Hair Dye Stains Don't Stand A Chance Against This Household Essential

Anyone who has dyed their hair at home has, at some point, likely found the dye in places it wasn't supposed to be. The dye droplets seem to make their way around effortlessly, and you may not discover them right away. Suppose you've just removed the hair dye stains from your carpet, only to find unwelcome marks on your favorite shirt. Such marks can stay long after application, if not permanently. However, using a little hydrogen peroxide can remove the hair dye stain and salvage your clothing.

There are so many ways to use hydrogen peroxide in your home. Though used medically as an antiseptic to prevent infection, this colorless liquid makes for a very useful household product and is often counted on for various cleaning purposes, including stain removal. Best of all, it's often readily available in your bathroom cabinet. Hydrogen peroxide's bleaching properties are what make it a good solution for tackling stubborn hair dye stains.

How to remove hair dye stains with hydrogen peroxide

Use a typical 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide. This is the standard concentration readily available in most stores and what most people have in their homes, often in a brown bottle to prevent sunlight from getting in and spoiling it. You always want to test the peroxide on a hidden area of the clothing first. Apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the chosen spot using a cotton cloth or sponge. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and then check for any color changes or damage. 

If no adverse reactions occur, it's time to tackle the stain. Use your cloth or sponge to blot the stain gently. Avoid rubbing the stain, as this can spread the dye further and make it harder to remove. Again, allow the hydrogen peroxide to sit on the stain for 10 to 15 minutes. 

When the time is up, thoroughly rinse the treated area with cool water to remove any remaining hydrogen peroxide residue. Finally, wash the garment according to the care instructions on the label. Use your regular laundry detergent and the recommended water temperature.

Hydrogen peroxide can be risky on certain fabrics

While some recommend letting your garment soak in hydrogen peroxide overnight, that can potentially ruin some clothes. Another, less risky option for a more thorough immersion is to treat the stain first and then add 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide to your regular washing machine load. It's also always wise to consider what type of clothing you are working with. If it's an inexpensive light-colored T-shirt, that's a lower risk than a high-end sweater. Certain fabrics, like silk or wool, may be damaged by the harsh nature of hydrogen peroxide, so always check labels first.

Hydrogen peroxide's bleaching effect can alter the color of your clothing — even white fabric might experience slight color changes if exposed for extended periods. For colored or delicate fabrics, there are color-safe bleaches on the market that contain balanced levels of hydrogen peroxide to remove stains on colored clothing. You can also consider consulting a professional cleaner for delicate items.