Informational Guide

How To Get Hair Dye Off A Sink Or Tub

This article discusses methods, cleansers, and tools for how to remove hair dye stains out of sinks & tubs.

by Holly Curell

Hair dye is strong enough to permanently change the color of your hair; naturally, it can also change the color of other surfaces. This article discusses methods, cleansers, and tools—generally how to get hair dye stains out of sinks, tubs, showers, or counter surfaces.

  • Lemon essential oil
    This is the mildest option. However, if the spill is fresh or relatively small, or you have serious concerns about the surface being able to handle harsher chemicals, this is a good first try. Lemon essential oil is so safe that many people use it on their skin or in diffusers for aromatherapy.
  • Vinegar and baking soda
    Vinegar is dilute acetic acid, and baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, a mild base. If you mix them together (a 2:1 vinegar-baking soda ratio is commonly recommended), they will interact chemically—in a rapid, bubbly reaction—to get sodium acetate, carbon dioxide, and water; these products are not so helpful, but the process produces heat and physical disruption, as carbon dioxide bubbles shoot out. Sometimes, this is enough to disrupt stain particles—so let the reaction happen right on the surface for best results.
  • Rubbing alcohol
    This is either isopropyl alcohol or denatured ethanol (like drinkable alcohol but with intentional impurities to discourage consumption). A perk of using rubbing alcohol is that any extra that you fail to wipe up will evaporate quickly. However, you should not use it on permeable or porous surfaces.
  • Nail polish remover
    This is acetone. The solvent in nail polish evaporates to leave the dry polish, so it is excellent for dissolving pigments. An added plus- as with rubbing alcohol, any residual you fail to wipe up should just evaporate. While it is harmful to some surfaces (wood, paint), it should be okay for most functional bathroom surfaces.
  • OxiClean and water
    While famous for laundry applications, OxiClean is really an odorless stain remover suitable for a variety of surfaces. However, follow the package directions about how much water to use for dilution, how long to leave it on, and the surfaces for which it is suitable.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
    This is arguably the most convenient option to remove hair dye stains from tubs, counters, or sinks. All you have to do is wet and squeeze the melamine-foam sponge, and then wipe the stain. Most people find it to be impressively easy and multi-purpose. While it can damage some surfaces, it should be okay in the bathroom. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is one of the best products to clean bathtub/shower surfaces.
  • Soft Scrub with bleach
    Soft Scrub formulated with bleach is a quick, straightforward way to use bleach; also, the Soft Scrub solution is slightly abrasive to help scrape away stains. However, it is gentle enough for a variety of surfaces, so it should be safe to get hair dye stains off of your tub/shower, sink, or counter.
  • Chlorine bleach and water
    Bleach is a solution of the powerful base, sodium hypochlorite, with smaller concentrations of other bleaching chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide. This is the most powerful, sure-fire option; bleach is how to remove stubborn hair dye from a white sink or tub. (Note: undiluted bleach is dangerous—you should dilute bleach in at least an equal volume of water to avoid corrosion or bodily harm.)
bathroom

How to Get Hair Dye off a Sink: 5 Easy Steps

  1. 1
    Prepare the area for stain removal: First, put on gloves for personal safety. If applicable, wipe up any hair dye puddled on the surface—avoid spreading or smearing.
  2. 2
    Apply the cleaner: Spray, squirt or wipe on the chosen cleanser.
  3. 3
    Leave the cleaner for a while: Depending on the chosen cleaner, this might be anywhere from a few seconds to 1 hour.
  4. 4
    Scrub the area: In most cases, an ordinary sponge, toothbrush, or paper towels are good bets—abrasive brushes could scratch the surface.
  5. 5
    Rinse and repeat for difficult to remove stains: If you see progress but there is still a stain, repeat your chosen procedure until it is gone or try different approaches.

How to Get Hair Dye off a Bath Tub: 5 Easy Steps

  1. 1
    Fill the tub with hot water until it covers the stains: First, put on gloves for personal safety. If applicable, wipe up any puddled hair dye. You can fill the tub with water or turn on the shower to help.
  2. 2
    Apply the cleaner: Spray, squirt or wipe on the chosen cleanser
  3. 3
    Leave the cleaner for a while: Depending on the chosen cleaner, this might be anywhere from a few seconds to 1 hour.
  4. 4
    Scrub the area: In most cases, a regular sponge, nylon brush, toothbrush, or paper towels are fine—abrasive brushes will not help.
  5. 5
    Rinse (and repeat): Rinse the cleaner and stain off by filling the tub (or, if applicable, running the shower). If you still see a stain, try again with a different approach—or, if the stain has been lifted somewhat, repeat the previous procedure until it is gone.

Hair Dye Stains & Different Types of Sinks

How to remove hair dye stain in stainless steel sinks?

If the sink is old or the stains are left to set too long, hair dye can actually stain stainless steel sinks. It turns out rubbing alcohol or baking soda are the safest and best ways to remove hair dye from a stainless steel sink.

How to remove hair dye stain in a marble sink?

Abrasives are not how to remove hair dye from marble sinks; instead, try dish soap first before going to more powerful cleaners, such as hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol for chemical stains on marble.

How to remove hair dye stains from porcelain sink?

Abrasive cleansers or brushes are not how to get hair dye off of porcelain sinks. For vintage porcelain, use gentler approaches such as lemon essential oil or even lemon juice; you could also use hydrogen peroxide as a mild bleach replacement. For more durable porcelains, you can use regular bleach if needed.

How to remove hair dye stain from ceramic sink?

Ceramic can tolerate all cleaning methods mentioned in this article, but as with other surfaces, avoid abrasives to clean hair dye off these sinks.

bathroom sink

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What happens if hair dye stains stay in the sink for too long?

Ultimately, this article targets how to get hair dye off a sink or tub when it has dried. Most people will find that hair dye wiped up immediately will not stain their sink.

Will purple shampoo stain my tub?

Like hair dye, it can stain a tub or shower surface. Therefore, definitely rinse and/or wipe any that splatters or puddles right way. If you still find a stain: try one or more of the above cleaning methods as soon as possible.

Does Magic Eraser remove hair dye?

Yes, in terms of effectiveness and convenience, this is how to remove hair dye stains from sink counters and shower-tub units.

Does toothpaste work in removing sink stains?

No, toothpaste can remove rust or tarnish (oxidation layers) from some items, but it is not how to get hair dye off of a sink. Instead, consider dissolving denture cleaning tablets in your sink or tub, as they often contain bleach and baking soda.


Conclusion

There are many options to remove hair dye stains from a given sink or tub surface. So, if the color is not coming out, keep trying until you find something that works. Sometimes, however, it is just a question of patience: keep repeating a cleaning step until the stain has faded or disappeared.

Holly Curell is the editor extraordinaire for Plumbing Lab. Having grown up in Michigan, Holly has spent time living in New York, Virginia, & currently North Carolina, where she lives with her husband & family. Holly loves DIY & has years of experience with at-home plumbing problems that arise from having 3 kids & living in colder climates. When she's not writing about her plumbing knowledge, Holly enjoys reading, hiking & relaxing with family.

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