Can You Use Baking Soda To Remove Hair Color?

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Coloring our hair is fun, especially with all the new products like semi-permanent dyes! However, if you’ve made the mistake of going too dark or bold with your hair color, you don’t just have to live with it.

You can use baking soda to remove hair color! you can strip or lighten your hair color with baking soda. 

How is this possible? Baking soda (like dish soap) is a great way to remove food stains from kitchen surfaces. It’s also effective at removing tough grease from pots and pans in the sink. The secret ingredient in baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. 

This compound has excellent bleaching and oxidation properties which can help lighten dyed hair in the same way that it removes stains from clothes, carpet, and other surfaces around the house.

It’s so effective at removing color that some people even use it to strip permanent dye out of their locks!

Please keep reading for all our tips and tricks for using baking soda safely to strip your color-treated hair.


Baking Soda 101

Relative Foods Baking Soda (5Lbs) for Cooking, cleaning, & More - Gluten Free Sodium Bicarbonate Baking Mix w/No Preservatives - Aluminum Free Pure Bulk Baking Soda for Baking
  • Aluminum Free Baking soda: Made from...
  • Multipurpose Household Staple: Our...
  • Versatile Cleaning Agent: Mix this...
  • Our aluminum free baking soda for bath...
  • Our baking soda for fridge & freezer...

Baking soda is a kitchen staple with multiple cleaning purposes, so why not use it to fix a hair dye mistake?

Baking soda is a base that changes the pH of your hair. The pH of water is 7; this means it’s neutral.

Hair dyes are alkaline (pH above 7), so they don’t dissolve in water easily and stay on top of the strands instead of being absorbed! 

Using Baking Soda To Remove Hair Color

When you mix the two with a little vinegar to help break down the dye molecules, they react to form sodium acetate (basically salt), which dissolves into a liquid quickly once mixed with water in your tub full of tinted locks.

Read on to learn how you can go about this without making any mistakes that might just damage your hair.

Materials You’ll Need

1. Warm Water

To get the best results, it’s important to use warm water when rinsing your hair. This helps dissolve the dye and also helps rinse away any leftover dye.

Warm water will also help open up your hair follicles’ cuticles, allowing for an even color result.

2. Baking Soda

How much baking soda should you use?

You will want to use about ½ cup of baking soda for every pound of hair. This is a rough estimate, but it should give you an indication of how much to use. Once mixed with water, the mixture will be very thick and creamy—much like glue. 

Use an applicator bottle or spoon to apply the mixture directly onto your hair from root to tip, making sure that all sections are covered evenly.

How long should you leave this in your hair? A general rule is 20 minutes for lighter shades (blonde) and 30 minutes for darker shades (red). Leave for a longer period if desired! 

When rinsing out the mixture, make sure there is no residue left on your scalp, as this could cause irritation or other reactions when exposed again later on down the road!

When rinsing out the mixture, make sure there is no residue left on your scalp, as this could cause irritation or other reactions when exposed again later on down the road!

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent that will work best on blonde hair. It can also remove some dyes from darker colors, but it takes more time and effort to achieve the same results as baking soda.

Hydrogen peroxide is safe if used as directed. However, it can potentially cause harm if swallowed or inhaled in large amounts (more than a few teaspoons). Avoid contact with eyes or skin. If you accidentally get hydrogen peroxide in your eyes, rinse them immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

The amount of hydrogen peroxide you need depends on how dark your color is and how much time you have available to process it. The lighter the color, the less oxidizing power is needed. For example, 10% strength will be stronger than 3% on black hair because black naturally has more pigment than blonde does. 

You’ll want about 1/4 cup for every 2 oz of dye being removed from medium-length locks. Longer lengths may require slightly more since there are fewer strands overall exposed to chemicals during each application process (you’re working with two ounces instead of four ounces total). 

To prevent staining from occurring when using hydrogen peroxide: use plastic gloves when mixing solutions. Wait until after applying the solution before wrapping your head with foil paper, so moisture doesn’t build up inside the bandage sheet during the treatment period.

4. Hydrating Shampoo

It’s important to remember that baking soda is a mild abrasive and can potentially damage hair if you’re not careful. It’s important to use shampoo, and possibly a deep conditioner, after the application of baking soda. 

Shampooing will help remove any residue left by the baking soda and avoid stripping your hair of its natural oils.

Is It A Good Way To Remove Hair Dye?

Sometimes the hair color you target isn’t the hair color you end up with! Your color can be much more vibrant than you originally intended. If you’re not careful with your mixing ratio, there’s a chance that you could end up with bright orange or purple hair (unless that’s your target)!

Luckily for us all, we’ve discovered a technique that will help remove unwanted dyes from your hair and bring back those natural tones before they are too far gone! The trick is simple: mix baking soda, water, and shampoo into one solution (a ratio of 1:1:1 will do) before applying it directly to the affected strands. 

Leave this mixture on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing out using warm water only—no soap allowed!

If you prefer an alternative method that doesn’t require any mixing, just add a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, then wash as normal after 15 minutes or so has passed since the application time ended.


We hope these easy tips will help you get rid of an unwanted hair dye color. However, please do not use this method too often as it can damage your hair and make it look super dry. After you use the baking soda, treat your hair with care and give it a chance to recover before doing anything drastic.

It is always good to consult with your hairstylist before using any hair product or treatment.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).