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How to Use Baking Soda to Remove Hair Dye

Did you know you could use baking soda to remove hair dye? We’ve all been in situations where we’ve dyed our hair and don’t like it, but we aren’t sure how to remove the dye!

Dyeing your hair is a commitment and it can be hard to undo mistakes! This is where baking soda can help! This post tells you everything you need to know about how you can use baking soda to remove hair dye.

Baking Soda to Remove Hair Dye

Baking Soda to Remove Hair Dye

Why is baking soda good for removing hair dye?

Baking soda is good for removing hair dye or fading the hair color if it’s too bright. This is because baking soda is able to break down the dye molecules and remove them from the hair strands.

Since baking soda is alkaline it is able to neutralize the acidity in hair dye and remove some of the dye molecules from your locks.

Baking soda is an effective natural way to fade dye over time. It’s not as dramatic as a hair dye remover, but it works. It’s also gentle, cheap and convenient.

How to Use Baking soda to remove hair dye

To use baking soda to remove hair dye:

  1. Wash your hair with warm water. The heat from the water opens the cuticle of the hair shaft and allows the baking soda to penetrate deeper into the hair cuticles.
  2. Mix a quarter cup of baking soda in water till you form a paste. The consistency should be smooth and even, but not too runny.
  3. Rub the paste onto your hair and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. This allows the hair dye to break down and the baking soda to lift it out. If your hair is thicker, try a tablespoon of baking soda for every cup of water.

If you want further lightening, repeat this process till you get the desired result. Most hair colors will fade with 2-3 treatments, but permanent dark dye might take more treatments.

Make sure you don’t scrub too hard when you apply the mixture to avoid breaking the hair strands.

Benefits of Using Baking Soda to Remove Hair Dye

The big benefit of using baking soda to remove hair dye is that it’s cheap and convenient. You can also use it anytime to fade your hair color naturally instead of having a professional do it for you. The treatment will help to lighten the hair with just one wash, so there’s no need to wait for several weeks to see the results.

Baking soda can also be used to remove hair dye stains from your skin, nails, or even your carpet! It’s an effective method for removing both permanent and semi-permanent hair color.

Downside of Using Baking Soda to Remove Hair Dye

The downside of using baking soda to remove hair dye is that the results can be uneven if you’re not careful, and it takes a long time to remove the dye completely.

If you have sensitive skin baking soda can also cause irritation and redness on the scalp. Although it’s a great option for removing unwanted color you should be careful about getting too much on your skin.

Tips on Using Baking Soda to Remove Hair Dye

Here are some tips on how to use baking soda effectively to remove hair dye:

  1. Not all hair is the same, so before using baking soda, it’s best to test a strand of your hair in an out-of-the-way place before using it over your whole head.
  2. Be patient! It takes time for the baking soda to remove the dye. You have to repeat the process until you get it right. Patience is a virtue when using baking soda to remove hair dye as it might take more than one treatment and several weeks for the color to completely fade.
  3. Protect your skin! If you’re not careful, the scrubbing might cause redness on your scalp or dry out your skin. Be gentle with your skin and try to avoid getting too much on your scalp.
  4. Use a deep conditioner regularly to put moisture back into your hair. This will help to keep your hair healthy and prevent any damage from the baking soda treatments.
  5. Don’t mix baking soda with other dyes, peroxide or natural colorants! The reaction between these chemicals might cause damage to your hair.
  6. The amount of time it will take to remove the dye completely will depend on the condition of your hair as well as whether you were using permanent or semi-permanent hair dye.

Other Ingredients for Removing Hair Dye

In addition to baking soda, there are many other home remedies you can use to remove permanent hair dye including lemon juice, vinegar, soap or epsom salt.

Different natural methods may work better for different hair types and the best way may be to experiment to see what works for you. You could test out a few of the options below on a different hair strand to see which is most effective for your hair.

Lemon Juice

The citric acid present in lemon juice is known to be a good natural way to remove hair color. If you don’t have any baking soda, use the juice from half of a fresh lemon in water to open up the hair shaft and then wash your hair.

The one downside is that it can be hard to apply, so it’s best to use in addition with baking soda or another natural ingredient for removing permanent hair dye.

