Tips and Recommendations for Removing Hair Dye off the Counter

Christine Steuber
Aug 7, 2022
Made a mess after coloring your hair and need to get hair dye off the counter? No worries - I have six methods that will work.

Is it possible to get hair dye off the counter?

Well, it’s definitely a challenge. The main problem with hair dye is that even if you try to rub it off immediately, it will still leave a nasty stain, and the longer it sits, the harder it will be to remove it. 

However, if you have the right methods in your arsenal, you can remove these stains easily within a couple of minutes. I tried these tactics myself, and they all worked (yes, I deliberately stained a few surfaces in my house for this experiment). 

So, if you have fresh or years-old spots from hair dye in your home, let me introduce you to six effective strategies to get them out. I’ll also be sharing practical stain removal strategies for different surfaces in your house. 

Let’s dive in!

6 Best Common Ways to Get Hair Dye off the Counter

Before dyeing your hair at home, it’s good to know how you can clean up afterward. Nobody wants to have colored stains on their countertops, right? 

Below, I’m sharing six tried and true methods for removing hair dye off countertops.

1) Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar cleaning solution Pexels

Baking soda is widely known for its cleaning properties, and removing hair dye is not an exception. In combination with vinegar, baking soda can do wonders. 

You can use baking soda and vinegar separately to get hair dye off the counter, but mixing them will double the effect. Besides, this solution has more pros than cons; check it out:


  • Low-cost – you can use the products you have at hand.
  • Doesn’t irritate the skin – unlike other cleaning products that may make your skin itchy, baking soda and vinegar are harmless and can be used even without gloves.
  • Safe method – this solution doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients.


  • Not a ready-to-use product – you need to make a solution yourself instead of just opening a bottle and applying.

But even though you have to spend some time preparing this mixture, it won’t take you more than ten seconds. Follow these simple steps to remove hair dye from the counter using baking soda and vinegar:

  • Take two tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Add vinegar slowly to the baking soda to reach a consistency similar to paste.
  • Apply the paste to the stain.
  • Rub it with a rag or sponge until it’s completely clean.

You can repeat this method multiple times, if required, to make sure the dye is gone for good.
Now, let’s see what else can help you remove hair dye from the counter.

2) Dishwashing soap or detergent

Dishwashing soap to get hair dye off the counter via Pexels

This is another popular method to get rid of hair dye stains. Of course, it has its own disadvantages, but the pros outweigh the cons:


  • Low budget option – everyone has a dishwashing soap or detergent at home, so there is no need to purchase a new product.
  • Not harmful – these are standard washing products of every-day-use, so your hands will not be irritated, unlike with chemical cleaners.


  • Fresh stains only – this method may work only when the dye stain is still new and wet.

If you’re wondering how you can apply this solution to get hair dye off the counter, here are the steps you need to take:

  • Take dishwashing soap or detergent.
  • Add some of the two products into a glass of water and mix it to create a foamy solution.
  • Take a sponge or rag, dip it in the solution and clean the surface.

And once you’re done, just rinse it with water.

The following method I have requires putting on rubber gloves.

3) Acetone or nail polish remover

Acetone to remove hair dye stains
Credit: Ecochem

Products containing acetone are among the most guaranteed methods to get hair dye off the counter. However, this can work only on unpainted surfaces. Let’s take a look at more advantages and disadvantages of this tactic.


  • Perfect results – nail polish or acetone are the best methods for removing hair dye without leaving any stains.


  • Strips off paint – if used on painted surfaces, nail polish or acetone can remove not only the hair dye but also the base paint.
  • Harsh on the skin – excessive use of acetone and nail polish without gloves may irritate the skin.

If you’re curious about how to remove hair dye from the counter using this method, follow the steps below:

  • Take nail polish or acetone – both will work.
  • Add some of the product to a cotton pad or a cloth.
  • Rub the product onto the surface with the hair dye until it’s clean.

Once you’re done, rinse with water to get rid of excess acetone.

The next method on my list works well for removing spots off a bathroom or kitchen counter.

4) Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol to remove hair dye off the counter

Rubbing alcohol is widely used for household cleaning and can be the perfect option if you need to get hair dye off the counter. This method has a few convincing perks, although it’s far from perfect.


  • Good antiseptic – apart from cleaning the hair dye, rubbing alcohol also kills bacteria.
  • Ready to use – unlike some other cleaning methods, rubbing alcohol is ready to be used without mixing it with other products.


  • Irritating – it’s recommended to put on gloves when using rubbing alcohol since it may sometimes cause irritation.

Here’s how to use rubbing alcohol to clean hair dye stains:

  • Take rubbing alcohol and apply some to a cotton pad or a rag.
  • Rub it onto the dye stains until it’s removed.

You can repeat this multiple times to make sure everything is clean and rinse with water afterward.

Moving on to another product that helps to get hair dye off the counter.

5) Rag

Rag to clean hair dye off the counter

None of the above methods would work without a good rag. Let’s see how effective it can be:


  • No additional products – with a good rag, there’s no need to use toxic products to get rid of splatters, just take it and rub the stain. For best results, it’s recommended to use microfiber rags or other fabrics made of 100% cotton.


  • Not as effective – removing hair dye with just a rag may work on fresh stains but won’t be effective if they are dry.

The process of using this method is pretty simple. Just take the rag and rub the dye until it’s clean. For more effectiveness, you can dampen it a little bit.

Let’s move on to the last product on my list.

