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 whether 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, doors, or floors with a hair dyeing product, here are a 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 – SOS Pads
SOS pads (I like the one that comes with lemon) are by far one of the simplest ways to try when you need to get the hair dye out of wood.
The soap in the pads is effective at removing the color, but the pads themselves may be abrasive and scratch the surface. So, take care not to damage the finish when utilizing them.
Especially if you have a darker wood finish on the surface, the last thing you want to do is rub it too hard and end up with a lighter stain in that spot from the hair dye.
Before you proceed with the stained area, make sure to test a little concealed region.
Method 2 – 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 3 – 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 4 – 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 5 – 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 hair dye 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 or countertops.
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 the 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, tables, 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 they do not work so effectively.
In that case, there are a few other household items that might help. These include:
- Hair Spray:
Spritz the dye stain with hairspray (or wash-out hair color) and wipe it off using a paper towel or rag.
Remember that it’s a form of temporary hair dye so you should use a hair spray cautiously – and of very light-colored or a clear one – so that it does not leave its stain back.
- Rubbing Alcohol:
Apply a bit of rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and rub it over the stained area to take the black and brown hair dye stains off.
- Nail Polish Remover:
Nail polish remover is a great acetone-based cleaner that can help remove hair dye stains quickly from unfinished wood surfaces.
Make sure you do not use this on a painted or finished wood surface, as it can damage that too.
- Your regular bathroom cleaner:
Apply the cleaner to the stained area on your bathroom floor (shower, tub, or cupboards) then scrub with a sponge lightly.
Keep in mind that these methods may still 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 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.
What are the different types of hair dye and hair color?
Hair dye and hair color can be broadly classified into semi-permanent and permanent.
Temporary and Demi-permanent hair dyes are also there but are less popular.
Permanent hair color penetrates the hair shaft to deposit pigment, while semi-permanent color only coats the outside of the hair shaft.
The type of hair color you choose will particularly depend on your desired look and how long you want the color to last.
If you have used a semi-permanent color and it spilled on your table or floor, it can be removed easily with soap and water.
Permanent hair color is much more difficult to remove, so it’s important to be very careful when applying it.
How can you get hair dye out of bathroom tiles and porcelain?
There are a few different ways that you can try to remove hair dye from bathroom tiles and porcelain sink successfully.
One way is to use a mild abrasive cleaner like dish soap or baking soda.
Another way is to use a stronger chemical cleaner like bleach or vinegar. This will work pretty well for surfaces like glass and stainless as well.
You can also try using a commercial hair dye remover if the dye is on shower grout.
If all else fails, you can always call a professional to help you remove the hair dye.
What natural things can I use to get hair dye off my skin and hands?
There are a few all-natural homemade things that you can use to get the hair dye off of your skin and hands. These include:
1- Using a lemon and salt mixture:
Combine equal parts lemon juice and salt, then rub it onto the dyed areas of your skin.
Let it sit for a few minutes before washing it off with warm water.
2- Soaking in milk:
Milk is a natural cleansing agent and can help to break down the hair dye molecules so that they are easier to remove.
Simply soak a cotton ball in milk and apply it to the stained areas, then rinse away with warm water.
3- Using baby oil:
Baby oil is another product that can help to break down the hair dye molecules and make them easier to remove.
Apply a small amount of baby oil to a cotton ball and rub it onto the stained areas, then rinse away with warm water.
Hair dyes on wood can be hard to take off. 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 permanent 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 dried 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 over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.