How To Get Tie-Dye Off Skin: 16 Effective Methods To Try

Woman washing her soapy hands under faucet.

Tie-dye is all fun and games until you wind up with a rainbow of stains all over your skin!

The best way to remedy stains is to prevent them in the first place. Wear disposable gloves when working with tie-dye, and dress in old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained. 

If you forgot to wear gloves or you accidentally spilled some dye on your skin, have no fear.

This article covers multiple techniques for removing tie-dye stains from your skin using common household items.

Supplies Needed

One or more of the following:

  • Baking Soda
  • Pumice stone
  • Sugar scrub
  • Vinegar
  • Oil
  • Lotion
  • Soap
  • Nail polish remover
  • Bleach
  • Lemon juice
  • Toothpaste that contains baking soda
  • Shampoo
  • Makeup remover
  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Option #1 – Baking Soda

Baking soda is a substance that everyone should have in their homes, as it has multiple uses for cleaning and cooking as well as removing stains from the skin. 

Add a little bit of water to baking soda to form a paste, then let the paste sit on your skin for 5 minutes.

You can also add lemon juice to the baking soda paste as its acidity can have a bleaching effect on the skin. Next, scrub it into your skin using your hands or a scrub brush, and rinse with water.

You can alternately use toothpaste that contains baking soda to remove tie-dye from your skin. Just follow the same steps as you would with the baking soda paste. 

Option #2 – Exfoliating

Exfoliating can be done with a pumice stone or with an exfoliating scrub.

A pumice stone is a roughly textured volcanic rock that is used to remove dead skin cells. To remove a tie-dye stain, gently scrub the pumice stone across your skin several times, then rinse with water.

You can also use an exfoliating scrub, like this organic sugar scrub with peppermint and tea tree oil, to remove tie-dye from your skin. You can buy an exfoliating scrub at the store, or make your own. 

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To make your own sugar scrub at home, combine 1 cup sugar with ½ a cup of oil and 4 drops of an essential oil of your choice.

The oil can be any kind of carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil. Store the sugar scrub in a glass mason jar with a lid.

Using a sugar scrub to remove tie-dye from your skin is a good choice as it is a gentle exfoliant that also has moisturizing qualities. 

Option #3 – Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that works as an acid and breaks down the molecules in the tie-dye, aiding in the removal of the dye from your skin. 

To remove tie-dye from your skin with vinegar, soak a cotton ball in vinegar and apply it to the stain.

Rub the stain with the cotton ball until the dye comes off, then rinse your skin with water, and dry it off with a towel.

Option #4 – Oil or Lotion

Olive oil, coconut oil, baby oil, and lotions are all excellent choices for removing tie-dye from sensitive skin.

Soak a cotton ball in the oil or lotion of your choice, and then massage it into the stained area for 5-15 minutes.

If the stain still remains, you can leave the oil on your skin overnight, then rinse with water and towel dry.

You can also combine this method with an exfoliating technique of your choice for better results. 

Option #5 – Soap and Water

The good news is that most tie-dyes are fiber-reactive dyes, which are water soluble.

This means that if you catch the spill right away, soap and water can be an effective means of removing the dye from your skin. 

Even if you don’t catch the spill right away, old tie-dye stains will eventually fade away over time and after multiple washes.

To remove tie-dye from your skin, create a lather with regular hand or body soap and scrub for 30 seconds with your hands or a gentle scrub brush.

Orange soaps can be used for tougher stains. Rinse with warm or hot water. (I personally love this one with pumice for gentle scrubbing.)

Repeat the process, or combine with other techniques to remove any leftover dye from your skin. 

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Option #6 – Stain Remover

You can buy stain remover specially designed to remove dye from your skin at a drugstore or online (find it at a good price here).

Follow the directions on the container, and be sure to wash and rinse the area with soap and water when finished. 

No products found.

Option #7 – Nail Polish Remover

The acetone in nail polish remover is the ingredient that will work to remove tie-dye stains from your skin, so make sure you’re not using a natural or acetone-free nail polish remover.

