How to Remove Hair Dye From Your Bathtub

If you’ve ever dyed your hair at home, you know the struggle of trying to get that stubborn hair dye out of your bathtub. No matter how careful you are, it seems like some of the dye always ends up splattering and staining your tub. Before you resign yourself to a permanently stained bathtub, there are actually several effective methods you can try to remove that pesky hair dye.

In this article, we’ll go over the best techniques for getting your bathtub sparkling clean again after a home hair coloring session. We’ll cover everything from using common household cleaners to more heavy-duty solutions, as well as some tips to help prevent dye stains in the first place. By the end, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to tackle those unsightly hair dye stains and restore your tub to its former pristine condition.

Remove Hair Dye From Your Bathtub

Why Does Hair Dye Stain Bathtubs?

Before we dive into the cleaning methods, it’s helpful to understand why hair dye is so difficult to remove from bathtubs in the first place. The main reason is the chemical composition of hair dye. Most permanent and semi-permanent hair color formulas contain pigments and compounds like ammonia, peroxide, and various dyes that are designed to penetrate deep into the hair shaft.

These same chemicals that allow the dye to effectively color your hair are also what make it so stubborn and staining on non-hair surfaces like your bathtub. The pigments in the dye can seep into the porous surface of the tub, staining it with vibrant colors that are hard to scrub away. And the ammonia and other harsh compounds in the dye can also break down the sealant and finishes on your tub over time, making it even more prone to staining.

So in essence, hair dye is the perfect storm of staining culprits – pigments that soak in deeply, combined with abrasive chemicals that degrade the tub surface. This makes it a real challenge to get your tub looking spotless again after a home hair coloring mishap. But with the right techniques, it’s definitely possible.

Supplies Needed to Remove Hair Dye Stains

Before we get into the cleaning methods, make sure you have the following supplies on hand:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Cleaning rags or paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dish soap or other gentle, non-abrasive cleaner
  • Magic Eraser or similar melamine foam cleaner
  • Pumice stone
  • Toothbrush

The key is to use a combination of products and techniques to attack the hair dye stains from multiple angles. Some work better on fresh stains, while others are more effective on set-in, stubborn stains. Having this full arsenal of cleaning supplies will give you the best chance of restoring your tub.

How to Remove Fresh Hair Dye Stains

If you notice hair dye stains in your tub immediately after coloring your hair, you’ll want to act fast. The sooner you can treat the stains, the easier they’ll be to remove. Here are the steps:

  1. Blot up any excess dye. Use clean rags or paper towels to soak up as much of the fresh dye as possible before it has a chance to really set in.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain. The baking soda will help start breaking down the dye pigments.
  3. Spray white vinegar over the baking soda. The vinegar and baking soda will create a fizzing, scrubbing action that can help lift the stain.
  4. Let the baking soda and vinegar solution sit for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Scrub the stain with a damp sponge or cleaning rag. The abrasiveness of the baking soda will help scrub away the stain.
  6. Rinse the area thoroughly with water.
  7. If any stain remains, repeat steps 2-6, allowing the baking soda and vinegar to sit for longer before scrubbing.

This method works best on fresh, wet hair dye stains. The baking soda and vinegar help to chemically break down the dye, while the scrubbing action mechanically removes it from the tub surface.

For Dried, Set-In Hair Dye Stains

If the hair dye has had time to really set into your tub, you’ll need some heavier-duty cleaning methods. Here are the steps:

  1. Spray the stained area liberally with hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide will help to bleach out the dye pigments.
  2. Let the peroxide sit for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Scrub the area vigorously with a Magic Eraser or similar melamine foam cleaner. The abrasiveness of the Magic Eraser will help lift and remove the stain.
  4. Rinse the area thoroughly with water.
  5. If any stain remains, repeat steps 1-4, allowing the peroxide to sit for longer.
  6. As a last resort, use a pumice stone to gently scrub the stain. Be very careful not to scratch the tub surface.

The hydrogen peroxide works to chemically break down and bleach out the dye, while the Magic Eraser provides physical scrubbing power to lift it off the tub. The pumice stone is a more abrasive option, but can be effective on really stubborn stains.

Tips to Prevent Future Hair Dye Stains

Of course, the best way to deal with hair dye stains is to prevent them in the first place. Here are some tips to help minimize the risk of staining your bathtub during a home hair coloring session:

  1. Thoroughly clean and wipe down your tub before coloring your hair. Any existing stains or soap scum will make it even harder to remove fresh dye.
  2. Line the tub with plastic sheeting or a shower curtain liner before starting. This creates a protective barrier to catch any splashes or drips.
  3. Wear gloves during the entire hair coloring process. Dye on your hands can easily transfer to the tub.
  4. Work carefully and slowly to minimize any splashing or spills.
  5. Rinse the tub immediately after rinsing the dye out of your hair. Don’t let it sit and set.
  6. Use a cleaner like Clorox Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover on your tub regularly. This will help break down any lingering dye stains.
  7. Consider using a semi-permanent or vegetable-based hair color, which may be less staining than traditional permanent dyes.

By taking these precautions, you can greatly reduce the chances of ending up with unsightly hair dye stains in your bathtub. And if you do end up with a few spots, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle them quickly and effectively.

Additional Hair Dye Stain Removal Products

In addition to the household cleaners mentioned earlier, there are also some specialized products designed specifically for removing hair dye stains from bathtubs and other surfaces. Here are a few options to consider:

Removable Hair Dye Stain Remover– Formulated to quickly and effectively remove hair dye stains
– Safe for use on bathtubs, sinks, tile, and other surfaces
– Contains no harsh chemicals or abrasives
Green Gobbler Hair Dye Stain Remover– Made with natural, plant-based ingredients
– Works on both fresh and set-in hair dye stains
– Safe for use on porcelain, ceramic, and other surfaces
Bartender’s Friend Hair Dye Stain Remover– Heavy-duty formula specifically formulated for hair dye stains
– Contains oxalic acid to help break down and lift stubborn stains
– Safe for use on bathtubs, tile, and other surfaces

These specialized cleaners can be a great option if you’re dealing with particularly stubborn hair dye stains that just won’t come out with regular household products. They’re designed to target the specific chemistry of hair dye and provide a more powerful stain-fighting solution.


Removing hair dye stains from your bathtub can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, but it’s definitely doable with the right cleaning methods. Whether you’re dealing with fresh, wet stains or stubborn, set-in ones, a combination of household cleaners like baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide can be highly effective.

Be patient, work carefully, and don’t be afraid to try a few different techniques. With a little elbow grease, you can get your tub looking sparkling clean again, no matter how much hair dye may have ended up there. And by following some preventative tips, you can help avoid those pesky stains in the first place.

So the next time you color your hair at home, don’t stress about the mess. Tackle those tub stains head-on, and you’ll be back to enjoying your freshly dyed locks in a pristine, stain-free bathroom.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.