How to Prevent Hair Dye from Staining Bathtub: 7 Useful Tips

Whether you want a simple change of color or a root touch-up, at-home hair coloring makes much more sense than spending heaps of cash at a salon. The only problem is that dye has a tendency of getting everywhere and staining everything in its path, including your sink or bathtub. Luckily, there are ways to prevent explosions of color after your at-home styling session.

Use a disposable cover liner to prevent hair dye from staining the bathtub. Petroleum jelly can protect tubs and sinks alike. Other methods include canola oil and hair spray. Before using these methods, clean your tub thoroughly to prevent the dye from clinging to soap or body wash scum.

Will Hair Dye Stain the Bathtub?

Most semi-permanent and permanent hair colors will dye everything they come in contact with, including your sink or tub, shower, vanity, bathroom furniture, carpets, towels, and even your floors if you accidentally spill or splash the product.

That said, there are ways to prevent the dye from staining your fixtures and linens. Even if you’ve never used at-home hair dyes before, follow the tips and techniques below to color your hair without making a mess.

How to Dye Hair Without Staining Tub: 7 Tips and Techniques

At-home hair coloring is inexpensive and fun. You don’t need an appointment, don’t have to worry about costs, and can even turn the job into an entertaining night-in with your besties. You should know, though, that no matter how hard you try, you’ll still make a mess. That’s why you should use the techniques below to make it easier to deal with the aftermath. 

1. Rinse Your Hair Under Running Water

Whether you decide to rinse your hair in the tub or in the sink, always do it under running water. If you fill the tub or sink and dip your hair to wash the dye off, you’ll only end up with a bigger mess.

Not only will the color stay in contact with your surfaces for longer, thus bleeding into the surface pores, but the dirty water will also stain your skin. If you rinse your hair under running water, the stream will wash away the dye immediately, minimizing the risks of ending up with a stained tub.

2. Use a Disposable Bathtub Cover Liner

Disposable bathtub cover liners are plastic sheets similar to painter’s drop cloths. The main difference between these sheets and the drop cloths is that bathtub cover liners have a hole in them that provides access to the drain.

The sheets act as a barrier between the dye and the tub’s surface, but there is always a small risk that the dyed water will leak under the cover.

For this reason, you could seal the cover around the flange with sealant tape. You should also fix it on the sink with sealant or painter’s tape. You can then get into the tub and rinse your hair without worrying about staining your white fixture.

Instead of a tub cover liner, you can also use a plastic drop cloth. Tear a hole into it to place above the drain and fix it with tape.

3. Use Petroleum Jelly

If you don’t have a tub cover liner or drop cloth at home, you can smear a layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) over the tub.

Petroleum jelly is an impermeable, greasy substance that won’t wash away under the stream. Like the cover liner, it will act as a barrier between the dye and the tub.

If you decide to use this method, know that hair dye might bleed through the Vaseline layer sooner or later, so you should be quick. Also, keep a degreaser at hand and wash away the greasy layer as soon as you’re done rinsing your hair.

4. Clean the Tub Thoroughly BEFORE Rinsing Your Hair

Sometimes, you may find yourself with hair full of coloring and no drop cloths or Vaseline. No need to despair. 

While you wait for the dye to work its magic on your locks, grab a bathroom cleaner and a soft sponge, and scrub that tub. Remove all soap or body wash scums, and as many mineral deposits as possible, if there are any.

You should make sure the tub is perfectly clean before rinsing your hair because the dye tends to cling on grime, bleeding through it and staining the surface below: the cleaner and smoother the surface, the fewer probabilities for the hair color to stain it.

5. Wash the Tub Straight Away

Another thing to keep in mind is that the sooner you rinse the tub, the less likely it is to end up with a stained fixture. 

Once you’ve rinsed your hair, wrap your head in a towel and proceed to clean the tub. You can then spend as much time as you want to coif your mane.

6. Fill the Tub Cracks with Canola Oil

Cleaning and washing the tub right away minimize the risks of staining a new – or perfectly maintained – tub. But what if your tub is older and all cracked? 

An easy way to prevent hair dye from getting into the cracks is by filling them with something else first. Canola oil is a good candidate if you’re looking for an inexpensive solution. Pour it liberally over the cracks and let it sit for a few minutes, giving it time to seep in. WD-40 or penetrating oil are other alternatives. 

Once all cracks are filled with oil, rinse your hair, then clean your tub immediately.

7. Remove Stains with Hairspray

No matter how careful you are, splashes can still end up on your fixtures, leaving small stains behind. An easy way to deal with them is with hairspray.

Spray a bit of product directly onto the stain and remove it with a damp sponge. Repeat if necessary until your tub is clean.

This method only works on fresh stains. For older stains that have set into the material already, you’ll have to use a more aggressive cleaning agent to get them out.

Is It Safe Rinsing Out Hair Dye in the Shower?

Rinsing out hair dye in the shower is safe, but be prepared to deal with a lot of mess. Not only will the hair coloring stain your tub or shower plate, but it will also stain your skin. For this reason, we advise against it.

Suggested Place To Rinse Out Hair Dye

The easiest way to rinse out hair dye without creating too big of a mess is in the sink – provided you have a bathroom sink that’s large enough for the purpose.

An alternative is rinsing your hair in the bathtub. Get into the tub and kneel in front of the faucet. Bow your head and only get your hair under the stream. Wear the gloves that come with the dye or a pair of latex gloves, and rinse your hair until the water comes out clean.

Wrap your hair in an old towel to prevent dye bleeds from staining your new linens, and clean the tub immediately.

What If Hair Dye Left Stain in Your Bath?

No matter how careful you are, hair dye can stain your surfaces easily. Left to dry, these stains are hard – if not impossible – to remove. That’s why you should always deal with them promptly. Here’s how to get hair coloring off your bathtub.

How To Get Hair Dye Off Bathtub

Many tips and techniques suggest using bleach or other whitening agents to remove hair dye stains from your tub or sink. However, hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners work better. Here’s how to do it.

1. Gather the necessary supplies 

For this task, you’ll need: 

  • Hydrogen peroxide-based bathroom cleaner 
  • Soft brush or sponge
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • White vinegar (optional)

2. Apply the cleaner and let it sit

Hydrogen peroxide is the agent used to bleach hair – including dyed hair. Thus, it is easy to understand that it can also get rid of the stains in your tub. 

Instead of using a hair bleaching product, select a hydrogen peroxide-based bathroom cleaner such as Lysol or Clorox Bathroom Foamer. Spray the product on the stains and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

3. Remove the stain

Scrub the stained surface with a soft brush or sponge until the stain comes off. Fresh stains are generally easy to remove in one go, but older stains may require you to repeat the process a few times. If the stain doesn’t come off right away, let the tub dry completely before trying again (preferably the next day).

4. Remove discoloration with baking soda and white vinegar

If the stain is still present after you’ve washed it with hydrogen peroxide a few times, you can try to remove it with baking soda and white vinegar.

Baking soda is abrasive, so you shouldn’t try this on acrylic (or other plastic) tubs because you’ll scratch the surface. However, the method works on ceramic tubs.

Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and scrub it with a damp sponge or brush. Sprinkle some more baking soda, and pour some white vinegar over it. Wait until it stops bubbling. Scrub until the stain comes off.

Final Thoughts

Coloring your hair at home is a cost-effective and fun yet messy process. You can get rid of the stains, though, as long as you deal with them promptly. Hopefully, this guide will help you dye your locks without turning your bathroom into an unsightly explosion of color.

Recent Posts