How to Remove Permanent Hair Dye From Leather?

How to Remove Permanent Hair Dye From Leather?

Permanent hair dye is a great way to change your look, but what do you do if you accidentally dye your leather couch or chair? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this guide, we will walk you through the steps necessary to remove permanent hair dye from leather. We’ll provide tips on how to avoid staining in the first place, and offer advice on how to fix any damage that may have been caused. So whether your leather furniture is brand new or a well-loved old piece, read on for all the information you need to get it looking like new again!

Methods for Removing Permanent Dye From the Leather

Leather is a material that can be used for clothing, furniture, and other products. It is generally made from the skin of animals such as cowhide or sheepskin. Leather has been used since ancient times and continues to be a popular choice in modern-day fashion and home décor.

Because the leather is so expensive and valuable, you want to make sure that it is properly cared for and maintained in order to keep it looking its best. However, while leather is generally resistant to stains, it’s not 100% stain-proof. Permanent hair dye can be especially difficult to remove from leather because the dye is designed to last a long time.

Maybe you had an accident with your hair dye and got it on your beautiful leather purse, or maybe you just want to switch up the color of the leather chair that has been in the family for years. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to know how to remove permanent hair dye from leather without damaging it. This type of dye is difficult to remove because it contains long-lasting pigments that have bonded to the leather fibers. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to safely clean off the stains without damaging the material or fading its color.

Methods for Removing Permanent Dye From the Leather

So, what are the best methods for removing permanent hair dye from leather? You can try a few different techniques to get rid of the stains, depending on what type of leather you have and the extent of the damage. In this section, we will discuss some of the most effective methods for removing permanent hair dye from leather. [1] [2]

Getting Rid of the Fresh Stain

If the dye stain is still fresh on the leather, you should try to act quickly to remove it. The most effective way of doing this is by simply blotting it with a damp cloth. This will help to absorb the dye before it sets into the leather, making it easier to remove. Carefully dab the stain and be sure not to scrub too hard as this may cause damage to the leather.

If you act quickly enough, chances are that you will be able to remove the stain before it sets in. One important thing to note however, you absolutely shouldn’t wipe the dye off with a wet cloth as this will only make the stain worse. [1] [2]

Remove Stains That Have Already Set In

If the permanent hair dye has already set in, it can be more difficult to remove. You should always start by testing any cleaning products on an inconspicuous part of the leather first to ensure that they won’t damage it. But there are plenty of methods you can attempt either way.

Use a commercial leather cleaner

One of the best options for removing permanent hair dye is to use a commercial leather cleaner. Commercial leather cleaners are specially formulated cleaning solutions that can help remove various stains from the leather, including permanent hair dye without damaging the material. These products are available in a variety of forms, including sprays, wipes, and creams. Most commercial leather cleaners contain active ingredients such as solvents and detergents that break down the dyes on contact and lift them away from the leather surface. They also usually contain emollients to nourish the leather after it has been cleaned. 

Remove Stains That Have Already Set In

When using a commercial cleaner to remove permanent hair dye from your leather, it’s important to read the instructions carefully before you begin. To ensure the best results, start by testing any cleaner you use in an inconspicuous area of the leather item first. This is to make sure that the cleaner does not cause any discoloration of the material.

When you are ready to use a leather cleaner, start by wiping away any surface dirt and dust from the item with a microfiber cloth. Then, apply the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions and let it sit on the stain for a few minutes before using a clean cloth to wipe it away. Repeat this process until all traces of dye have been removed.

Finally, once you have finished cleaning the leather item, allow it to air dry completely before using it or putting it away. This will help ensure that no residual cleaning solution remains on or in the fabric which could damage its color or texture over time.

Using a hairspray

While not as effective as a commercial leather cleaner, you can also use hairspray to remove permanent hair dye from leather. Hairsprays contain alcohol which has stain-lifting properties that make it effective in removing dyes and other stains. 

To use this method, start by spraying the stained area with a generous amount of hairspray and letting it sit for a minute before wiping it away with a damp cloth. Repeat this process until all traces of the stain have disappeared.

When using hairspray, be sure not to saturate the leather too much as the alcohol content could cause damage if left on for too long or in too great of an amount. Again, spot-test any cleaning product on an inconspicuous area of the leather before trying it on the stained area to be sure that it won’t cause any discoloration.

Using a hairspray

Using a specialized dye remover for leather

Unsurprisingly, dye removers are another great option for removing permanent hair dye from leather. These products are specifically designed to safely and effectively remove permanent hair dye from leather surfaces.

Typically, they have a specification on the leather type they can be used on and it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions before use. To use them, start by cleaning the leather surface with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris that could interfere with their performance.

