How to Remove Hair Dye From a Carpet

Hair dye is the ultimate beauty product, able to change your look dramatically with minimal effort. Unfortunately, it can drastically affect your carpets too, should any spill onto your floor. And then you’re faced with the challenge of how to remove hair dye from a carpet!

More than five thousand different chemicals are said to be used in hair dye products around the world. Of these, the most damaging to your carpet are hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, and the color pigments that are meant to color your hair. Like your hair, carpet fibers will soak up these chemicals.

But don’t worry, although hair dye can provide you with a fairly permanent new look, it doesn’t have to be that way for your rugs, carpet, and upholstery. Simply follow the instructions in our stain removal guide below, and your carpets will once again look their beautiful best.

What this article covers:

Can You Remove Hair Dye From A Carpet?

how to remove permanent hair dye from carpet

Yes, you can, but there are two things you have to keep in mind. Speed, and stain-removal power. Speedy removal is essential, as the longer it sits on your carpet, the more permanent the stain can become. Hair dye is a very stubborn stain, and you need to use a strong enough stain remover to clear it from a carpet.

So before you address any stain, you have to mop up the surface mess. When faced with a blob of hair dye on a carpet, immediately soak up the excess with a clean cloth. But blot as gently as possible, and do not rub or scrub the area. This will only worsen the stain, driving it deeper into the carpet fibers. 

What Can Remove Hair Dye From A Carpet?

The best option for removing a stain like hair dye is a professional stain remover. Unlike everyday messes and spills, hair dye has been formulated to change the color of whatever it touches. And to counteract this, powerful stain-removing action is needed.

Home remedies and online cleaning hacks may be of some use in the absence of professional carpet chemicals. But they won’t be as effective as professional products.  They can, however, minimize the damage until you get your hands on a proper carpet stain remover.

Your hair dye stain removal success hinges on using the right products for the dye you’ve spilled. So we’ve divided this guide into sections dealing with the most common hair dye stains. First, Let’s tackle the problem of fresh dye stains caused by organic or temporary hair dyes.

How To Remove A Hair Color Stain From A Carpet

Professional carpet cleaning chemicals are the first choice when removing tough stains. They will usually suffice for fresh spills of organic hair dye such as henna. Temporary hair dyes and color rinses may also be removed with a good-quality carpet cleaning detergent. 

remove hair dye from carpet

But for really stubborn and highly pigmented stains like chemical hair dye, extra stain removal action is often needed. If you do not have carpet stain removal products in the home, we recommend that you purchase them. They will extend the lifespan of your carpets, and remove household stains. 

Are Cleaning Hacks Useful For Hair Dye Carpet Stains?

While cleaning hacks often work on food or beverage stains, and many pet stains and odors too, they are not as helpful with hair dye stains.  The use of household detergents is generally not advised for carpets, as these may contain strong bleach that will further ruin your carpet.

The pigments in hair dye have to be nullified by the right kinds of chemicals, for the stain to be removed. And that is what you will achieve with a professional carpet cleaning method. Follow this step-by-step method for cleaning temporary chemical dyes, or natural dyes, from your carpets.

Professional Carpet Cleaning Method

Pre-Treat Stain If Necessary 

If the stain was left to set in and dry before attempting to remove it, you may need to use a pre-spray. This will agitate the stain before doing a deep clean with a hot water extraction carpet cleaning machine.

how to remove hair color from carpet

Use Carpet Detergent With Water Extraction Machine

After mopping up the surface spill, add our Ultimate All-Fiber Rinse to the water tank of your hydro-vac or other professional carpet cleaning machine. Ultimate All-Fiber Rinse is safe for use on all types of carpet, even wool. Follow the dosage instructions on the packaging for the best results. 

clean hair dye off carpet

Allow Carpet To Dry Naturally

Leave the carpet to air dry once all the water has been extracted by the machine. Professional water extraction machines remove most of the water, and carpets dry very quickly if the windows are left open for air to circulate. 

This home remedy is not only suitable for removing fresh hair color spills from carpets. It is also one of the best ways to get liquid makeup out of carpets.

Home Remedy 1: Detergent/Vinegar Solution

When the stains are caused by organic dyes or you just don’t have any professional carpet products, you can try this cleaning hack. It may also be your best solution for how to get dried toothpaste out of a carpet.

