How to Get Hair Dye Off Wood In 10 Practical Steps

Photo of author

Written by: Mohammad Sameer

Updated on:

We’ve all been there – you’re touching up your hair colour and accidentally get some dye on your wood floors or furniture. Those pesky stains can be difficult to remove completely. Thankfully, there are some simple and effective methods to get hair dye off wood surfaces.

In this article, we will walk through 10 practical steps to safely and easily remove hair dye stains from your wood floors, furniture, cabinets, and more.

We will cover homemade cleaners you can make with common household ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. With a little bit of elbow grease, you’ll be able to erase those stains and have your wood looking fresh and clean again.

Removing hair dye from wood can seem daunting, but don’t stress! With the right techniques, you can get rid of stubborn stains and prevent permanent dye damage to the wood. We will also provide tips on how to avoid hair dye stains in the future with simple preventative steps.

So if you are dealing with annoying hair colour stains on your beautiful wood surfaces, read on! We will share easy, inexpensive, and effective methods to lift hair dye off wood. With the help of this guide, you can restore your wood’s natural beauty in no time. Let’s get started!

How to Get Hair Dye Off Wood

How to Get Hair Dye Off Wood In 10 Practical Steps

Having hair dye stains on your beautiful wood floors or furniture can be frustrating. Hair dye contains strong pigments that can really stain wood and be difficult to remove completely. However, with the right techniques and a little elbow grease, you can get those stubborn stains out of your wood.

Assess the Stain

Assess the Stain

Before attempting to remove hair dye from wood, you first need to assess the stain. Here are three key things to look at:

Identify the type of hair dye. Was it permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary dye? Permanent dyes tend to be more difficult to remove.

Determine the age of the stain. A fresh stain will be easier to remove than one that has set in over time.

Evaluate the condition of the wood. Is it sealed or unfinished? Sealed woods are more protected. Unfinished woods absorb stains more deeply.

Thoroughly inspect the stained area and take note of these factors. This will help you determine the best method for removing the hair dye.

Choose the Right Removal Method

Choose the Right Removal Method

There are a number of household products and techniques you can use to tackle hair dye stains on wood. Here are some of the most common and effective options:

Baking soda and vinegar: Making a paste with baking soda and vinegar can help lift dye from the surface of wood. The acidic vinegar reacts with the alkaline baking soda to create a foam that penetrates the stain.

Rubbing alcohol: High-proof rubbing alcohol can dissolve hair dye and lighten stains on contact. It works best on fresh stains.

Commercial hair dye remover: Look for a speciality product formulated to remove hair colour from surfaces. Follow the label instructions carefully.

Hydrogen peroxide: As a bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can help remove leftover traces of hair pigment. Make sure to dilute it first.

Abrasive scrub: For stubborn stains, gently scrubbing with a magic eraser or fine-grit sandpaper may lift dye trapped in the wood grain.

Test any removal method first on an inconspicuous area to ensure it does not damage the finish. The longer a stain sets, the harder it will be to remove, so act quickly for best results.

Prepare the Surface

Clean The Area With A Mild Dish Soap And Water Solution

Before applying a hair dye stain remover, prepare the wood surface:

  • Clean the area with a mild dish soap and water solution. Avoid cleaners like ammonia or vinegar that could react with dye.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly and let the wood dry completely. Removers work better on dry surfaces.
  • Sand unfinished wood lightly to open the grain and allow stains to be lifted.
  • Cover any adjacent surfaces, like walls or floors, to avoid splatter or drips.
  • Have clean rags or sponges on hand to blot up the remover.

Proper prep work helps remove penetrate and lift stains for easier cleanup.

Apply the Removal Method

With your supplies gathered, it’s time to tackle the stain. Follow the instructions for the specific type of remover you are using:

For baking soda and vinegar: Form a paste with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part vinegar. Apply it to the stain and let it sit for 2-3 hours. The bubbles will help lift the dye. Rinse well.

For rubbing alcohol: Dampen a cloth with alcohol and blot the stain. Avoid aggressive scrubbing. Rinse with clean water. The alcohol will evaporate quickly.

For commercial remover: Check the product instructions. Typically, you apply a small amount to the stain, let it sit briefly to penetrate, and then wipe it away. Rinse thoroughly.

For hydrogen peroxide: Mix a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water. Apply it to the stain using a sponge. Allow it to fizz for a few minutes before rinsing. Start with a 3% solution.

For abrasive scrub: Lightly buff the stained area using short, circular motions. Take care not to scrub too aggressively and damage the wood.

Follow all safety precautions when using chemicals like peroxide. Test removers first before applying them to the stained area.

Blot and Rinse

Blot the area with clean, dry rags or paper towels to absorb as much of the remover and dissolved dye as possible.

Once you’ve let the remover sit for the recommended time, the next step is to blot and rinse:

  • Blot the area with clean, dry rags or paper towels to absorb as much of the remover and dissolved dye as possible.
  • Thoroughly rinse the area with clean water to remove any residue.
  • Dry the area with a new cloth. Inspect to see if the stain has lightened or lifted.
  • Repeat blotting and rinsing until no more dye comes up.

Proper blotting removes the stain remover and dye transfer without smearing or spreading it around.

