How To Get Hair Dye Out Of Clothes – 6 Easy Ways.

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Do you have a shirt that’s stained with hair dye? It might be hard to get out, but it can be done.

Hair dye stains are tough, but not impossible to remove! Here’s everything you need to know about how to get hair dye out of clothes.

First off, don’t panic! This is actually pretty easy and doesn’t require any special tools or products. You just need some patience and the right method for removing the stain on your particular fabric type.

If you want step-by-step instructions on how to do this yourself at home, keep reading…we’ve got all the info you’ll need below!

And if you’re in a hurry and just want our top recommendation for getting rid of hair dye stains fast (and without ruining your favorite shirt), we’ve included that too!

So read on…you won’t believe what works like magic when it comes to removing these stubborn stains from clothing!

How to remove hair dye from clothes

  1. Use a stain remover like Shout or Vanish
  2. Laundry detergent – apply it directly to the stain and rub before washing
  3. Ammonia – dab it on with a wet cloth
  4. Baking soda or salt – mixed into a paste and applied to the stain before washing
  5. Apple cider vinegar – dab it on the stain with a wet cloth. Leave for 15 minutes then rinse and wash.
  6. Hairspray – spray it onto a cloth and rub the affected area before washing.

How do you take hair dye out of clothes?

First thing’s first. Don’t panic!

There are a few different things you can try depending on what material your clothing is made from.

If you have a shirt with hair dye stains on it, start by pre-treating the stained area. Only do this if it’s something you can put into your washer at home – otherwise just skip to the next step.

Here are some suggestions for how to remove hair dye stains from clothes that will work on most fabrics, including cotton, polyester, and synthetic fibers:

1. Use an enzyme-based pre-treatment, like Shout or Vanish. These products work well for most fabrics and are available pretty much everywhere that sells household cleaners. Use the product according to the directions on the bottle – you should see some improvement right away.

2. Liquid laundry detergent will do the trick too. Just pour a little directly onto the stain and rub it into the fabric, then launder as usual.

3. Our favorite home remedy is to use ammonia – yes, that old-fashioned stuff your grandma probably used.

Pour some on a clean cloth and dab it directly onto the stain (make sure you test this first to make sure it won’t harm the fabric). Then rub the material together to work the ammonia into the stain, and launder as normal.

4. You can also use baking soda or salt either alone, mixed with water to form a paste.

5. Or apple cider vinegar or white vinegar for this same purpose. Just dab it on with a cloth straight from the bottle and gently rub the stained area.

6. Hairspray can also work well if the stain is fresh. This won’t work if it’s already been washed!

Any of these are great options for removing hair dye from clothes!

Watch and learn: How to remove hair dye from clothes.

What if you have a delicate fabric?

If your shirt is made of a delicate material, like silk or polyester, there are a few extra precautions you’ll want to take when removing hair dye stains. Here’s what to do:

1. Apply the pretreatment of your choice, as described above. Then launder in cool water instead of warm or hot.

The reason for this is so you don’t set the stain by allowing the dye to penetrate deeply into the fabric. When dye sits on clothes long enough, it can permanently stain certain types of fabric – and once that happens, there’s no going back.

2. Wash delicates by hand if you have the option to do so. Otherwise, just be sure to use a gentle cycle and don’t add anything else into your washer except for the clothes with the dye stains – detergent, stain remover, etc.

If you need to apply water pressure to help remove a stain, use the lowest setting on your machine.

3. If you have a color-safe bleach at home, you can add some of this right to the wash water and let it soak for about 15 minutes before laundering as usual – but only if you’re sure it’s safe for your specific fabric type.

4. Once your shirt is clean, you can also apply a hair color stain remover to the stained area and let it sit for about five minutes before laundering as usual. This works on most fabrics too!

What if your shirt is dry-clean only?

If your favorite shirt is only washable with a dry-cleaner, you’re going to have a tough time removing those pesky hair dye stains.

Here’s what to do:

Step 1. Apply the pretreatment of your choice as described above, making sure it will not be harmful to the fabric type. Then spritz the stain with some white vinegar and let it sit for about fifteen minutes.

Step 2. Put the garment on a clean, damp sponge or cloth and apply water pressure right over the area where you’ve already applied your pretreatment – do not rub! Repeat until the dye is removed from the shirt.

