air dry, which shouldn’t take very long. If the spot is in a high-traffic area and if the user wants it to dry faster, they might press it with a dry sponge to soak more of the moisture.

They can also set up a fan to blow on the damp carpet.

A Mixture Of Shampoo And Soap

Another way is to use a mixture of soap and shampoo, which will make the dye more water soluble, so the user can use a wet vacuum cleaner or blot up as much of the dye as possible with paper towels before washing it with warm water and detergent.

What To Do If The Stain Is Deep-set?

If the user notices the stain later when it’s deeply set, they should form the same cleaning solution as above in a shallow bowl. Now they should soak a cloth or sponge in the mixture and squeeze it over the stain to soak the carpet.

They could also pour the mixture over the stain slowly to drench the area. This might work better if the stain is bigger.

Now the user should dab at the stain with a clean, white cloth every 5 minutes for a half-hour. They can set a timer for 30 minutes. Every 5 minutes, they should take the white cloth and dab at the stain. If the area seems to be drying out, they might want to squeeze on a little more cleaning solution.

Dabbing at the spot helps the cleaning solution soak more deeply into the carpet fibers. They should not scrub, though, as scrubbing could damage the carpet.

After 30 minutes are up, the user should pour cold water on the spot to rinse off the cleaning solution. They should use a clean cloth or sponge to soak up the excess water. They could still see the stain, but it should now be less noticeable, at least.

If they can’t tell much difference, they might want to do another 30 minutes with the cleaning solution to get more of the dye out of the surface.

Rubbing Alcohol To Remove Remnants Of The Stain

The user should use a clean, white cloth or a cotton swab (depending on the size of the stain that’s left) to blot rubbing alcohol directly on the stain. They should dab at the stain gently until it vanishes.

rubbing alcohol

A deeper-set stain might take a little more work to vanish, so the user can expect to dab it more than once. If it seems like the rubbing alcohol isn’t affecting the stain at all, they might have to try another solution to get rid of it.

Rinsing The Rubbing Alcohol

User should pour a little water on the area to rinse the rubbing alcohol away. They should soak up the excess moisture with a clean, dry cloth or sponge.

If they were only treating a small area with alcohol on a cotton swab, they might not need to pour water on the area to rinse it. They can just squeeze water out of a sponge or cloth.

Removing Excess Moisture

The user should use a dry sponge or dry, white cloth to soak up the excess moisture in the carpet. Although the carpet will still be damp after doing this, the user can often just let it air dry.

They can set an electric fan on the floor, so it blows on the spot if they want it to dry out sooner.

More Stubborn Spots

The user should make an ammonia and dishwashing liquid mixture in a shallow bowl. They should mix 1 tsp (4.9 ml) of dishwashing liquid and 1 US tbsp (15 ml) of ammonia in 2 cups (470 ml) of warm water. They might need to wear a face covering to protect themselves from ammonia fumes.

This solution should be mixed in a well-ventilated area to cut down on the fumes. Wearing plastic gloves to protect hands from ammonia is also a good idea.

The user should not mix any other chemical in this solution, particularly bleach - the fumes are toxic.

The user should first apply this mixture on a small area of the carpet to check if it doesn’t damage the carpet. They should test it with a cotton swab. If the carpet fibers are singed with it, they should not use this solution to clean the stain.

Ammonia is effective at getting out the hair dye, but it damages wool and sensitive colors. If the user doesn’t know if there is any wool in their carpet or how sensitive the colors are, they should test this solution on a small hidden area of the carpet.

Once it’s clear that the solution is not damaging the carpet, the user should dip a clean, white cloth in the solution, then dab it over the stubborn stain. They should repeat until the stained part of the carpet is totally covered with the solution.

They should not pour the solution on the spot as too much ammonia can damage the carpet.

User should blot this solution every 5 minutes for at least half an hour. They should set a timer and come back every 5 minutes. They should dip the cloth in the solution and re-apply it, dabbing at the stain. They should notice the stain starting to come up from the carpet. If the stain isn’t totally gone after half an hour, they can keep doing it for longer if it seems to be working.

Each time they come back to blot the solution, they should look at the condition of the carpet. If the carpet fibers in the spot look damaged compared to the surrounding area, they should rinse the ammonia out before it gets worse.

Now user should pour cold water on the carpet to rinse the ammonia out, right after soaking it up with a clean, dry cloth. They might probably need to rinse it several times.

It’s difficult to tell, but the user should keep rinsing until they can’t smell any ammonia fumes coming from the carpet.

Now they should use a dry cloth or sponge to help soak up the excess moisture on the carpet. Even after doing this, they should leave a fan blowing on the spot for a minimum of an hour, or until the carpet feels completely dry.

