Making tie-dye t-shirts is so much fun, but the cleanup can be messy. You know how difficult it can be to remove the dye if you’ve ever found yourself with splotches of color in your hands, hair, or sink.
Tie-dye can be removed in a variety of ways with tools you most likely already have at home. With these 8 simple methods, we’ve got you and your kids covered for removing those tough stains from your hands. They range from baking soda to vinegar to nail polish remover.
Is Tie Dye Harmful To Your Skin?
Although it will temporarily stain your hands and nails if you touch the dye, tie dye is not bad for your skin. Fiber-reactive dyes, which are made of petrochemicals, are the most common coloring used in commercial tie-dye. Reactive fiber dyes form a molecular bond with fabrics made of cellulose, such as cotton.
Although you should avoid breathing in dye powder, these dyes are much less toxic than many other types of dye.
However, you’ll want to make sure nobody eats any of this dye! You should take safety precautions to prevent any children from ingesting dye if you intend to use tie-dye with very young children who might be tempted to stick colorful fingers in their mouths.
When tie-dye dye comes into contact with your skin, it should not hurt you or your children because tie-dye kits intentionally use kid-friendly, safe coloring agents.
Nevertheless, each person’s response to these things varies, so it’s always possible that you or your children could have an allergic reaction. You can always take some precautions when using tie-dye for this reason and just to keep things less messy.
Make sure everyone is first gloved up. If you’re working with children, you can turn this into a game by having everyone act like they’re scientists in a top-secret lab! Gloves will go a long way toward preventing the dye from getting on your skin.
Goggles are another option for eye protection from splashes, and smocks or aprons are another options for clothing protection.
Although getting tie-dyed in your hair is probably not very likely, you can always ask everyone to put their hair up in ponytails or hair clips when necessary to prevent this.
The majority of tie-dye coloring will wash off your skin naturally in a few days. However, it stands to reason that you should take the dye out sooner if you don’t want to go through life with hands that are spotted with blue and purple.
How To Get Tie Dye Off Hands?
Tie-dye can be removed from your hands and fingers using baking soda, which is probably the most efficient and popular method. It works by dissolving the dye’s active ingredients, and it is also very useful for getting dye out of your clothes.
Create a paste by combining a half-teaspoon of baking soda with water. Any persistent stains will quickly disappear if you then rub the paste on your hands like you would with hand soap.
If you’re unsure of how baking soda will affect your skin, test it on a small area first to see if it causes any redness. Baking soda can irritate some people’s skin. To lessen irritation, make sure to dilute the soda with water.
Since some toothpaste contains baking soda, they are a good backup if you don’t have any on hand; if not, you’ll need to try a different approach. All that is necessary to get rid of those annoying stains is a tiny squeeze of toothpaste applied to your hands. Make sure to rinse off any leftover paste.
We also have suggestions for how to remove tie dye from your hands without baking soda for people with sensitive skin.
Our hands’ top layer of skin is actually dead, and the dye is simply resting on top of it. By exfoliating, you remove this dead layer and the stain-causing dye. Don’t scrub too hard and remove the entire top layer of skin, whatever you do.
Instead, gently but effectively exfoliate; baking soda, which you likely have at home, is a good choice. Jonathon Spagat, the creative director at Rit Dye, claims that sugar or body scrubs are also efficient. After removing the dead skin layer from your skin, lotion and/or oils in scrubs are useful for rehydrating it.
Be careful not to dilute your sugar or baking soda with too much lotion or water. A surplus of liquid will render unnecessary the abrasiveness required to remove the dye. When adding liquid, err on the side of graininess by only adding enough to cover your hands.
Oil Based Products
Tie-dye removal products with an oil base are excellent. People with sensitive skin can also benefit from using oil-based moisturizers or even just plain oil, which removes tie dye much more effectively than regular soap. Simply apply the oil to the stained areas and rub it in gently.
To completely remove the tie-dye stains from your skin, this method might take several minutes to work and repeat applications.
When cleaning hands, using oil can help keep them from drying out. Use any oil you happen to have around the house, including olive oil and baby oil.
If you want to keep the skin on your baby’s or toddler’s hands moisturized while removing any dye, baby oil is the best option. Consider using a moisturizer with an oil base if you don’t like the way your hands feel greasy.
With this next advice, we return to the kitchen. To clean the stained area of your skin, dab a cotton pad in white vinegar. Salad dressing may smell like you, but it should still be able to help lift stains.
Acidic vinegar can irritate the skin, so avoid using it on exposed skin. If you are concerned about skin sensitivity, disregard this suggestion.
