I understand hair dyes are crucial for many. But for me, it’s truly a messy product.
And that’s the reason I don’t ever use them, even though my friends always insist on using them for my “greys”.
No matter you are dyeing your hair or your pet’s, the chemicals found in most hair dyes are very strong.
They need to be made so – to discolor the hairs easily.
But the bad part is if you are not careful you can also discolor your wooden bed, cabinets, furniture, laminate floors, window, doors, walls, furnishings, or other décor items.
Removing the stains of hair dye from your wood surfaces later can be challenging as well as messy.
And I bet you do not want to get into it ever.
If, however, you have already stained your laminate wood furniture or floors with a hair dyeing product, here are few removal tips for you that can help.
Removing Hair Dye from Wood: Different Methods
Cleaning hair dye from wood can turn out to be easy and safe – provided you start carefully.
Before you start and try out the time-tested techniques, it’s important that you wear gloves for protection.
Then pick the method from the ones listed below…
Method 1 – Vinegar and Baking Soda
Mix a part of baking soda and a part of white vinegar in a small bowl to make a semi-thick paste.
Using a clean cloth or a piece of rag, rub a small amount of this paste gently on the wood surface in circular motions.
If the dye doesn’t come out in one go, rub the surface two to three times.
Keep in mind that you do not rub the surface too hard as it can scratch your furniture or floor.
Method 2 – Baking Soda, Detergent, and Water
In a bowl pour two cups of warm water.
Add a tablespoon of baking soda, and a tablespoon of liquid soap or dishwashing detergent to it.
Mix all the three contents together to make a thick paste.
With a soft clean cloth, rub this paste mix on the stained area until the hair dye gets away.
if you notice further dye stains, try rubbing the paste 2-3 times more until it’s completely gone.
Method 3 – Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Stains created by some hair dyeing products can be too challenging to get removed.
This is either because the hair dye remained on the wood surface for very long or the chemical dye was too thick and strong.
In this case, the dye remover you need to use should also be strong.
In a cup mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.
With a clean dry cloth rub this paste gently on the dye stain until you the stain gets disappeared.
TIP: Hydrogen peroxide is strong and can change the color and gloss of the laminate wood.
So, it’s good to test the paste on an inconspicuous area before applying it directly to the stain.
Method 4 – Lemon Juice, Baking Soda, and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
The above method was good for removing old stubborn dye stains with baking soda.
But this method is most suited if you want to get rid of new stains (or the stains you have newly discovered) without baking soda.
Take Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and apply the product thoroughly to the stained area by following the manufacturer’s instructions provided on the label.
Repeat 2-3 times if required, and if the stain does not go away you will need to try using lemon juice and baking soda.
In a bowl make a thick paste by mixing equal parts lemon juice and baking soda.
Rub the paste gently on the stained area with a rag or a sponge pad. Then wipe the area clean with another clean soft cloth.
Finally, spray the area with water or white vinegar, and then wipe it to remove all the residues or dyeing agents, lemon, and baking soda.
Is Baking Soda Safe for Wood?
That’s the important question, you should always ask yourself before trying any chemicals on your expensive wood surfaces.
Baking soda (also called bicarbonate of soda) comes with a very high pH and is highly alkaline due to which it neutralizes acids and acts as a great cleaner to remove acidic stains and smells.
With that said, it’s a cleaning agent that can be too hard for certain wood, wood finishes, and sealants already present on wood furniture.
Since acids don’t mix well with wood (and tannins of wood), you should be very cautious while using baking soda.
Depending on the type of wood you are using baking soda on, there are chances you will stain them further and make the color of wood darker – instead of cleaning the dye stains.
For example, wood varieties like oak, walnut, cherry, and mahogany contain higher tannin levels and can be stained very easily with baking soda.
If you have floors or cabinets made of these wood types, it’s better to avoid using baking soda on them.
Wood varieties like maple, birch, aspen, and laminated wood veneer come with low-tannin and are relatively safe.
Why Does Baking Soda Remove Hair Dye?
Baking soda is widely used in homes to remove several different kinds of stains.
The reason this agent works so well to remove the black hair color from white laminate surfaces is its natural scrubbing and cleansing power.
Combining with other products (as mentioned above) the cleansing power of the baking soda active ingredients is further enhanced which makes it stronger and safer for removing stains from wood surfaces.
Due to the cleansing properties of baking soda, it is also used for lightening, or fading the semi-permanent hair color (on dyed hairs) without actually bleaching them.
You can simply wash your hair with baking soda and it will gradually work to strip the dye from your locks within 10 minutes.
What if Baking Soda Doesn’t Work to Remove Stains from Wood?
Although the above strategies and methods are all time tested and proven, there may be chances that these methods do not work for you on certain wood types.
If that’s the case, you will either need to call for professional help or use industrial-strength stain removal products (if you really know about how to use them).
While getting professional help, be sure that their processes may include sanding and stripping your wood surfaces completely to remove the ingrained dyes and residues.
After sanding and stripping, these surfaces will need to be painted/stained, and varnished to get the desired top finish.
Hair dyes on wood can be hard to remove. Especially if you have not noticed the stains for long and it’s grown old deep-seated.
IMO, prevention is always better when working with dyes.
So, before you start with any hair-dying job, make sure you take precautions by not only covering the clothes and skin but also the furniture surfaces as well as home décor items in the vicinity.
Also, keep a few pieces of clean rags handy that can be used right away to remove the spills of dye if any get splattered over your wooden floor and laminates.
That way you can always save yourself from the hassles of removing the hair dye color and stains.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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