6) WD-40

WD-40 to remove hair dye off the counter
Credit: Maxiscoot

If you’re looking for 100% results, this product is exactly what you need. WD-40 spray is a highly effective method, but it also comes with a few disadvantages.  


  • Perfect for stains and residue – this product is great for removing permanent hair dye stains from almost any surface.


  • Not for plastic – when using WD-40 for household cleaning, make sure to keep it away from plastic surfaces – it can damage them.
  • Skin irritation – the product may cause skin irritation, hence it’s recommended to use protective gloves.

Here’s how to apply WD-40 to remove hair dye stains:

  • Spray WD-40 on the dye spot and let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Take a towel and wipe it away.

Reapply the product to make sure the hair dye is completely gone.

How to Remove Hair Dye Stains from Different Surface Types

The method of getting rid of hair colorant splatters can be different depending on the surface material. Also, you should be careful not to do even more damage to it. 

Therefore, below I will share tactics to remove hair dye stains from various types of surfaces.

1) Granite

The most effective method for cleaning hair dye from the granite bathroom counter is using hydrogen peroxide and talc powder mix. Create a paste with the mixture and apply it to the stained area. 

Then, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it for 48 hours for it to work its magic. Make sure to take hydrogen peroxide with a low concentration, 3% is the best, otherwise, it can be toxic.

2) Marble

You need a few ingredients to get hair dye off surfaces like marble, which is often used for coffee tables. Take isopropyl alcohol and mix it with salt, baking soda, or cornstarch to make a paste. Then apply it to the stained area, cover it with plastic wrap and leave overnight. 

You can also try cleaning it with acetone. However, you need to do a small patch test on marble to make sure it doesn’t damage the surface.

3) Wood

For some mild spots, you can try a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Apply the mixed paste to a piece of cloth and rub it on the stained area. If this doesn’t work, try mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide. 

But be aware that the peroxide may discolor the wood, so a small test is recommended beforehand.

4) Laminate

Take a few spoons of baking soda, depending on the stain’s size, and mix it with hydrogen peroxide. The paste should be enough to remove the hair dye stain. 

However, be sure not to use a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide since it can be toxic.

5) Ceramics

Firstly, you can try a magic pen sold in any store with cleaning products. If that doesn’t work, you can use rubbing alcohol to remove the dye from the ceramic sink counter. But to be sure it doesn’t damage the surface, do a small patch test at first.

6) Porcelain

A tried and true method for removing hair dye from porcelain is with effervescent denture cleaner. All you need to do is crash a few tablets in a bowl and add some water to make a paste. 

Then take a towel, dip it in the paste and rub it well on the stain. Leave it for around ten minutes and wash it away.

7) Stainless steel

If you have a stainless steel counter that has hair dye on it, rubbing alcohol is your best friend. Just add some on the towel and rub off the stain. This should be enough to get rid of it permanently.

Tips on How to Get Hair Dye off Other Surfaces in Your Home

Dying hair at home can stain the counter and not only. Some may even be using a coffee table, a chair, or maybe an outdoor table to rest the hair dye on, so any surface can get stained.

Read on to learn how to remove hair dye stains from various surfaces in your home.

1) Clothes

You can try Vanish, which is perfect for removing blemishes from clothes. Also, you can apply some liquid detergent to the stained area and wait until the dye lifts off.

One of the best methods, however, is using hairspray. For best results, you need to spray the area and blot with a paper towel, then reapply the hair spray and leave overnight. The next day, apply the hairspray once again and blot with a paper towel, then finally rinse with water.

2) Leather

The best tried and true method for removing hair dye from leather, from my own experience, is hairspray. Just spray some of the product on the dye and wipe it off with a towel. 

If you want to remove this stain from your skin, do not use any chemicals. Instead, you can use vaseline, olive oil, or makeup remover.

3) Carpet

It can be pretty challenging to get rid of hair dye stains on the carpet. Luckily, there are multiple methods you can try. Firstly, mix a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and a tablespoon of white vinegar in two cups of warm water and use a sponge to clean the carpet. 

If this doesn’t get the job done, try to use rubbing alcohol or spray the area with hairspray to lift off the dye. Just make sure not to rub too hard on the stains and use a blotting technique instead.

4) Bed sheets

Having hair dye on bed sheets is not the best feeling for sure, especially if they are white. If washing with liquid detergent doesn’t help, you can try liquid chlorine bleach. Soak in the stained area inside a water and bleach solution and leave for 15 minutes. Be aware that the bleach may also remove the color of the fabric.

5) Dishes

Dishes are often made of ceramics or porcelain, so you can use one of the methods mentioned above. Try using rubbing alcohol but do a patch test to avoid damaging the dishes, especially if they have some designs on them.

6) Sofa and armchairs

All you need to do is add a tablespoon of white vinegar and a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid into two cups of warm water and dip a towel in the mixture. Dab the towel onto the stain without rubbing.

7) Tablecloth

If regular washing doesn’t help, you can try adding a tablespoon of white vinegar into warm water. Dip a towel in the solution and dab it onto the area with hair dye to remove the stain. Just like with other fabric items, make sure not to rub the stain.


These were all my tips and tricks on how to get hair dye off the counter.

Whenever you have trouble with hair dye stains, remember that for each type of surface, you may need different products that will be gentle and not ruin it. And don’t fret if you see a stain like this – you already have all the solutions to get rid of it in your home.

Did this article help with your issue? If so, follow my blog, where I constantly share various guides on home improvement, health care, beauty, and beyond.

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