Removing Dye Stains

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Since, by its nature dye of any sort is supposed to color things, removing stains caused by it from carpet is not easy. In fact, it is most often not possible. But there are things to try that might lighten a stain to the point where you no longer notice it, and there are remedies for permanent stains that go beyond removing them

Whether Easter egg dye or hair dye, clean it up fast when it spills. Depending on the type of carpeting you have it can take a while for the color to soak into the fibers. If you sop up most of it before that happens you prevent the worst dye stains. Grab paper towels, a wet/dry vacuum or whatever you have that can clean up the liquid quickly.

There are two cleaning solutions to try at this point. First add a teaspoon of non-fragrant dish washing soap to a quart of warm water and apply it to the area repeatedly, blotting it up each time with uncolored (white) paper towels or clean white cotton rags. You can work it in a bit with your fingers, but don't rub too hard or you can damage the carpet fibers.

If after using up your solution you are still seeing some transfer of the stain to a clean white cloth, mix up another batch and repeat the process. Other wise move on to the next step.

Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide to the dye stain without letting it soak too deep into the carpet (it doesn't really matter if some stain remains deeper down where you can't see it, and the hydrogen peroxide might damage the carpet backing if it soaks it too much). Allow this to sit for fifteen minutes.

Spray or drip water on the spot several times, blotting it up each time. Then dry the spot quickly, using white paper towels (just push down, don't rub) and a fan that can be left blowing on it for hours. The fast drying can be important, because in time moisture can allow dye to migrate from deeper in the carpet fibers back up to the surface, where it will become visible again.

In this video, Rich, from AskAuntPatti.com shows us how to get red dye out of carpeting, whether it comes from drink mixes or lipstick or other sources.

As mentioned, removing dye stains is not always possible, but you hopefully lightened them in any case. If they are still obvious see our page about permanent stains for other options.

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