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How to Get Hair Dye Out of Clothes

Trying to get hair dye off your shirt? Follow our hair dye stain removal tips to learn how to remove hair dye and hair color from clothes, shirts, and fabrics.

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Question

I had my hair dyed recently and some got on my green graphic tee. How can I remove this stain?

Answer

Hair dye is quite a problem because it is so concentrated, and since your shirt is colored, you are probably limited to treating the stain with products that contain hydrogen peroxide, like Clorox 2® For Colors 3-in-1 Liquid, which works very well on concentrated stains when used as a pretreater.

To use it on your shirt, apply a little of the product directly to the stain and wait 10 minutes before washing in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and more Clorox 2® For Colors 3-in-1 Liquid. Air dry and check for success — because hair dye is pretty concentrated, it’s likely that you will need to repeat the treatment for complete removal — keeping the shirt out of a hot dryer will increase your chances of getting the stain all the way out. Note that you don’t want full-strength product to stay on the shirt too long, and it should never be allowed to dry on the fabric.

Because your shirt is a graphic tee, you may also be able to use a regular bleach presoak if the green dye used to color the shirt is a pigment dye, but you’ll need to check for colorfastness to bleach first and make sure it can be safely bleached. We have an easy test for this: add 2 teaspoons Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach to ¼ cup water and apply a drop of this solution to a hidden part of the shirt; wait 1 minute and then blot dry; no color change means you can safely bleach the shirt.

If the shirt passes the bleachability test, then prepare the bleach soaking solution using ¼ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach per gallon of water, and fully submerge the shirt, weighting it down with a dishwasher-safe dinner plate if necessary so it stays all the way in the soaking solution. Allow the shirt to soak for up to 5 minutes and then wash it in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and ⅓ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach. Air dry and check for success — as mentioned above, it’s important to keep the shirt out of a hot dryer until the stain is 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 since this is such a challenging stain and you may need to repeat the treatment for complete success.

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