Nail Polish Remover
Acetone, which is used to remove nail polish, is an effective stain and dye remover for a variety of stains. It is a stronger chemical than most of the other home remedies suggested here, which is a drawback to its amazing stain-removing abilities. However, if you have sensitive skin, you might not want to try this method just in case. Acetone shouldn’t hurt your skin.
Additionally, if you have children, you might want to avoid this technique. Unless they have a sensitivity to it, acetone won’t hurt their skin, but it shouldn’t be consumed! You shouldn’t employ this technique if there’s even a remote possibility that your child might put their fingers in their mouth.
To use nail polish remover to get tie-dye off your skin:
- To eliminate as much dye as possible, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
- Put a cotton ball in nail polish remover, hold it over the sink with your hands still there, and wipe the dye stain with the cotton ball.
- When the old cotton ball turns colorful, replace it with a fresh one.
- When there is no longer any dye visible, thoroughly wash your hands once more to get the acetone off.
Professional Stain Removers
You may need to choose professional stain removal products if you have tried every method on this list and still can’t seem to get the stains off your hands or your children’s hands. To keep your skin free of stains, a variety of professional products are available.
Try hair dye-remover wipes, for instance, which are widely available in beauty salons. It’s best to save these stain removers for when nothing else is working and you really need their hands to be stain-free, even though they are excellent for getting tie dye off your skin.
They do contain chemicals that are harsh on the skin.
Commercial Stain Removers
Numerous commercially available items, such as fabric dye removers and hair dye wipes, can also effectively remove tie dye from your skin. You can also remove tie-dye from your skin by using turpentine if you don’t mind the smell.
Pour a few drops of turpentine onto a clean cloth and apply it to the dye stain. The dye ought to instantly dissolve and leave your skin after doing this. But make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward!
The drawback of using commercial products is the possibility that they contain hazardous chemicals. They might itch your skin or have a pungent smell. Before attempting to remove a commercial stain from your skin, make sure you have read the ingredients list!
In many drug stores or at a beauty salon, you can find products for removing hair dye like handy wipes. Furthermore, these can take off tie-dye! Furthermore, since this kind of product is intended for use on your skin, it shouldn’t hurt you.
Fabric dye-removing products are sold by the majority of craft stores, as well as many online retailers. For instance, RIT Dye offers a line of remover goods.
One of the most widely used ink and dye stain removers is rubbing alcohol. Due to its chemical similarities and ability to dissolve a variety of ink and dye, rubbing alcohol is particularly effective on stains that resemble ink.
Because it is a degreasing agent, rubbing alcohol also removes oil-based stains from any surface.
To get tie-dye off your skin using rubbing alcohol:
- You’ll probably get some dye on your hands while doing this, so keep them over a sink or basin.
- Rub alcohol should be applied to a cotton ball or a fresh, clean sponge.
- Gently wipe the sponge over the stained area of your skin. On the sponge, color ought to appear right away! Clean it off with running water, squeeze most of the moisture out, and then soak it once more in alcohol.
- Scrub your hand gently to remove any last traces of color.
- Use soap and water to wash your hands. To see if any dye is still present, examine the skin under a bright light. If so, use this approach again.
How Long Does Tie-Dye Last on Skin?
Your skin will naturally lose the tie dye in a few days or even up to two weeks. Even if you unintentionally painted your hands a dark blue or rich purple, it won’t take long for the dye to wash off because your skin cells will grow back and replace the old ones within two weeks.
The majority of the dye will usually come off your skin when you immediately wash your hands after being exposed to tie dye. You can also safely eat with your hands even if you still see some dye as long as you used soap and scrubbed thoroughly.
Given everything, you probably don’t want to wear dye-stained hands to work or school! You’ll probably prefer a quicker removal technique to waiting a few days or two weeks for the dye to naturally fade.
How Can You prevent your hands from getting stained?
Let’s talk about how to avoid getting dye on your hands the next time you tie-dye even though it might be too late for you right now.
- When handling the dye, wearing rubber or latex gloves is the best way to keep your hands from becoming stained.
- Alternately, use plastic bottles to apply the tie dye instead of submerging your shirts in dye buckets.
- As soon as you can, wash your hands with soap and water if you do manage to get dye on them.
While tie-dye naturally fades off the skin over several days, using regular household items to remove this color will hasten the process. Tie-dye stains can be safely removed from the skin using vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, and olive oil. Tie-dye can also be removed from your skin successfully using stronger treatments like nail polish removers or commercial stain removers.
We sincerely hope that these suggestions will enable you to get rid of your hands’ annoying tie-dye stains! And hopefully the following time you’ll be able to prevent getting them in the first place.
Read More: How To Tie Dye With Bleach? 6 Easy Steps