You may be loving your new hair color but chances are, you aren’t enjoying those unsightly stains on your countertops and in your sink. Some dyes can be quite difficult to remove. Rest assured, there are some tried and true methods for how to remove hair dye from the sink and the counter.
There are a number of cleaners you can utilize while removing hair dye stains. The most effective ones are rubbing alcohol, acetone, and bleach. As a last resort, you can use an abrasive cleaner.
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Types of Cleaners
There are 3 main types of cleaners to choose from when trying to figure out how to remove hair dye from a porcelain sink or countertop.
Products such as rubbing alcohol and acetone (or nail polish remover) are considered solvents. Solvents are known to dissolve the molecules of other products.
Oxidizing agents work by causing a chemical reaction and oxidizing other products – usually into something colorless. Common household oxidizers are most brands of chlorine bleach as well as hydrogen peroxide.
As the name suggests, abrasives (like Comet and scouring pads) scratch away at the surface of whatever you are cleaning. While this is generally harmless, using an excessive amount of abrasives can cause damage to a countertop.
It is recommended you use these as a last resort.
What Removes Hair Dye From a Sink
You more than likely have these cleaners sitting around your house and get the hair dye out effortlessly. These cleaners will work to get both permanent and semi-permanent dye off your sink.
This is by far the most effortless and most effective method. It’s also a great starting point to get the majority of the hair dye out if you are dealing with a larger stain. Take care to ventilate the area well because rubbing alcohol is known to be quite noxious.
First, remove as much of the hair dye as you can by gently blotting it with a warm damp towel. Don’t rub back and forth or you risk spreading the stain further.
Next, take another cloth and lay it over the stain – make sure you cover the entire stain or grab an additional cloth, if necessary.
Carefully pour the rubbing alcohol (I’ve used and recommend this one) over the cloth, using a small amount at a time as it will spread on its own. Once it’s fully saturated, allow it to sit on the stain until it dries.
When you remove the cloth, the majority of your stain should have been transferred to the cloth. You can repeat this as many times as you feel is necessary to remove the entire stain or follow up with a second cleaner after you have removed most of the stain.
Acetone or Nail Polish Remover
If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol, you can use the same method described above but with acetone or nail polish remover like this. It may require more of the solution but will work just the same. Be sure to clean your countertops with plain water first to get rid of any other cleaning chemicals.
If you opt to use nail polish remover, ensure it is acetone-based (ones that smell) as non-acetone nail polish remover will do next to nothing to remove your stain and will be a waste of your product.
Bleach is well known for being a tough stain remover. Mix a 50:50 solution of bleach and water then dip a clean rag in it. Gently dab the stain repeatedly until it begins to come up. Try not to rub too much or you may spread the dye.
You can allow it to sit on the stain for 5 – 10 minutes, but it’s only recommended you do that if you already have white countertops or you run the risk of creating an entirely new stain – a bleach stain.
IMPORTANT: Do not use bleach on top of a stain that you have previously used rubbing alcohol on within the last 24 hours. Before you apply bleach to the stain, make sure to clean the entire countertop with plain water.
If you don’t want to deal with the harsh smells of rubbing alcohol, bleach, or acetone, you can opt for hydrogen peroxide. It is generally considered safer to handle and doesn’t smell as bad.
Apply it in the same manner as you would alcohol or acetone, taking care to thoroughly wash your counter beforehand to avoid mixing chemicals.
Baking Soda & Vinegar
This combination is known to be an abrasive cleaner so try to use this as a last resort. Mix a small amount of vinegar into some baking soda to make a paste. Rub the paste into the stain using either a clean toothbrush or a clean rag.
This is the preferred method if you are trying to get hair dye that has already dried off your sink as it will penetrate farther down into the countertop.
Sometimes, a solution requires thinking outside the box. Hair dye stains can be very stubborn and if you’ve found yourself trying every cleaning method possible and still have some dye leftover, there are a few more options you have.
First, try reaching out to your local hair salon and asking for advice on their preferred cleaning product and method. They will have a lot of experience in removing hair dye stains.
Alternatively, you can contact the company that manufactured the hair dye. Some companies even have cleanup instructions on their websites & it may be that their specific hair dye has a certain ingredient that makes it more difficult to clean.
Lastly, you can wait for the stain to fade during your regular bathroom cleaning, as this naturally happens over time.
Don’t despair if your bathroom countertop and sink are looking unsightly due to not just hair itself but also accidental hair dye stains. Work your way through the list of cleaning options to find what works best for you.
If all else fails, remember that there are alternative options and places you can find cleaning advice to help you remove a particularly stubborn stain.