Step 3. Now go ahead and launder in cool water, following the same instructions as if you were washing a delicate material.

What if my hair dye stains have already set in?

There’s a chance that some of your hair dye stains have already been through the laundry and into your clothing – it happens to all of us!

In this case, instead of pretreating, you’ll apply the same methods as described above – but they might take a little more effort.

If your clothing has been in the tumble dryer, it’s likely to set and stay in there forever. Although it may fade a little with each wash.

hair dye stain saturated solution formula
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Will hair dye wash out of clothes?

Almost always, hair dye will wash out of most clothes if you follow the method above.

Semi-permanent hair dyes such as Manic Panic or Arctic Fox can look impossible to remove, but they are easier to get rid of than permanent color.

However, colors may fade or change slightly over time depending on how often you wash your garment and with what detergent.

Usually this won’t be noticeable, but sometimes it can affect the color significantly. So keep that in mind when taking care of your dyed clothes.

No matter the color, using these tips for getting hair dye out of fabric will save you time and frustration – and you’ll know exactly what to do next time too!

You can also use some of these methods to get hair dye off your skin, your nails, carpets, sink, clothes, you counter and even your walls!

How do you get dye out of clothes that have been dried?

If the hair dye has dried, try the following:

Step 1: You can use a standard bristle brush or a wire brush, but make sure it’s one you don’t care much about because these stains will leave a permanent mark if not completely removed. Using a brush will also help to lift the stain off of the fabric.

Stubborn stains can leave a mark on your clothes, so make sure you take extra care when using this method!

If the dye has dried, spray some cold water onto the stained area and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This should help to loosen up any material that’s stuck to the shirt and allow you to brush it away.

Step 2: Now, use a laundry pretreatment product intended for hair dye stains.

Just pour directly onto the stained area and rub it in with your fingers. Then let it sit for about five minutes before rinsing off with cold water. If there’s any remaining residue, brush it off with a stiff-bristled brush.

You can find any number of these dye stain solutions at your local grocery or drug store. Just make sure to get one that’s safe for the material of your clothing.

Step 3: If the hair dye spill is still wet, use a clean cloth to dab away as much moisture as possible.

Blotting the area with a dry cloth should soak up the bulk of the stain so it doesn’t set while you wait for your dye removal product to work.

Step 4: After the dye has been removed, wash your shirt in cold water and add a laundry pretreatment product if possible.

Sometimes removing stains from clothes is as easy as adding chemicals before you launder them! So make sure you add a stain removal product to your next load of laundry.

If that’s not an option for you, simply laundering the shirt in cold water will help. It’s not quite as effective, but it’s better than putting your stained garment in the dryer!

Does Hairspray get hair dye out of clothes?

Also, hairspray can remove dye stains from fabric. Pour a bit of hairspray onto a clean cloth and dab at the stain until it’s gone.

If you have to use this method – DO NOT put your clothing in the dryer afterwards! The heat will set the hair dye stain and make it impossible to remove.

Wool and dry clean only garments are the exception to this rule, so check before you take action.

how to get hair dye out of clothes jumpers wool
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Is hair dye corrosive?

No, hair dye is not corrosive. Though it might seem counterintuitive, hair dye actually has a gentle pH level. This means it’s less harmful than many household cleaners!

However, you should be careful when using any chemicals around your hair. It’s always best to use gloves, and protective clothing when you’re doing anything involving chemicals.

Also, hair dye shouldn’t get on your scalp or face. It should never be used on eyebrows either – only on the hair that grows above the brow.

For safety reasons!

How to avoid staining your clothes.

It’s easy!

Don’t wear clothes that you don’t want stained with hair dye – or even stained at all!

This is probably the simplest way to avoid color transfer. After all, it’s not your shirt if you haven’t worn it yet!

The best thing to do it to keep some old clothes you never wear handy for hair dyeing. Trousers too!

Or we recommend buying a hairdressers caps to cover your clothes nad protect them from hair spills and splats.

You’ll feel more professional too!

Parting words.

Stains are a fact of hair dyeing life, but they don’t have to be a total drag. Removing stains are certainly not as difficult as trying to strip color from your hair!

Just remember the tips and tricks we’ve shared with you today and enjoy your colorful hair without worrying about dye stains on your clothes!

We hope you enjoyed this article. Thanks for reading!

And good luck!


  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
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    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!