At-home hair color is cost-efficient and typically a very simple process. It’s also incredibly messy, and if you’re not careful you may find yourself in a situation where you need to figure out how to get hair dye out of the carpet. Nothing will steal the joy of loving your fresh new ‘do quite like the panic of a massive, potentially permanent stain.
It doesn’t matter how skilled you are in hair color or how many preventative towels you put down around you during the process, sometimes the dye still finds its way onto surfaces you don’t want it to (even the pros get it on their clothes and the floor). So, if you’ve found yourself in a position where you need to know how to get hair dye out of the carpet, you are by no means alone. Even better, you’re not totally out of luck. “While many people think that there is no coming back from hair dye on the carpet, we can assure you there is hope,” a representative from Pro Housekeepers tells Romper in an email. The first step? “Don’t panic.”
Hydrogen Peroxide & Water
Next, they recommend applying a little hydrogen peroxide to the stain and letting it dry out on the carpet for around 24 hours. “The hydrogen peroxide will break the stain during this time,” the representative explains.
- Apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the stain
- Let it sit and dry for 24 hours
- After the waiting period, gently press a sponge onto the stained area (don’t rub it) until it lifts
- Let the area dry
While this process is quick and simple, Pro Housekeepers does warn that “some carpets may experience discoloration [from the stain and hydrogen peroxide] depending on the color of the carpet,” but it will still be much less noticeable than a big blob of hair dye.
Vinegar & Dish Soap
Another homemade remedy to try is a mixture of vinegar and dish soap. “This is an easy solution most homes will have available,” Cynthia Berger, Co-founder of You’ve Got Maids tells Romper, and it will be gentle on the carpet.
- Mix one tablespoon of vinegar, one tablespoon of dish soap, and two cups of water
- Apply the solution to a clean towel and then gently dab the stain until it comes out
- Use a dry cloth to soak up the remaining solution in the carpet
- Use water alone to clean up the area a second time
- Let dry
Avoid: Ammonia Solutions
While ammonia solutions can be used on carpet stains, Berger advises against using them, because ammonia has the potential to leave a stain behind. “I believe that given the risk of replacing one stain (the hair dye) with another (from the solution), it would be a good idea to instead call in a professional carpet cleaning company,” she says.
If you’re nervous about trying a homemade cleaning solution or if the stain is really large, it might be worth calling a professional service or your carpet manufacturer to see if they can provide any custom insight into how to get hair dye out of carpet. Depending on the stain, you may find that it’s worth having a specialist come in and work their magic. But, if you’re looking to save some money, it’s definitely worth trying the at-home method first.