How Do You Remove Fabric Dye From Skin?

remove-fabric-dye-skin Credit: Nicolas Boullosa/CC-BY 2.0

Most fabric dyes can be removed from the skin with a mild soap and some patience. This is because many dyes have properties to prevent them from soaking into living cells. As a result, fabric dye staining is usually limited to only the top layer of skin.

Fabric dye stains on the skin usually disappear within three days of normal hand-washing. This process can be hastened by using an exfoliating device, such as a loofah or pumice stone, to remove the top layer of skin. Some soaps come with exfoliating balls inside. The results are even better if the user avoids exfoliating a few days before dyeing. This is because the buildup of dead cells on the hands acts as a protective barrier.

Some clothing dye suppliers sell special hand cleaners to help remove dye from skin. These types of cleaners have been specially formulated. Despite this, they tend to only be slightly more effective than traditional soap.

Bleach should never be used to remove dye from skin because it's far more toxic than the dye itself. Overexposure to household bleach can burn skin. When working with any kind of dye, it's best to wear gloves to protect the skin, despite the fact that most dyes are non-toxic.