Citric acid can also safely lighten dark color by a couple of shades.

  • Mix 2 tbsp of lemon juice with 1/2 cup of conditioner and apply to the hair.
  • Leave for about 20-30 minutes and then rinse.
  • Repeat once or twice a week to remove hair dye effectively.

Epsom Salt

This salt works well at removing hair dye. Like baking soda, it’s also great at opening up the hair shaft so that the colour can easily be rinsed out.

  • Mix equal parts Epsom salt and shampoo.
  • Apply to the hair and massage thoroughly.
  • Rinse it out and then condition as normal.


Vinegar can work to remove color from the hair, but it leaves a vinegar smell behind!  It’s best to use white vinegar as it’s more effective than other types of vinegar such as apple cider vinegar.

Using a vinegar rinse regularly on your hair not only fades the color and helps to remove unwanted hair dye but also helps to improve gloss and shine. Vinegar also removes buildup from styling products and helps to reduce scalp problems including dandruff.

  • Mix 1/2 tsp of vinegar with 1 cup of warm water and massage it into the hair, rinse and repeat.
  • You can do this one time or twice a week to fade out the unwanted color.


This one might not work to remove all of the colour, but it will definitely strip away some hair dye.

  • Mix 1 tbsp soap with 2 cups water and massage into your hair.
  • Leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing out well.
  • Do this once a week or as needed.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C can be used to remove hair dye from the hair. It is an acid compound which works as a dye remover when it is mixed with water to make a dense paste. Vitamin C’s acidic nature helps to dissolve the dye and loosen it from your hair so it can be washed out.

  • Crush a vitamin C tablet up until it forms a powder and then mix it with a clarifying shampoo.
  • Apply the mixture to your hair and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing out.
  • Vitamin C tablets are easily available at any drugstore.

Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover can be used as a hair color remover if you want to remove dye from the skin, bathroom sink or any stained area. You can apply the nail polish remover to a cotton ball and remove the dye by rubbing in a circular motion.

Nail polish remover is a good option if you want to remove hair dye from only certain parts of the hair. You can separate the strands and remove hair coloring from the hair using a cotton ball. This is a good idea if you have only just applied the dye and still have damp hair.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is another good option if you want to remove hair dye from your skin. It’s also less likely to cause a skin reaction than other natural products. If your skin is particularly sensitive try diluting the witch hazel in a little water before applying it to a cotton pad and using it to clean the skin.

Witch hazel can also be used for hair lightening and to fade the color of a bad dye job, however it’s not as effective as using lemon juice or a commercial hair lightener. Witch hazel in fact has many benefits for hair health and can help to improve dandruff and promote growth.

Related: How to Use Witch Hazel on the Hair

Homemade Hair Dye Remover Recipe

Using a mixture of the ingredients above you can make your own hair dye remover at home with household items you probably have in your kitchen.


  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • Lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the water and baking soda.
  2. Add the lemon juice and vinegar and mix again.
  3. Add the mixture to your hair and leave it in for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes has passed, wash your hair with cold water, then shampoo and conditioner as normal.

Will Baking Soda or Vinegar Damage my Hair?

Baking soda, vinegar or any of the natural ingredients mentioned in this post won’t damage your hair in the way bleach or hydrogen peroxide will.

Having said that any vinegar, lemon or baking soda treatments on the hair will make it more brittle and drier over time. Hair colouring treatments open up the hair cuticle and make the hair more porous and damaged the more you do them.

For this reason it’s important to condition the hair and use oils and moisturising treatments regularly to prevent the hair becoming fragile and dry, and to reseal the cuticles.

You should avoid using bleach powder to remove hair dye and aim to use a deep conditioner at least once a week. For a more intense treatment, wrap the hair in a shower cap and leave over night.

Related: How to Dye Brown Hair Blonde Without Bleach

This Post Was All About Using baking soda to remove hair dye

Thank you for reading my post about how to use baking soda to remove hair dye. Have you tried any of the natural products mentioned in this post? Please leave a comment below and let me know how you got on! Baking soda is a good way to remove unwanted hair color from a bad dye job without having to resort to an expensive hair dye remover!