Anyone who has ever dyed their hair knows at least two things – it can be an incredibly transformative and empowering experience, and it can be a messy one.
Of course, that’s true of any art form. Think of an artist’s studios such as those of Picasso and Matisse, and you likely imagine them as a beautiful bohemian mess.
But there’s nothing beautiful about dripping hair dye all over expensive wood furnishings. Even if your furnishings don’t cost hundreds of dollars, you probably don’t want them to be stained with hair dye that can ruin their appearance and value.
Of course, hair dye is meant to stay in your hair for weeks, even months, so it isn’t easy to wash away.
Thankfully, these methods can help you clean away hair dye from wood while also helping you prevent those stains in the first place.
Removing Hair Dye From Wood
One thing you’ll notice about all of the options on this list is the fact that baking soda is easily one of the best ways to get rid of a hair dye stain. Of course, if you have looked at DIY stain removers before, that’s probably not news to you.
Baking soda tends to be one of the go-to substances for DIY stain removal, and remains one of the most versatile options for doing so today.
In addition, you’ll also want to have a bowl and warm water handy for most of the mixtures on this list. It is also a good idea to put down some towels or mats to make sure that the water or dye doesn’t drip on the area near the bowl, either.
1 – Baking Soda and Detergent
This is one of the most common mixtures for DIY stain purposes, so it should come as no surprise that it finds its way onto this list.
You’ll want to pour at least two cups of warm water into the bowl you have designated for this job. Next, add a tablespoon each of baking soda and detergent. Which detergent you use is up to your personal choice.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll want to mix the solution together vigorously enough to ensure that it is thoroughly blended, though you shouldn’t need to expend too much effort.
Now it’s time to introduce the washcloth, rag, or similar cleaning tool that you’ll be using to get the job done. Take the cloth and dip it into the mixture, making sure that it is thoroughly drenched.
Once it has been soaked through enough, it’s time to get to those hair dye stains on the wooden surface in question. Take the cloth and rub it until the dye stain disappears.
How vigorously you have to rub will naturally differ depending on the nature of the stain. That said, you don’t want to rub too vigorously for fear of damaging the wood or even accidentally rubbing the dye further into it.
If you are cleaning the hair dye off of a wooden surface that includes fabric (for example, a couch) you may want to use a fabric-safe bleach to get stains out of that area. However, you should always make sure to never mix ammonia with bleach because the fumes can be deadly.
2 – Baking Soda and Peroxide
Peroxide is a much stronger cleaning agent than you would typically apply to wooden surfaces. As such, you should make sure that the stain in question is stubborn enough to warrant trying this. What’s more, hydrogen peroxide can damage some surfaces, including wooden ones.
It is therefore advisable to try at least one of the other options on this list before resorting to this option. Nevertheless, while that strength can be a bit problematic if used excessively, there’s no doubt that, used within reason, it can be effective.
In this recipe, you’ll want to mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide, taking care to make sure that you maintain a 50/50 ratio. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by pouring the two concurrently into your mixing bowl. Mix it together until you have a fine paste.
Once you have done this, you’ll want to take your trusty washcloth and dab it in the mixture. Once you have done that, you’ll want to apply it directly to the affected area. You’ll need to make sure you do this carefully – be firm enough to apply pressure but not so firm as to cause damage.
It’s typically a good idea to try this on a hidden part or spare piece of wood. This way, you don’t risk damaging the whole wooden feature if the hydrogen peroxide reacts badly with the wooden surface.
3 – Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
This time, you’ll be pairing baking soda with lemon juice as well as some cleaner along with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
To start with, you’ll want to take the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (or similar cleaning swab) and do a bit of preliminary scrubbing on the stain in question to help “loosen it up” before you really start to apply extra force and cleaning agents with your baking soda and lemon juice solution.
That said, these Mr. Clean Magic Erasers can do a pretty good job of getting out stains in their own right, so you may just get lucky and be able to eliminate the stain then and there.
Assuming you can’t, you’ll then want to pour equal parts of lemon juice and baking soda into your handy mixing bowl and mix them together until you have a nice thick paste.
You’ll next want to apply this paste directly to the hair dye splattered area.
If necessary, add a bit of white vinegar.
4 – Baking Soda and Vinegar
This is one of the most common DIY stain removal pairings. The particular recipe here is courtesy of Martha Stewart, but there are plenty of variations on this DIY baking soda and vinegar theme.
As with the other mixtures on this list, you simply combine the key ingredients, dab a cloth in the solution, rub that on the wood, and voila.
Removing Hair Dye From Skin
If you think you’re done after having figured out a few ways of cleaning hair dye from wood, you probably haven’t had to deal with sopping wet dripping dye before. All it takes is lying back with a wet dye job to stain your pillow, bed, couch, or who knows what else with your hair dye.
Even if your hair is dry, the dye might stain your skin and remain there, which can be both embarrassing and still allow you to accidentally stain wood if you brush up against it.
As such, you’ll also want to have a few tricks up your sleeve for removing hair dye from your skin by rubbing it with:
- A Stain Guard Packette
- Baking soda and toothpaste (yes, really!)
- Baking soda and dish soap (but be gentle, as sensitive skin can be very easily irritated by detergent)
- Baby oil and coconut oil
- Makeup remover
- Petroleum jelly and warm water
How much mileage you get out of any of these methods will naturally vary on a case-by-case basis.
Still, with care and patience, you should be able to get hair dye out of wood with ease.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.