How to Get Hair Dye Off Wood in 8 Ways
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
If you've dyed your hair at home, you know the process can get messy. Getting the dye off your skin is one thing; getting it off everything else is another. Which is why you're here asking how to get hair dye off wood.
If you've ever dyed your hair on a piece of furniture or a bathroom floor (guilty as charged), you know that removing dye from wood can be tricky business.
But don't worry — we're here to help! This article will discuss how to effectively remove hair dye from wood surfaces and preventative measures you can take to avoid future accidents.
What Makes Hair Dye So Challenging to Remove?
Before we get into how to remove hair dye from wood surfaces, it's essential to understand how different hair dyes work. Three common types of hair dye are permanent color, semi-permanent dye, and temporary or deposit-only dyes:
- Permanent: The formula for this color is designed to stay in the hair for long periods, so it has a more significant potential to stain wood.
- Semi-permanent: This dye is less likely to leave a permanent stain on your hair than other dyes and should wash out after several shampoos.
- Temporary: This dye only coats the hair rather than penetrating it deeply. That means you should be able to remove it from the wood more easily.
This is why removing hair dye stains on wooden surfaces like furniture and floors is challenging. The dyes' pigments can penetrate the wood because that's their design; they're meant to sit on top of porous surfaces like your hair. For the same reason it's hard to even get hair dye off of counters, too, even though they're sealed.
The good news is that you can remove most dye stains from wood with little time and effort. But it may take trial and error to discover the proper treatment for your particular stain.
Does Finished or Unfinished Wood Make a Difference?
It's essential to identify what type of wood to apply any treatments, mainly if the piece is finished or unfinished.
Any wood stained, varnished, painted, or otherwise sealed is considered finished. This is what you'll be considering if you're here asking how to get hair dye off hardwood floors. They will be stained, sealed, and finished.
Products like nut oils, synthetic chemical sealants, and specially designed paint can all be used to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood underneath. Wood will be finished to a high sheen and given a deep stain or paint.
These finishes may aid in removing hair dye stains by preventing the color from permeating the wood to a great depth. Some cleaning products, however, can harm these finishes, exacerbating the stain by bleaching the region around the stained spot of hair color.
You must use extra care to avoid damaging the wood finish when removing hair color. If you spill hair color over varnished wood, the finish will peel and reveal the wood beneath.
Raw wood, on the other hand, retains its natural color and matt appearance because it has not been treated with any finish.
As a result of its unfinished state, it is more susceptible to damage. Due to the lack of a protective layer, stains may be more noticeable on unfinished wood.
Because water can cause warping in untreated wood, it's essential to dry the material thoroughly after cleaning. Learning how to get hair dye out of wood, especially unfinished wood, is tricky but it can be done.
How to Remove Hair Dye From Wood
Here are several tried and true methods to remove hair dye from wood. And if you have this problem, let us show you how to get tangled hair out of your carpet next.
Dishwashing Soap & Baking Soda
To remove wood stains, baking soda is often used. When combined with an acid, like vinegar or lemon juice, baking soda's alkaline nature aids in the dissolution of water and oil.
Make a safe and efficient cleaner by combining the following.
- 1 Tb Baking Soda
- 1 Tb Dish Soap
- 2 cups Hot Water
Use a cotton ball or cloth that has been soaked in the solution. It is recommended to test the solution for stain removal on a small, inconspicuous area of the wood before using it on the entire surface.
Work the mixture into the spill. Do it as many times as you feel is necessary. The cleaning chemicals in the dish soap will aid in removing the stain. Just rub the stain rather than scrape at the wood surface.
Laundry Detergent & Baking Soda
Collect the following items in order to prepare this cleaning solution:
- 2 cups Hot Water
- 1 Tb Laundry Soap
- 1 Tb Baking Soda
Add equal amounts of laundry soap and baking soda with a tablespoon into hot water. Stir together and use a cloth, swab, or brush to clean the area.
Avoid rubbing too briskly, as this may harm the wood and make it seem worse than before you began.
White Vinegar & Baking Soda
This mixture is typically used to create miniature volcanoes for science fair projects, but its chemical reaction will help you eliminate the hair dye stain in your wood.
- 2 tsp White Vinegar
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
The paste you use to coat the wood should be thick, so feel free to experiment with the proportions.
As the acid and baking soda react, the foam will form, which will aid in penetrating the wood and removing the stain.
Lemon Juice & Baking Soda
Mixing baking soda with an acidic substance boosts its effectiveness. To make the cleaning paste, combine the following.
- 2 Tb Lemon Juice
- 2 Tb Baking Soda
Use a brush or a cloth and apply the mixture. Rub the mixture into the hair color stain until the stain lightens. Giving it time to work is part of how to get hair dye off wood. It needs time to break down the dye chemically.
This concoction's chemical reaction and texture should help remove any traces of color from your wood. It's also helpful in removing soda stains from carpet as well.
Rubbing alcohol, often known as isopropyl alcohol, is a kind of concentrated alcohol used to clean and disinfect various surfaces. A cotton swab dipped in alcohol and rolled slowly over the stain might help lift the color off the wood.
There are some hair dye stains that this won't remove. If you try it out beforehand, you can avoid using more dangerous, chemical-heavy cleaning methods. This approach works best on faint stains, although it could help lift a heavy stain enough that another product can remove it.
After wiping the wood clean following a hair color spill, apply olive oil as soon as possible. If applied soon enough, the oil can break down the hair color and prevent staining from occurring. Watermarks on wood may also be removed using olive oil and a cloth soaked in the oil and rubbed over the affected area.
Hydrogen Peroxide & Baking Soda
This powerful pairing might do the trick if none of the other solutions work. Mix equal quantities of baking soda and peroxide and apply them to the stain.
Before applying the stain to the wood, make a thick paste and test it in a small, inconspicuous area. It's essential to do this to ensure that this chemical solution doesn't end up making the wood worse.
For stubborn stains, try using an item like Mr.Clean Magic Eraser, a melamine sponge infused with cleaning chemicals.
You should refrain from regularly washing wood with them because of how harsh they may be. But the Magic Eraser's chemical makeup and design may be just what you need to eliminate that unsightly stain once and for all.
It would be best if you did not use these sponges on varnish or comparable finishes since they scratch the surface. Make sure the sponge will only exacerbate the damage by first testing it on an inconspicuous section of wood.
You can use it with baking soda cleaning agents to boost its effectiveness.
Preventing Hair Dye From Staining Wood
If you're planning to dye your hair, taking precautions against staining your wood surfaces is essential. You can do this by:
- Dying your hair in the bathroom. Most of the surfaces in this area are waterproof and easier to clean.
- Protecting the surface with something like plastic wrap, old towels, or newspapers before applying dyes that are likely to stain
- Using a cup to hold coloring brushes and used gloves
- Keeping a damp cloth nearby to clean up any messes right away before the dye sets
Luckily hair dye isn't quite as permanent as wood stain, which requires a very involved procedure to remove, which includes stripping off the finish and sanding the stain away. You won't need to do all of that with hair dye, but do get ready to use some elbow grease.
That’s How to Get Hair Dye Off Wood
Dye is tough to get off wood. With a bit of perseverance, you can get the job done without damaging your furniture or flooring. Stains are easiest to remove if they're not left to set. So try one of these methods for hair dye removal from wood as soon as you see it. And that's how to get hair dye off wood floors.