Repeat as Needed

Hair dye stains can be stubborn. If the wood still shows signs of the stain after the first application of a remover, simply repeat the process.

Allow the wood to fully dry in between applications. Follow the same steps to re-apply stain removers and blot up until the wood looks free of dye.

You may need to use a combination of different removers for really tough stains. Just take care not to damage the finish.

Test the Results

Once it appears the hair dye has been successfully removed from the wood, inspect the area closely. Check for any remaining hints of the stain in the grain or absorbed into the finish.

Also, look for signs of damage:

  • Discoloration or lightening of the wood
  • Changes to the surface shine or texture
  • Swelling, warping, or cracks in the wood

If the wood is not sealed prior to the dye stain, it will be more vulnerable to damage from harsh removers. Use extra caution when working with untreated wood.

Protect the Wood

Now that the stain is gone, you’ll want to protect the wood from future mishaps. Using a sealant or finish will help preserve the beautiful, clean surface.

  • On unfinished wood, apply a natural beeswax or plant-based wood conditioner. This nourishes the wood and offers water resistance.
  • For finished wood, refresh the surface with a polish or wax. This adds a protective layer to repel spills and stains.
  • Consider covering your floors or furniture with tarps or cloths during future dye jobs. It blocks stains from setting into the bare wood.

Routinely caring for wood with polishing and sealing will make it more stain-resistant.

Dispose of Waste Properly

Don’t pour used remover solutions down the drain. The chemicals can be hazardous in large concentrations.

Instead, be sure to:

  • Wipe up any excess remover from the wood surface and tools.
  • Absorb leftover liquid remover with kitty litter or sand in a sealed container.
  • Allow rags or sponges to dry before discarding to avoid fires.
  • Check local hazardous waste disposal guidelines for proper handling.

Safely disposing of stain removers protects the environment and your pipes from damage.

Prevent Future Stains

The best way to deal with hair dye stains on wood is to avoid them completely. Here are some tips to keep your wooden surfaces pristine:

  • Always dye hair in an area where spills and drips won’t damage your floors, like over a bathroom or kitchen sink.
  • Cover nearby wood furniture or floors with a tarp or plastic sheet while applying hair dye.
  • Wear gloves during the dyeing process and be careful not to touch wood surfaces with stained hands.
  • Clean up spills immediately with soap and water. Don’t let dye sit on wood surfaces for long.
  • Use a sealant or protective finish on wood furniture regularly.
  • Ask house guests to exercise caution when using hair dye in your home.
  • Place rugs over high-traffic wood floor areas susceptible to stains.

With some forethought and protective measures, you can keep your beloved wood surfaces free of unsightly dye stains. Follow these steps and you’ll get hair dye off wood quickly and safely. Your wood will look salon-fresh in no time!

can hair dye stains be removed?

Yes, hair dye stains can be removed. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  1. Act quickly. The sooner you treat the stain, the easier it will be to remove.
  2. Blot, don’t rub. Rubbing can spread the stain and make it harder to remove.
  3. Use a mild soap and water solution. Harsh chemicals can damage the fabric.
  4. Try a commercial stain remover. There are many products available that are specifically designed to remove hair dye stains.
  5. If the stain is still there, try soaking the garment in a solution of white vinegar and water.
  6. Wash the garment as usual.

Does bleach remove hair dye?

Yes, bleach can remove hair dye. It is a chemical agent that lightens your hair colour by removing the pigment from your hair strands.

However, it is important to note that bleach can also damage your hair, so it is important to use it carefully and follow the instructions on the product label.

Does Fairy Liquid Remove Hair Dye?

Yes, Fairy Liquid can remove hair dye, but it will not be as effective as a professional hair dye remover. Fairy Liquid is a dishwashing detergent that contains surfactants, which are chemicals that can break down the bonds in hair dye molecules.


What are the different types of hair dye stains?

There are two main types of hair dye stains: permanent and semi-permanent. Permanent hair dyes contain ammonia and peroxide, which make them more difficult to remove. Semi-permanent hair dyes do not contain ammonia or peroxide, so they are easier to remove.

How long does it take to remove hair dye stains from wood?

How long it takes to remove hair dye from wood depends on the stain intensity and removal method. Light stains may come out with some scrubbing in just 5-10 minutes. Medium stains may take 30 minutes to an hour. For heavy, set-in stains, it can take multiple treatments over several hours or days. Patience is key for completely erasing stubborn hair dye stains from wood.


Getting hair dye off wood can be challenging, but is possible with the right techniques. The key steps are:

Test cleaning products on an inconspicuous area first. Use a cloth dampened with non-acetone nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol or toothpaste. Gently rub the stain.

Avoid abrasives. Use an old toothbrush and baking soda paste for tougher stains. Sand lightly with fine-grit sandpaper if needed.

Repaint or re-stain to hide any remaining discolouration. With patience and care, you can remove hair dye from wood without damaging the surface. Share these tips so others can tackle this common mishap.

Sharing Is Caring:

About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer, the founder of SoundproofGears. My hypersensitive hearing turned me into a lifelong seeker of silence. After years of research, I've become an expert on soundproofing techniques and materials. In November 2022 I launched this site to share my knowledge and help others find acoustic sanctuary. About More