by Amy Gordon
(last updated May 18, 2020)
Hair dye staining can occur anywhere when you are dying your hair. You're left with a big mess if you drop a bottle of dye. If you're not careful while dying your hair, you're likely to find dye stains on your hands and arms and around the hairline. There are many different home remedies and products you can try to get rid of the dye marks.
If you've dyed your hair, and have noticed a mark or two on your skin from the dye, the last thing you'll want to do is just leave it there until it fades away. One odd remedy you can try is to rub toothpaste on the dye mark with your finger. Rinse the area well with water after you've thoroughly rubbed the stain. You could purchase an expensive commercial remedy at your hair salon, but toothpaste should do the trick.
If you've got hair dye on your shirt, start by dabbing with rubbing alcohol on a clean white cloth. Once you've dabbed away as much of the stain as you can, check your shirt's tag to see what your shirt is made of, and move onto another product. If your shirt is made of wool or cotton, take a clean white cloth and dab at the stain with lighter fluid or turpentine. If your shirt is made of a synthetic fabric (like polyester), take a clean white cloth and dab at the stain with hydrogen peroxide.
If you notice the hair dye right away, spray the mark with hairspray, saturating the stain. You won't need rubbing alcohol or other products. Wash the garment in the washing machine as you normally would, and check that the stain is gone before you put it into the dryer.
Another solution is to gently scrub the stain with a toothbrush and a mixture of cream of tartar and lemon juice. Scrub the stain in straight lines, never in circles, and then apply some liquid laundry detergent. Wash the garment in the machine normally.
If all else fails, try bleach. This should be tested on an inconspicuous area of the garment first, to see if the garment itself is colorfast. If it is not, you can try colorfast bleach.
You can also purchase color-removing solutions. These will remove the color of the garment itself as well, so unless your shirt was white, you may have to dye the shirt back to its original color.
Planning ahead can prevent hair dye stains in the future. To protect your skin, spread petroleum jelly or Vaseline around the hairline, so that the dye cannot penetrate the skin. Wear old clothes or a large smock when dying your hair, and you will avoid ruining your nicer clothes.
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