Soak a cotton ball in the nail polish remover, and wipe the stain from your skin. Make sure to wash the area with soap and water when finished.

It’s better to use a different method if you are removing tie-dye stains from a child’s skin, as acetone vapors can be irritating, and it can be harmful if swallowed.

Acetone can also be drying, so you will want to be sure to apply a moisturizer after using this method. 

Option #8 – Bleach

You can use bleach to remove a tie-dye stain, but it must be diluted. Bleach is very powerful and can burn your skin if applied directly.

If you do accidentally get undiluted bleach on your skin, it is important to rinse it off under cold water immediately.

If you have sensitive skin or if you are trying to remove stains from a child’s skin, do not use bleach. Do not use bleach on your face, near your eyes, or on any other sensitive areas of your body. 

To clean a tie-dye stain with bleach, add a splash of bleach to a large pitcher of water. Dip a washcloth in the bleach solution and gently scrub the stained area.

Be sure to rinse the skin well with cold water afterward and to apply a moisturizer to keep the bleach from drying your skin out. 

Option #9 – Shampoo

You will need a shampoo that contains sulfates for this method.

Sulfates are foaming detergents that are responsible for the lathering effect that gets your hair clean and are great for removing tie-dye stains from your skin. 

To use shampoo to remove tie-dye stains, simply pour the shampoo on a dry washcloth and scrub your skin with it. Then rinse the area with warm water and dry with a towel.

You can apply lotion or body oil after using this method to keep the shampoo from drying your skin out. 

Option #10 – Makeup Remover

You can either swipe a makeup removing wipe (these are excellent) over the affected area of your skin, or soak a cotton ball in liquid makeup remover and rub the stain off.

Rinse the area with water and apply a moisturizer after cleaning. 

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Option #11 – Dish Soap

Dishwashing soap has been praised for its strong yet gentle cleaning properties.

Apply a small amount of dish soap to a warm, wet washcloth, and lightly scrub the stained area of your skin, and rinse with water. 

Option #12 – Laundry Soap

Laundry detergent can be used in the same manner as dish soap, but it should not be used on sensitive skin.

Pour a very small amount of detergent onto a warm, wet washcloth, and gently wipe the tie-dye stain from your skin.

Be sure to rinse all of the laundry detergent off your skin with warm water afterward.

Option #13 – Vaseline

Vaseline is a petroleum jelly that is commonly used to treat dry skin. To remove tie-dye stains from your skin, rub Vaseline into the stain until it begins to come off, then wipe the area with a dry cotton ball.

Wash the skin with soap and water to remove residual dye. 

Option #14 – Rubbing Alcohol

Apply rubbing alcohol to the tie-dye stain, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Then wipe the area with a dry cotton ball, and wash your skin with soap and water.

You can apply a moisturizer afterward to counteract the drying effects of rubbing alcohol. 

Option #15 – Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties that can help to remove tie-dye stains from your skin. Be sure to use 3% hydrogen peroxide to keep from irritating your skin.

Apply the hydrogen peroxide to the stained area, let it sit for several minutes, then wipe the area with a dry cotton ball. Rinse the skin with water when finished. 

Option #16 – Milk

Some people swear by milk as an effective dye remover. Soak a cotton ball in milk, and rub it into the stained area for at least 5 minutes or until you see the tie-dye begin to lift from the skin.

Rinse with warm water and apply lotion or oil to the affected area. 

That’s a Wrap! 

There are tons of different techniques for removing tie-dye stains from your skin, so don’t let a fear of spills stop you from creating your tie-dye masterpiece!

Last update on 2024-05-28 at 03:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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I am a writer and an artist taking opportunities every day to transform my dreams into reality. I love learning new things and am always creating and innovating. I worked as an Art Instructor, teaching painting and art techniques to artists of all levels and ages. I have hosted countless paint parties and taught children’s art classes both in my home as well as an art teacher at a Montessori school.