How to Remove Hair Dye From Painted Surfaces

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You can remove hair dye from painted surfaces.
Image Credit: Volodymyr Kalyniuk/iStock/GettyImages

You can save a lot of money coloring your hair at home, but you may end up having to remove hair dye stains from surfaces like walls, sinks and doors. These stubborn stains can last a lot longer than your hair color if they are not attended to right away. Additionally, if the dye is a darker color, like deep brown, or the surface is light, those splatters can really stand out. Also keep in mind that the longer the hair dye remains on the surface, the harder it will be to remove.


Removing Hair Dye From Surfaces

People often color their hair near sinks and tubs, and there are some recommendations for removing these stains from fiberglass and porcelain finishes. Soft Scrub with bleach is nonabrasive, and you can put it on a sponge and scrub gently with a bit of water. OxiClean is also effective and can be applied with a sponge. Acetone is a great stain remover too but do not use it on wooden or painted surfaces.

When using any of these cleaners on any surfaces, though, always test a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it won't be damaged. For an all-natural cleaner, start by combining equal parts of vinegar and baking soda to create a paste and apply it to the stain with a soft toothbrush or sponge. Allow it to sit for about five minutes and rinse with clean water.


You can repeat these steps if this doesn't work or move on to other methods. Lemon essential oil is another gentle cleaning choice and can be used on most any surface. Some hair colorists also like using Magic Eraser products and rubbing alcohol to remove dye.

How to Remove Hair Dye From Painted Wood

It is best to avoid using abrasive or corrosive cleaners on painted wood surfaces. Instead, stick to natural cleaning methods. Vinegar and baking soda or lemon essential oil can work well, especially if the hair dye stain is recent. Gently blot away any wet stain with clean, old towels first, though.


For painted wood, you can try adding 1/4 tablespoon of dish detergent to some warm water. Use this to work at the stain in small circles. Be careful not to wipe widely or you could spread the stain further. You can also try using hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball. Blot the stain and let it dry for 24 hours. You can keep doing this over several days, and the stain may start to lighten and disappear.

If the hydrogen peroxide works, you can then paint over the lightened spot. There are no guarantees that any of these will work, though, particularly on black hair dye. If all else fails, you may have to repaint the wood.


Precautions to Avoid Hair Dye Stains

When you need to dye your hair, be sure to take the proper precautions. Home colorists should wear gloves and old clothes when working with dyes.

In addition, you can line the sink with plastic wrap (leaving a hole for the drain). Keep a roll of paper towels and some cleaning products nearby and work slowly and carefully to avoid splatters. Clean up any spills right away.