Whether you wish to change your style entirely or cover a few strands of gray, hair dye can be a fun way to achieve a new look.
But the problem is that hair dyes are designed to stain hair permanently, so removing accidental spills from surfaces seems next to impossible. And if you live in a home with wooden floors, you may know about spilling, splatters, and stains that refuse to go away.
Once hair dye spills on a hardwood floor, removing it can be no less than a nightmare. The porous wooden floors will soak the dye almost instantly, and you’ll be left with a stain that stares back at you without budging!
The best thing to do is get the dye off the floors quickly before it leaves a mark. But if you’ve gone past the point, fret not; we’ve got some simple solutions to clean the floor of those hair dye stains.
- Can You Remove Hair Dye From Wood Floor?
- 8 Ways Of Getting Hair Dye Off Wood Floors
- FAQs About Removing Hair Dye From Wood Floors
Can You Remove Hair Dye From Wood Floor?
Before we talk about removing hair dye stains from surfaces, you need to know about the dye types. Knowing whether the dye is temporary or permanent will help you understand what you’re dealing with, and the course of action will get simpler.
Hair dyes are meant to stay in the hair even if the person washes it every day using soap and shampoo. This means the color bonds are powerful enough to hold on to a surface once they are applied. It doesn’t matter whether it comes in contact with the hair shaft, fabric, or wood surface because it behaves the same throughout.
On the other hand, temporary hair dye stays on the surface of the hair and does not seep into the strand, and the same is valid for wood surfaces. Thus, removing temporary hair dye should be much easier, especially if you act upon it quickly.
Permanent dyes are sure to stain the wood floor and are likely to be more challenging to remove. The formula for permanent dyes makes them stubborn, and removing these stains will take more potent cleaning agents and require much more effort.
Interestingly, the finishing on your wooden floor can add an extra layer of protection from stains. If your floor has a layer of varnish, paint, or sealant, it is less likely to form deep and long-lasting stains. In contrast, a floor without these extra layers is susceptible to stains even if it is exposed to hair dye for a short time.
Of course, the best-case scenario would be to prevent hair dye from falling all over the floor in the first place. But if such an incident does occur, know that there are easy ways to remove it for good. Given below are some simple methods of removing hair dye stains from a wooden floor-
8 Ways Of Getting Hair Dye Off Wood Floors
Method 1 – Baking Soda Paste
The first method is probably the simplest one and requires only one ingredient – baking soda. Getting rid of hair dye stains may seem like a challenge, but baking soda is one of the most effective cleaning agents for household use. If you happen to spill some hair dye on the floor, try to soak it up with a washcloth as quickly as possible.
Removing the excess of the spill will help reduce the stains from forming in the first place. However, there may be some incidences when you will not be able to act as quickly. When that happens, make a baking soda paste to apply over the affected area.
Take a bowl from the kitchen and add some baking soda to it along with some water. There is no need to measure each gram since it is easy to eyeball the amounts required. Simply add enough water to mix with the baking soda and form a thick paste.
Don’t add too much water; otherwise, the mixture will become too fluid like a slurry, and that would be a complete waste of ingredients.
Once the thick paste is ready, apply it evenly over the stained surface and wait for 30 to 40 minutes. Allowing it to sit will give the baking soda time to work on the wood and loosen the stain spots. After the waiting period is over, use a clean, soft cloth to wipe the surface clean.
Light stains will vanish with one application, but tougher stains could take several applications before disappearing completely. If the stain still remains after cleaning, repeat the process until the hair dye stain becomes invisible.
Method 2 – Detergent And Baking Soda
Next, we suggest using a plain old ingredient that everyone has at home- regular detergent. But we’re not going to tell you to scrub plain detergent over the hair dye stain and hope for it to magically vanish. Instead, you’ll be making a paste using baking soda and detergent to get rid of dye stains on wooden furniture or floors.
Begin by pouring two cups of warm water into a bowl, add one tablespoon of baking soda and stir the solution. Then add a similar amount of detergent powder or liquid and mix everything together. The good thing about this method is that you can use any detergent lying around the house, and it will work just fine.
Once the ingredients are in the bowl, continue to mix until the components are blended into one another, and it looks like a cohesive slurry. Place the mixture aside and look for a cleaning tool like a rag or washcloth that is used for wiping. Soak this cloth into the detergent and baking soda mixture and make sure all parts of the cloth are entirely drenched.