You will need the following items:

  • A tablespoon of dishwashing liquid (a bleach-free type)
  • A tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of warm water in a mixing bowl
  • A soft, clean cloth
  • A clean sponge
  • A cupful of ordinary tap water

Apply Soapy Solution

If you have already mopped up the excess dye as described above, combine the liquid ingredients together in the bowl of water. Dip the cloth into the light soapy mixture, and apply it to the hair dye stain. 

how to get hairdye out of carpet

Rinse And Repeat

Dab with the cloth at the hair dye stain repeatedly, rinsing and moistening the cloth as you go. Take care not to smear the dye outward. Avoid rubbing or pressing into the carpet fibers, and blot very gently instead.

Final Rinse

Once all of the hair dye is gone from the carpet, rinse the area to remove the residue of your cleaning solution. Do this by slowly pouring from the cup of water, a bit at a time, soaking it up immediately with the sponge as you go. Allow the carpet to dry naturally, afterward.

Home Remedy 2: Baking Soda/Vinegar Paste

Some cleaning hacks have a bit more cleaning and stain removal power than others. So if you have to use a home remedy, but worry that the above hack won’t do the trick, try this one instead. Baking soda is gentle and safe to use on most fibers but has some powerful odor and stain-removing properties.

You will need these items:

  • 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • An old, soft but clean toothbrush or similar soft scrubbing implement
  • A cupful of tap water
  • A soft clean cloth

Create A Baking Soda/Vinegar Reaction

how to get semi permanent dye out of carpet

Sprinkle the baking soda over the stain, being sure to cover it completely. Then add the vinegar to it, and you’ll instantly see and hear a bubbling, foamy reaction. This means that it is working, as the acetic acid in vinegar reacts with the baking soda to lift the stain from the fibers.

Mix Into A Paste

Wait a few moments until the baking soda/vinegar mixture stops fizzing, then gently mix the foam into a paste. Do not use excessive force, and use small circular movements only. This will prevent the spread of the color pigments to other areas of your carpet.

Rinse And Dry

Next, slowly add water from the cup, continuously blotting with the soft cloth until all the cleaning paste has been removed. Allow the carpet to air dry afterward. You can also try this cleaning hack if you need to get eyeshadow out of the carpet, fast.

How To Remove Black Hair Dye From A Carpet

Removing a stain left by black hair dye is an even more frightening prospect. It is not impossible to remove but may take repeated applications of stain removal products. Home remedies and cleaning hacks will be the least effective for this, especially if the carpet is a light color or a natural fiber.

This is why we recommend using our best pigment-removing product, aptly named Pig Out. This stain remover can also effectively treat stains left by ink, paint, marker pens, and all types of make-up. It can also be used to get nail polish out of a white carpet. 

how to remove hair dye from rug

Of all our stain removal products, Pig Out is the best choice for black permanent chemical hair dye stains. It contains solvents, surfactants, and copolymers, which are expertly blended to give you a product that easily removes black dyes. It’s great to Have some handy for when you need to remove black eyeliner from the carpet. 

How To Use Pig Out For Black Hair Dye Stains

Use Pig Out at the dosage indicated on the packaging, with hot water extraction for best results. It can be used to pre-spot treat black hair dye stains, before using other carpet detergents. Pig Out is safe for synthetic carpets and upholstery and can be successfully used with all our carpet detergents. 

How To Remove Red Hair Dye From A Carpet

Red hair dye can be unsightly, especially on a white or cream carpet, but it is not impossible to remove with the right product. And we have the perfect stain remover for red stains. It’s called Red Action, and it quickly gets to work on all red-colored stains, organic and inorganic.

how can you remove hair dye from carpet

Red stains can be notoriously hard to remove, but this stain remover is fast and effective. It works best when used with a hot water extraction carpet cleaning machine, but is safe for synthetic carpets and upholstery only. What’s great about Red Action, is it also works on other color stains as well. 

How To Use Red Action For Red Hair Dye Stains

Simply apply Red Action as a pre-spot treatment before using a hot water extraction carpet cleaning machine and other carpet cleaning chemicals. It is safe to use with any of our extensive range of carpet cleaners. 

How To Remove Blue Hair Dye From A Carpet

Similarly, a blue dye can be removed with either our Red Action or Pig Out stain removal products, depending on the severity and depth of shade. 

