How to Get Hair Dye off Walls Without Damaging Paint – A Guide

Author: Elissa Huebert | Updated: | Affiliate links may be present.

So you’ve noticed a splash of hair dye has gotten on your painted walls. At the risk of turning one problem into two, you will want to know how to remove hair dye from your walls without damaging the paint in the process.

Removing hair dye from your painted walls can be done with a few common household items or some cheap cleaning supplies from your local store. The most efficient cleaners are rubbing alcohol, bleach, and baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide.

The Problem with Dye on Walls

While removing hair dye from less porous surfaces such as tubs and countertops gives you the wiggle room to use harsher cleaners, when it comes to cleaning your walls, you need to be a tad more careful.

Harsh chemicals and abrasive scrub brushes can mar your painted surface, removing its shine, especially on high gloss paint.

Even popular brands that are marketing towards cleaning walls – such as Magic Eraser – can do damage if used to remove dye because it will require excessive scrubbing. And because Magic Eraser is so abrasive, it will leave a very noticeable dull spot on your wall.

How to Remove Hair Dye from Walls

Before you start the removal process, you need to do the proper prep steps.

Always Do a Spot Test

No matter what cleaning agent you opt to go with, you should always do a spot test on an inconspicuous area of your wall with the same kind of paint.

Mix your solution the exact same way you will when you go to clean off the dye and apply it using the exact same cloth or sponge. Rub gently into the area and observe if there is any noticeable paint on your cloth or if the color on your wall starts to change.

If everything seems fine, let the spot sit for approximately 20 minutes and then come back and observe again. If at any point you notice changes in your paint color or shine, don’t use the same cleaner anymore and try a different cleaning agent on a different part of your wall.

Thoroughly Clean the Affected Area

Using only warm water and a non-abrasive cloth, wipe down the stained area completely and allow it to air dry. This helps remove any additional grime that may hinder the removal of the dye.

Start With Dish Soap

As mentioned before, only do this after you’ve done a spot test and you know your walls can handle it. Wrap your finger in a clean damp cloth and put a dab of dish soap on it.

Gently press and rub on only the dyed area for about 30 seconds. This works best with a white cloth because you can check to ensure the dye is coming off of the wall and going on to the cloth.

Once you’ve made decent progress, wash the area again with soap and water and move on to a stronger cleaner to remove the remainder of the stain.

Choose a Gentle Cleaner

Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide – Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide in equal parts to form a paste. Gently rub this into the stain with a clean cloth, stopping every 30 seconds to check your progress. Wipe away any excess with plain warm water.

Baking Soda and Vinegar – This is an especially helpful concoction to remove hair dye from shower walls. Mix it in equal parts to form a paste (it will foam at first, wait for the foam to go away). Apply it in the same way you would baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen Peroxide – Using hydrogen peroxide on its own takes a bit more time but can be just as effective. Saturate a cotton ball with peroxide and generously dab it on the stain. Allow it to sit for 1 hour and then wipe away the excess.

After you’ve tried the three cleaning agents above, you can move on to stronger cleaners to get the last bits of the stain out.

Choose Your Stronger Cleaner

Of course, only choose ones that you have spot tested. Never mix these cleaning agents together! If at any point you notice paint damage, switch to another cleaner.

Diluted Bleach – Never use undiluted bleach on walls. Mix it with equal parts water. Soak a cotton ball or a Q-tip in the bleach solution and press it onto the stain. Dabbing every 5 seconds to check your progress.

Rubbing Alcohol – Apply this in the same way you would apply bleach, allowing it to “soak” for 5 seconds at a time while continuously checking the progress.

Nail Polish Remover – Once again, applied the same way as bleach or rubbing alcohol.

Alternative Options

By now, your stain should be gone or very faint. If you want to get every last bit of hair dye out, consider some alternative options.

Continue Regular Cleaning

If you’ve worked over your wall enough for one day and there is still a small amount of dye left, you can choose to let it fade out of time.

Wash your wall once a week with your usual cleaning products and over time, it should become less and less noticeable.

Buy a Dye Remover

Many beauty supply stores and online retailers sell dye-removing wipes that are formulated for use on the skin. Since these are gentle cleaners, they are usually safe to use on painted surfaces as well.

You should check manufacturer instructions and reviews before attempting to do so as well as doing a spot test.

Paint Over the Stain

Even if you didn’t damage any of the paint on your walls, the hair dye stain may be so stubborn that no amount of cleaning will remove it, especially if it’s had time to soak in.

If the stain is faded enough, and you have your wall paint laying around, paint over the stain and then you can act like nothing happened.

Final Thoughts

Dyes of any kind can be a pain to remove from walls. But removing hair dye from your walls without ruining your paint can be done easily with a few household products and a fair amount of patience.

About Elissa Huebert

Elissa has been a homeowner for 18 years. During that time, she has painted every surface of her home at least twice (and some of her friends' homes, too!). She enjoys writing, learning, traveling, and trying new things.

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