Next, place the cloth containing enough solution on the stained area of the wooden floor and gently rub it in place. It is essential to apply some pressure, especially if the dye has been sitting there for a while. But a fresh stain will not require vigorous movements and too much pressure. Be careful about scrubbing wooden surfaces because using a corrosive cleaning tool can cause scratch marks.
This is why you should stick to a cloth for scrubbing the floor and maintain a medium wiping pressure for most wooden surfaces. Keep cleaning the floor with this motion till the stain becomes lighter and eventually disappears.
If you need to remove hair dye from a piece of wooden furniture, you need to take extra caution to protect the surrounding fabric. Fabric-safe bleach options are available over the counter, and you can replace the detergent with this solution instead.
Method 3 – Vinegar And Baking Soda
Vinegar is an alternative to using detergents if you are not too sure about the latter’s reaction with wooden surfaces. Detergents contain harmful chemicals that may create allergies for some people, especially if they come in contact with skin. But vinegar is a natural cleaning agent sitting in your pantry, thus costing much less than everyday cleaning detergents.
Since it is acidic in nature, vinegar is effective in removing deposits from surfaces, and it will work on wooden floors just as well.
Make a solution by adding equal parts of baking soda and vinegar in a bowl until it forms a paste. Don’t worry too much about the ratios because it should work fine even if your ingredients are not exactly equal in amounts.
Dip a clean cloth into this mixture and soak until completely drenched. Carefully place the washcloth over the stain on the floor and rub it till you see the stain color lighten. If required, soak the same cloth repeatedly in the bowl so that enough solution is applied to the stain.
In some recipes, the baking soda is skipped entirely, and only vinegar is used directly on the dye stains. But it is not recommended for hardwood floors because direct vinegar application can dissolve the finishing layer and leave the floor susceptible to damage.
Dried-up dye stain may be challenging to remove, but you can try placing the soaked cloth over the stain for a few minutes before scrubbing.
Which Vinegar Should You Use For Removing Hair Dye From Wooden Floors?
Commonly, kitchens will have white distilled vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red or white vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. Of course, these options are great additions to your recipes, but not all of them will remove stains comfortably.
A basic white distilled vinegar is best for making a vinegar and baking soda solution for cleaning the stained area. This is because using colored vinegar might end up staining the floor, defeating the purpose of your cleansing solution entirely.
So, stick to a clear vinegar option to get the floor clear of dye stains without adding to the problem.
Method 4 – Lemon Juice And Baking Soda
We want you to have all the effective methods at your fingertips, and one ingredient that is sure to be present in the fridge is the humble lemon. This recipe involves using baking soda with lemon juice to remove stubborn hair dye stains from a wooden surface.
In this method, you will also need a scrubbing sponge to loosen the dye stain. Before even making the mixture, take a magic eraser or a similar cleaning sponge that can remove scuff marks from surfaces. Take a few moments to scrub the floor with the eraser while the floor is still dry to displace any bits on the upper layer of the stain.
This process will also allow the lemon solution to penetrate better, thus making the cleaning process slightly quicker. Some people do not use any cleaning solution on the wooden floor at all if they scrub with a magic eraser. Actually, it is possible to avoid cleaning products entirely if the hair dye stains are relatively fresh.
If you are not lucky enough to remove stains using the sponge, proceed to make the lemon and baking soda solution to get the job done. Using a 50/50 ratio, add baking soda and lemon juice into a mixing bowl and stir until you get a thick paste. You won’t need a cloth, like the other methods, since a spoon or similar tool will be good enough.
Apply this thick paste all over the floor or furniture that contains dye stains and wait for a few minutes. Once the mixture has had a chance to loosen some of the stains, you can start rubbing the surface with the sponge. Keep scrubbing till the stain fades away, and you can also add some vinegar to make the paste more acidic and potent.
Method 5 – Melamine Foam
In the previous method, we suggested using a scrubbing sponge in combination with lemon juice to reduce stains. However, you do not need additional ingredients if you have this one cleaning tool called melamine foam. Melamine foam is not a magical instrument, yet it is often called a magic eraser because of its efficient stain removal properties.
Ordinary as it may be, melamine foam is not your regular sponge that one uses to wash dishes. Powerful stain removal tools like Mr. Clean magic eraser are made of melamine foam and are capable of removing the most deep-seated stains. This compressed foam can be compared to the scrubbing texture of sandpaper, and it scrubs away tough stains without requiring additional cleaning agents.
