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Steps to Remove Dye from Hardwood Flooring

Have you dripped dye on your hardwood or vinyl flooring? Then you know how hard – sometimes impossible – it can be to remove! One of the worst parts of dripping hair dye onto a floor is that, depending on the color, until it processes you might not realize you’ve dripped any to begin with.

wood flooring by Timber Floors Pty Ltd

Image by Timber Floors Pty Ltd via Flickr

There are several cleaning solutions you can try to remove dyes like this. Alcohol  will dilute the dye and remove the stain a layer at a time while fingernail polish can also help and will break down the dye and remove the stain. You can also try to clean and strip the color off the floor, but this will remove the floor’s finish as well which will mean you have to refinish the floor once the stain has been removed. Before going this route, however, here are some steps to try to remove that

pesky stain.

  1. Wipe the spill up immediately, dabbing at it with paper towels. Resist the urge to rub the spill as it will only spread it around and make the stain larger.
  2. Following the blotting, pour some rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol on the stain and wipe with a clean, white cloth. If you use a cloth with any kind of color, that color will transfer to the floor making the stain worse.  Repeat the process of adding alcohol to the white cloth and blotting the stained area, using a clean section of the cloth each time.
  3. If you’re going to use fingernail polish remover to remove the stain, again use a clean, white cloth and pour some polish remover onto it and dab. Do not rub as you won’t want to spread the stain.
  4. The most labor intensive way to remove a stain is to remove the floor varnish with a stripper and a cleaner. Put some of the floor stripper onto a clean, white scrubbing pad – not a cloth. Wipe the area in circles to remove both the stain and the floor varnish. Bear in mind that once the stain has been removed you will have to refinish and varnish that section of flooring. This method could also leave sections of your floor that look newer than others so you really have to consider this process before you do it.

With any stain, your best bet is to treat it immediately. Once the stain has a chance to set and dry, it becomes more challenging – and sometimes – impossible to remove and may require the use of a professional to help get it out.

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