Removing hair dye from towels

While using an at-home hair dye, I accidentally got some of the hair dye on my bathroom towels. What can I do to remove the stains?

I am really hoping the towels are white—for starters let’s just assume they are. For really concentrated stains like hair dye, you can try a bleach soaking solution of ¼ cup bleach per gallon of water. The towels should be fully submerged--weighting them down with a couple of dishwasher-safe dinner plates on top also helps. Allow the towels to soak for up to 5 minutes and then wash them in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach. Air dry and check for success—hair dye is pretty concentrated so it’s actually pretty likely that you may need to repeat the treatment for complete removal, and keeping the towels out of a hot dryer will increase your chances of getting the stain all the way out. It’s also important to note that rather than go with a stronger bleach solution, it’s better to repeat the soak. There is also another approach you could try with white towels:  pre-treating the stain directly with Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel—apply a little of the gel directly to the stain and rub it in with the soft scrubber tip, and then wash immediately with detergent and ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach. Again, you want to air dry the towels and check your progress.

If your towels are colored, you may still be able to use the bleach soak if the dye used for the towels can be safely bleached. You can check first with a bleachability test: add 2 teaspoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach to ¼ cup water and apply a drop of this solution to a discreet part of the item; wait 1 minute and then blot dry; no color change means you can safely bleach the item. If the towels don't pass, then you could try pre-treating with Clorox2® Stain Fighter and Color Booster—apply a little of the liquid directly to the fabric and wait 5-10 minutes before washing with detergent and more Clorox2®. Note that you don’t want the product to stay on the fabric too long or be allowed to dry on the fabric. It’s better to repeat the treatment when you are working on a super concentrated stain rather than cause damage from prolonged contact.  Finally, remember to keep them out of the dryer until the stain is all the way out!

Posted to , by Dr. Laundry