Home remedies may work well on temporary blue hair rinses, but not so much on permanent deep blue hair dye stains. Rather than resort to ineffective home cleaners, or worse yet, extra-strength concoctions of your own making, use a product that has been specifically designed for difficult carpet stains.

Another Excellent Product For Removing Blue Hair Color Rinses

If you’re in a real hurry and the stain is very minor, try our Rave Spotter stain remover. With its powerful formula and handy trigger nozzle, you can just spray, blot, and step away while it does its magic. 

how do you remove hair dye from carpet

Puzzled about how to get powder foundation out of your carpet? Rave Spotter is ideal for all kinds of small spots and stains, even cosmetic, ink, and wine stains. It is also uniquely qualified to remove oily, and greasy pigmented stains. So if you need to clean lipstick off a carpet, give Rave Spotter a try.

Why Do Hair Dyes Stain And Damage Carpets? 

Is It Just The Color?

The color pigments in hair dye are only part of the problem. Unless you are using a henna product or other organic hair color, there will be a variety of chemicals in the hair dye. Depending on the chemicals used by that specific brand, and the type and color of carpets you have, this can very easily spell disaster.

The main thing to remember when treating any hair dye, cosmetic, or another strongly-colored stain, is also to clean it up very quickly. If you have to simply mop it up and wait a while before removing the stain, the odds of a home remedy working are dramatically reduced.

When Is It Best To Leave It To The Experts?

Always use professional products, or better yet leave the work to the experts, especially when it is a wool carpet or other natural fiber. It can be easier to damage these types of carpets when using home remedies. But more importantly, hair dye will affect natural fibers differently than synthetic ones.

What To Do After Stain Removal

When removing hair dye stains from a carpet, it is wise to do a thorough deep clean after pretreating with a stain remover. This is because spot treatments tend to leave a brighter spot amid the expanse of carpet. 

This is a general rule to follow, not only after hair dye stain removal but also as part of your carpet care and maintenance. Deep cleaning regularly will prevent the embedded dirt and grime that makes stain removal far more difficult. 

Why Are Professional Carpet Machines Best For Cleaning Hair Dye Stains?

A professional counter-rotating brush carpet cleaning machine is far more effective than a regular household vacuum cleaner, which only removes loose surface dirt. But for the best cleaning and stain removal, hot water extraction machines are the best. 

how to clean hair dye off carpet

Hot water extraction is a method that uses hot water and detergent at high pressure to clean carpets, deep down into the fibers. It is the method we recommend for cleaning after using all of the above hair dye stain removal products. 

For regular maintenance, twice a year deep cleaning of carpets is sufficient for average households with no pets or young children. However, in a family home with high foot traffic or other factors such as a smoker in the home, once every quarter is advised. 


Accidents happen, and in a carpeted home that means stains happen. But with the right tools and products for the job, you’ll restore the vibrancy of your carpets and upholstery in next to no time. 

While some carpet stains are trickier than others to remove, there is almost no stain too tough for the power of our professional carpet chemicals. Contact us for expert advice and the best carpet cleaning chemicals for any environment - residential or commercial.

How To Remove Hair Dye From A Carpet (FAQs)

Do certain kinds of dye stain carpets more than other dyes?

Yes, certain types of dye are more highly pigmented, and more stubborn to remove, than others. Henna and other plants, vegetable, or herb-based hair colorants are organic dyes. That means that they are natural and free from chemicals. 

Organic stains are always easier to remove than non-organic stains like chemical hair dyes and other cosmetics. But it is still possible to remove chemical hair dyes with professional stain removal products if they contain chemicals that counteract the staining pigments.

Is a semi-permanent dye less likely to leave a carpet stain?

how to remove black hair dye from carpet

Yes, a semi-permanent hair dye stain may be easier to remove. Semi-permanent dye is designed to wash out of your hair after a certain number of washes. Permanent dye, on the other hand, has to be grown out of your hair. 

As your carpet fibers do not grow, a permanent hair dye stain would be harder to remove. However, it can usually still be treated successfully with a professional stain remover. 

Can I use bleach to remove a hair dye stain from a carpet?

No. Many people, when trying to remove a hair dye stain, resort to using bleach. This is never a good idea, as it is easy to use too high a concentration, and cause further damage to carpet fibers. You risk stripping the color from that area of your carpet, completely.

Even white carpets can be discolored and damaged by bleach. If you have spilled hair dye on a white carpet, it is best to use a professional stain remover.

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