Once the carpet is dry, the user should check its condition. If the stain is gone, great! If the carpet looks bleached out, they might need a fabric pen to fill it back in, so it’s not very noticeable.

Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is a mild, non-toxic, easily available stain remover that can quickly remove hair dye stains from carpets.

The user has to mix ½ cup of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a small mixing bowl and work a thick paste.

baking soda


When the mixture stops fizzing, they should spread the paste over the stain and gently work in it with an old toothbrush.

For better results, the baking soda mixture should be let to soak in for at least ten minutes. After that, they should rinse the treated area with cool water and blot it dry with a clean cloth.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide

If the user notices some dye on the carpet that’s not coming out and is quite noticeable, they can use hydrogen peroxide. They should dip a cotton swab in hydrogen peroxide, then press it into the spot. They may need to do this several times so the spot is completely saturated.

hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide might also remove the color from the carpet, but if the carpet is white or light beige, that might not be as noticeable as the hair dye stain.

Now the user might have to leave the hydrogen peroxide on the stain for up to 24 hours to make sure they’ve gotten rid of the stain. When they can no longer see the stain, they should rinse the area with cool water to get any remaining hydrogen peroxide out of the carpet.

If the user didn’t use a lot of hydrogen peroxide, they likely won’t need a lot of water to rinse. They should use a dry sponge or cloth to soak up the water after they’ve rinsed.

Using Nail Paint Remover

Acetone, the chemical ingredient in nail paint remover, is effective for removing hair dye stains from carpets.

To use nail paint remover, the user should first take a clean cloth, paper towel, or cotton ball and saturate it in nail polish remover and dab the carpet stain with it. They should continue blotting the stain until most of the dye disappears.

However, users should remember not to use acetone on acrylic or acetate carpets. These materials may be discolored and damaged with acetone. If they don’t know what material their carpet has been made of, it’s better to use a milder cleaning method.

Hairspray And Astringent

It may sound a little weird to treat a spilled hair product with another hair product. However, hairspray is surprisingly effective for removing hair dye stains on carpets. For even better results, the user can mix it with astringent. Here’s how the mixture should be used:

The user should spray a few drops of hairspray onto the stained area. They should ensure all the stained area is covered.

They should let this settle for 5 minutes. Then they should rinse the stained area with cold water.

Now they should apply some astringent solution and leave it for 5 minutes.

Now they should dab the stain to let the ingredients of hairspray and astringent seep into the carpet fibers.

Then they should rinse the carpet again with cold water and pat it dry with a towel or a sponge.


Turpentine is one of the most effective cleaning agents for removing an especially tough stain. However, one should remember that it releases very toxic fumes. Therefore, the room in which the user will proceed with the cleaning task should be well-ventilated.

Also, they should use protective gear, such as a respirator mask, safety goggles, and rubber gloves. Also, turpentine should be used only on cotton or wool carpets as synthetic fibers may be damaged with turpentine.

The user should soak a clean white cloth or paper towels in turpentine oil and then lightly dab the hair dye stain to blot up the dye.

Once most of the hair dye is gone, the user should wash the spot with a mixture of lukewarm water and half a teaspoon of liquid dish soap or laundry detergent to wash away turpentine.

Later, they should rinse the area with cool water and let the carpet air dry with the windows open until all of the turpentine fumes dissipate.


WD-40 is another surprisingly effective stain remover. It’s a petroleum-based lubricant and stops stains from spreading further and loosens the pigment’s bond with the carpet fibers.

The user should spray WD-40 on the hair dye stain and leave it for 5-10 minutes. They should now blot with a clean cloth to lift the dye from the carpet and later rinse with cool water and let the area air dry.


Borax is a white mineral powder. It’s commonly used to boost the effect of laundry detergent. It’s also a very effective carpet stain remover.


The user should mix the ingredients to form a thick paste in a small mixing bowl and spread it over the dye stain. They should gently work the paste into the carpet with their finger or an old toothbrush.

They should now allow the mixture to absorb the stain for minimum 15 minutes and then rinse with clean water. They should repeat the process as needed until the stain is completely gone. Once the carpet dries out, they should vacuum up any remaining borax powder.


Getting one’s carpet stained with hair dye may at first seem like a disaster.

However, it’s easier to clean the stain from the carpet than most homeowners think. As described above, there are numerous options for stain removers that are easily available right in the house.

One should first start with milder cleaning agents, and if they don’t work, they should turn to harsher substances.

But they should remember to take safety precautions to protect themselves from chemicals like turpentine, bleach, and ammonia, etc.

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