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How to remove hair dye from painted walls

Updated on April 30, 2013

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Many of us have attempted to dye our hair at home; whether it be eyebrow hair, eyelashes or the hair on top of our head, there's always an issue that some of the dye will splash onto the walls due to human error. Most people think that this is their bathroom ruined forever, but there are various methods to removing hair dye stains out of walls.

First we will explore what "foolproof techniques" (to quote various sources online) are worthless and as effective as trying to get dye off by licking it with your tongue.

Methods that DON'T work!

  • (Whitening) Toothpaste - I'm not too sure how this technique has cropped up on the internet, but it does absolutely does not work with good quality hair dye. It has many other uses and can help fight against occasional acne outbreaks, but it will only leave your stained walls with a minty smell instead of removing the dye.
  • Hot Water - Yes this will work for a few minutes after the dye has made contact with the walls, but attempting to do it hours/days later is useless and you will end up washing the paint off the walls before the dye.
  • Sandpapering - Needless to say, yes it's going to get dye out... alongside the paint on your walls. The amount of paint that will be taken out with the dye is simply not worth it.
  • Make-up Products - The majority (not all) of these products are not going to do any good for your walls. Most of the time it will be similar to a person wearing concealer - it will simply hide the problem, not remove it. Either that or you will end up with more stains on your walls.

Now let's explore the methods that are much more likely to produce desirable effects.

Effective methods

To get dye out of walls you need to use a chemical that is well renowned for removing stains from various places. They don't necessarily need to be designed from removing hair dye from walls and the large majority of the following techniques aren't:

  • Bleach - Never underestimate the power of bleach. The problem with bleach is that it can potentially ruin the paint on walls, that's why it is advisable to mix half water/half bleach in some container (or spray bottle) and wipe that on the wall instead. I have personally used a solution without water and it hasn't ruined walls, but it's a very risky thing to perform.

Remember to be incredibly careful when handling bleach and never mix it with vinegar for a cleaning solution.

  • Nail Varnish/Polish Remover - Acetone (the active ingredient in nail polish remover) is quite good at "toning down" stains on walls. It tends to be more effective at fading the stains than completely removing them.
  • WD40 - I haven't personally tried this method but it appears to be widely praised online and isn't an unreasonable technique to try as long as you can deal with the smell.
  • Magic Eraser - I haven't used this technique but it has been praised massively and receives positive reviews over a wide variety of sites. It currently has a rating of 4.5/5 on Amazon UK so it wouldn't be ridiculous to try it out. Remember the other methods are much cheaper though.

Source

If all else fails...

Simply paint over it. It's never a bad idea to keep any spare paint you have after decorating a room and comes in handy if any stains ever end up on the wall. I've painted over a few dye stains, oil stains and various other marks before because it's simply a much quicker and more resourceful method.

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    • profile image

      Rebecca 22 months ago

      The magic eraser did not work at all.

    • profile image

      lily 2 years ago

      My friend is trying to remove hair dye from a painted wall. Help??

    • profile image

      Samantha 3 years ago

      The walls i removed it from wasn't actual paint. Don't know the material (in germany in a dormroom) But the Acetone was 85% there. I will go through later and bleach the whole bathroom anyway. I think the rest will come off then! Thanks for this.

    • profile image

      Alexis 3 years ago

      I used the Mr. Clean magic eraser and it worked like a charm on my bathroom cabinets, thank you :)

    • profile image

      lynn 3 years ago

      The acetone removed my paint.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      This is very useful for those who are having trouble removing hair dye stains from walls. It's good that you mentioned what works and what doesn't. And just painting over the stains is a pretty good idea too if people have the time for it.