When using this kind of product, it’s important to carefully follow the instructions on the packaging as each product will vary in terms of how it should be applied. Usually, these products come in a foam or gel form that needs to be directly applied onto the affected area.

Repeat this process until all traces of dye have been removed and then finish by buffing the surface with a soft dry cloth.

Using rubbing alcohol

Another effective way of removing permanent hair dye from leather is to use rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, can be used to dissolve the dyes in the fabric and break them down into small particles so that they can be wiped away with a cloth.

To use rubbing alcohol to remove permanent hair dye from leather, start by blotting the stain with a damp cloth to absorb any excess dye on the surface. Then, dip a cotton swab or soft cloth in some rubbing alcohol and gently dab it onto the stained area until the dye begins to fade away. Be sure not to scrub too hard as this may cause damage to the leather.

Be very careful using rubbing alcohol on leather as it can be very harsh and could cause discoloration. To avoid this, make sure to test the rubbing alcohol in an inconspicuous area of the item first before applying it directly onto the stain.

It’s also a good call to apply a leather conditioner once you’ve finished cleaning the stain. This will help to restore any moisture that was lost during the cleaning process and protect the leather from further damage.

Using a lacquer thinner

Another method that can be used to remove permanent hair dye from leather is to use a lacquer thinner. A lacquer thinner is a solvent used for thinning lacquer-based paints and stains, cleaning tools, and removing residual buildup from surfaces.

This versatile product can also be used to remove permanent hair dye from leather. Lacquer thinner usually contains a blend of solvents such as acetone, toluene, xylene, ethyl acetate, and methanol. Depending on the brand and type of lacquer thinner you purchase, some may be more concentrated or contain different ingredients than others.

When using any chemical solvents like lacquer thinner for cleaning purposes, it’s important to take safety precautions including wearing protective gloves to avoid contact with skin. Additionally, make sure that you are working in a well-ventilated area and that you keep open flames away from the area where you’re using the product.

To use lacquer thinner to remove permanent hair dye from leather, first test it on an inconspicuous spot before applying it on the visible side of the leather item. Once testing is complete, apply a small amount of lacquer thinner onto a clean cloth and gently rub the leather in circular motions until the dye begins to lift off. Continue this process until all traces of dye have been removed and then use steel wool to buff the leather. After using steel wool, wipe down with a wet cloth to remove any remaining residue. Allow the leather to dry completely before putting it back into use.

Using rubbing alcohol

Using acetone

While it might seem daunting and dangerous, using acetone to remove permanent hair dye from leather is actually an effective way of doing it, on some leathers at least.

Acetone is an organic solvent that can be used to break down and dissolve the hair dye, making it easier to remove.

However, it’s important to remember that acetone should only be used on softer leathers such as suede or nubuck. And even when using acetone on other types of leather, you should always test it in an inconspicuous area first to check color fastness and ensure that the finish won’t be damaged.

To use acetone, start by cleaning the affected area with a damp cloth to remove any surface dirt and dust. Then, mix 1 part acetone and 3 parts water in a bowl. Dip a cotton swab into the solution and use it to lightly dab at the stain, repeating until all traces of dye have been removed. Finally, wipe the area with a dampened cloth and allow it to air dry completely before using it.

It’s important to note that you should never use neat (undiluted) acetone on leather as this can cause irreparable damage to the material.

Using a saddle soap

If all else fails, it might be time to try a saddle soap. Saddle soap is a traditional leather-cleaning formula made from fats and oils. This mixture has been used for centuries to clean, condition, and protect saddles, belts, boots, jackets, and other leather goods. It is available in solid form or as a liquid concentrate. Saddle soap softens the leather material with its blend of natural fats and oils so that dirt can be more easily removed. It also helps to restore the original color and texture of the leather by replenishing lost nutrients.

Using acetone

To use saddle soap properly, it should be applied with a damp cloth or sponge using circular motions until it forms a thick lather. Once the lather has been worked into the surface of the leather item, let it sit for several minutes. For best results, use saddle soap according to the instructions on your chosen product’s packaging. Once done, wipe off any remaining saddle soap residue with a damp cloth and allow the item to air dry completely. Then, condition the leather with a quality leather conditioner to help it restore and maintain its original color, softness, and texture. [1] [2] [3]

General Tips

Now you should have a better understanding of how to remove permanent hair dye from leather. But to achieve the best results, it’s important to apply the right technique and use the right products.

Try to deal with stains when they are still fresh

The quicker you act, the better the result will be. When permanent hair dye is still fresh, it’s easier to remove it from leather surfaces. The longer you leave it, the more difficult and time-consuming it becomes. In case of a wet stain, just blotting usually will be enough to remove most of the dye, but for more stubborn stains you will need to use some specialist products.