Using this cleaning tool to remove dye stains is an easy process. Since it only requires water for scrubbing, you need not spend time or money preparing and buying ingredients. Dip the melamine foam in water and start scrubbing at the stain in question. While cleaning, take care not to scrub too vigorously; otherwise, the wooden surface may develop scratches.
However, if the wooden surface is lacquered, it will not develop scratches even if you use a melamine foam.
Method 6 – Peroxide And Baking Soda
When the other methods fail, combine baking soda with peroxide to form a powerful cleaning solution. But before you jump at the peroxide jar in the medicine cabinet, allow us to forewarn you of the harsh nature of this component. Peroxide pretty much burns upon touch, so wear protective gear and remove susceptible fabric items like rugs or floor mats, so they do not develop bleach stains.
Cleaning a hardwood floor for regular spills of orange juice does not warrant bringing out this corrosive chemical. Remember that relying on this method is alright only if the stains are too stubborn to remove in other ways. As such, you can definitely use them to remove older dye stains from a hardwood floor.
To make this potent cleansing solution, mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide by carefully measuring them in equal parts. You can use a regular bowl to pour both ingredients and mix them together until they form a fine paste.
After the paste appears to be smooth enough for the application, find an old cloth that you can throw away later on. Fold the cloth into two and dab one side into the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste. Apply the solution to the affected area carefully so as to remove the dark stain.
It’s alright to apply some pressure to allow the solution to work on the floor, but don’t go overboard in case it damages the surface. After this is done, dispose of the old cloth so that anyone else in the house doesn’t accidentally touch it. We recommend trying a test patch on a different, hidden part of the floor to see how the wood reacts to the hydrogen peroxide solution.
Remember that hydrogen peroxide can also erode delicate surfaces and sometimes ruin hardwood floors. So, if your test patch goes well, only then can you confidently apply this paste to the problem area and altogether remove the stubborn hair dye.
Method 7 – Olive Oil
You may have probably never thought of it, but olive oil can be used for cleaning floors and removing hair dye stains permanently. If the dye spills and you are able to take immediate action, consider grabbing a bottle of olive oil from the pantry.
If applied quickly enough, the components in olive oil disintegrate the dye particles and prevent them from creating a stain. As soon as the spill occurs, collect the excess hair dye using a soft cloth or paper towel till the surface is dry. Apply some olive oil to a clean cloth and rub the surface till the stains disappear.
Method 8 – Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is an effective ingredient for cleaning surfaces, and it can help you with removing hair dye stains. Try soaking a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad and gently scrub it along the surface.
Although this may help in removing some types of stains, it may not be as effective for permanent dyes. We suggest using this method as a precursor to a stronger chemical so that the stain lightens somewhat before using another intensive solution.
Related Read: How to Remove Glue From Wood Floor
FAQs About Removing Hair Dye From Wood Floors
1. How can I prevent hair dye from staining wood in the first place?
Precautionary preparation is the way to go if you want to minimize the spills and splatters on floors and walls. It’s a good idea to dye your hair in the bathroom, where the floor is usually made of tile, not wood. Even if some dye splashes on the bathroom floor, one can clean it up fairly easily.
Strategically placing old newspapers or garbage bags also works well in collecting any stray dye droplets. If you think the protective garbage bag covering will move around, you can stick them temporarily to the floor using painter’s tape.
2. What can I do to remove stubborn stains?
Most methods listed here will help you remove hair dye from wooden furniture and floors. If one round of gently rubbing the floor with a solution does not help, try clearing the surface and starting again. The first try is sure to lighten the dye stain, and the consecutive ones will help reduce them further.
When dealing with stubborn stains on darker wood floors, take care not to scrub too vigorously with a corrosive ingredient. Hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar can lift off the original color of the wood, which is why it is recommended to try a test patch before tackling the actual stain.
It’s possible to have hair dye spill over the floors even after taking precautions like placing newspapers or old cloth to cover the surface. Thankfully, you can use one or more of these tips that can help you get rid of the stains from wooden floors and furniture. Just make sure that you wear enough protective gear while using corrosive ingredients, and you’re good to go.
Here’s hoping the hair dye stains bid you fare thee well – goodbye!