Choose the right product for your type of leather

There are many different types of leather, so it’s important to find the right product for your type. Certain types of leather like suede or nubuck may require special products, so it’s best to check the label of your leather item before purchasing a cleaning product. Once you have determined the type of leather, you can choose an appropriate cleaner.

We will also keep mentioning how important it is to test any product on a hidden area first, as some products may contain harsh chemicals that could damage the leather surface. Some common cleaning agents suitable for leather include gentle dishwashing soap, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol.

Always condition the leather afterward

Once you have successfully removed the permanent hair dye from the leather, it is important to condition it afterward. This will help restore some of the natural oils that have been stripped away and prevent further damage. You can use a dedicated leather conditioner or a product like mineral oils. Massage the product into the leather surface and leave it to absorb overnight before buffing off any excess with a soft cloth.

Avoid using harsh chemicals

While sometimes the situation may seem so hopeless that you are tempted to try harsh chemicals, it is not recommended. Harsh chemicals can cause serious damage to the leather surface and should be avoided. If there is no other way, make sure to test the product on a small patch of the leather material first before using it on a larger area.


How do I protect the leather from stains?

The best way to protect the leather from stains is by using a leather protector. This will offer a layer of protection between the leather and any spills or stains that might occur, making it easier to clean up messes and preventing permanent damage to your leather goods.

When applying a protector, make sure to use one specifically made for leather as other products such as oil-based conditioners may cause discoloration. Start by cleaning the surface of the leather item with a damp cloth, then apply the protector in small circular motions using a soft cloth. Allow it to dry thoroughly before using your item.

How do I protect the leather from stains?

Can you get hair color out of leather?

Yes, it is possible to get hair dye out of leather. While some dyes are more difficult to remove than others, there are several techniques you can use to effectively lift the dye from the surface of your leather item.

The most effective technique for removing permanent hair dye from leather is applying a specialized solution designed specifically for this purpose. Most leather cleaners come with a degreaser or other product designed to remove chemical compounds from the surface of leather. Additionally, you can also use products such as rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and dish detergent, though these may not be as effective.

It is important to remember that when attempting to dye leather, it should always be tested on an inconspicuous area first. As leather is naturally porous, it is more prone to damage than other materials and can easily be stained if the wrong method or cleaner is used.

Can permanent hair dye be removed from leather?

Yes, permanent hair dye can be removed from the leather. It is not an easy task and will require careful attention to detail and a few specialized products and materials. However, it is possible to remove the dye without damaging the leather.

If the stain is fresh, you can simply blot it with a damp cloth and be careful not to rub it too hard. This can help absorb some of the dye, but it will not remove all of it.

For deeper stains, you might need to use specialized products such as leather cleaners. These are available from most hardware stores and online retailers. Make sure that you carefully follow the instructions on the label when using these products, as they may damage the leather if used incorrectly.

You can also try using rubbing alcohol, which is effective at removing many dyes. However, be aware that this can also dry out the leather and cause cracking or discoloration over time. Therefore, only use this method if there are no other options available.

How do you get dye out of leather seats?

Removing permanent hair dye from leather can be tricky. However, with the right supplies and technique, it is possible to remove the dye without damaging the leather material as you have plenty of methods at your disposal.

The first thing you should try is a leather cleaner. Leather cleaners are specifically formulated to clean leather and remove any stains, dirt, and oils. Make sure you use the cleaner according to its directions on the label; some require a damp cloth with a mild soap while others may require a foam application.

Can permanent hair dye be removed from leather?

If a leather cleaner is unsuccessful in removing the dye, then you should move on to more powerful methods. These include using rubbing alcohol or acetone-based nail polish removers. Both of these products can be found in most drugstores or beauty supply stores and work by breaking down the dye molecules so they can be wiped clean from the surface of your leather seats. Just keep in mind that because of their harshness, these products may strip away the leather’s natural oils, so you should use them sparingly and always follow any directions on their packaging.

Useful Video: How to Remove Hair Dye From Surfaces : Hair Care Advice


Leather is an expensive material, and the items made from it can last for years if properly taken care of and maintained. What definitely can ruin the appearance of leather items is permanent hair dye stains, which can be hard to remove.

In this guide, we have looked at how to remove permanent hair dye from leather safely and effectively. We have covered the best methods of removing hair dye using simple household items as well as professional products like leather cleaners and conditioners. It’s important to remember that different types of leather require different cleaning techniques, so it’s best to test any product or method on an inconspicuous spot first before applying it to the entire item.

We also have covered some tips to ensure that the cleaning process will go as smoothly as possible, and how to prevent permanent hair dye stains in the future.

When trying to remove permanent hair dye from leather, it’s important to take your time and be patient. With a bit of effort and patience, you can restore your leather item back to its original condition!