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Does Tie-Dye Stain Concrete? (Here’s How To Fix It!)

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Tie-dyeing is a fun process for children and adults alike that typically involves mixing a fiber-reactive dye powder with water in order to create a fluid dye that can be squirted onto cellulose fabric.

Tie-dye can get a little messy, however, so it’s important to take proper precautions to protect your skin, clothing, and surfaces when dyeing. 

Does tie-dye stain concrete? Tie-dye can stain concrete. Tie-dye is designed to be permanent, and concrete is a porous material that can soak up excess dye. It’s important to use caution and preventative measures when tie-dyeing over concrete surfaces as the dye can be difficult to remove. Bleach is the best option for cleanup.

This article will teach you why tie-dye stains concrete so easily, how to avoid staining concrete when tie-dyeing and the step-by-step process for how to remove tie-dye stains from concrete.

Tie-Dye and Concrete – Here’s What You Should Know

While it might at first seem that tie-dye would be no match for concrete, it may be surprising just how stubbornly a tie-dye spill can seem to cling to concrete.

The best plan of action is to avoid spilling tie-dye on concrete in the first place, but if it’s too late for that, then fret not, there are solutions.

Why Tie-Dye Stains Concrete So Easily

When you think of tough materials, concrete might be one of the first to come to mind, but it is not as solid as it seems.

Concrete is actually an extremely porous material that is made of a combination of gravel, sand, cement (a powder of calcined lime and clay), and water. 

The mixture of materials that make up concrete means that it is not waterproof at all and is in fact a very absorbent substance.

Tie-dye is a fiber-reactive dye that consists of small particles that easily penetrate the porous surface of concrete.

If concrete is not sealed after being poured, it can easily become stained or discolored from dyes and other substances. 

How To Avoid Staining Concrete When Tie-Dyeing

If you are tie-dyeing over a concrete surface, it is crucial to protect the surface from spills. Use a tarp or an artist’s drop cloth to cover the concrete.

When you are finished dyeing, if you are air-drying your dyed items, be sure to hang them above the cloth or tarp or lay them flat on another protected surface as they can drip or leak dye as they dry.  

Mixing the dye in plastic squeeze bottles instead of dipping the fabric in a bowl or bucket can help you to have more control when applying the dye and can help to minimize spills.

You may also consider sealing your concrete to protect it from stains. Use a paint roller to apply a concrete sealant, like this one, and allow at least 24 hours for the sealant to completely dry. 

To avoid stains, it’s important to be sure to clean up dye spills as soon as they happen. 

1 Gal. AQUA-X 11 Clear Penetrating Stone and Concrete Sealer | Natural Finish | Professional Grade | Indoor & Outdoor | Fast Dry and Long Lasting Protection
  • COLD WEATHER WARNING: Do not apply if temperature is expected to be below 50° for 48 hours...
  • Water-based, water-repellent sealer protects against stains, concrete spalling, freeze thaw,...

How To Remove Tie-Dye Stain From Concrete

Fortunately, tie-dye stains on concrete don’t need to be permanent.

There are a few different techniques you can try to remove tie-dye stains from concrete, including using bleach, mineral spirits and a pressure washer, baking soda, vinegar, or chemical concoctions.


  1. Soak cotton balls or paper towels in bleach, and apply them to the stain.
  2. Cover the stain with a dish to keep bleach from dissipating.
  3. Once the stain is gone, scrub the area with water and a mild household cleaner.
  4. Rinse the area with water and allow it to dry.

Mineral Spirits and Power Washer

  1. Soak cotton balls or paper towels in mineral spirits and apply them to the stain.
  2. Cover the stain with a sheet of plastic (such as plastic wrap or a plastic garbage bag spread flat) and tape or weigh down the sides of the plastic.
  3. Leave the stain covered in plastic for at least 12 hours.
  4. Use a high pressure nozzle to power wash the stain by spraying in a back and forth motion, overlapping each stroke.
  5. Allow the area to dry. You may want to apply a concrete sealant after power washing to protect the surface from future stains. 

Baking Soda

  1. Pour a little bit of water onto the stained area of the concrete. 
  2. Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the tie-dye stain.
  3. Scrub the baking soda paste into the concrete using a scrub brush.
  4. Allow the paste to sit for at least 12 hours. 
  5. Rinse the paste from the concrete with water and let the area dry.
  6. If the area is still stained, pour white vinegar onto the stain and scrub.
  7. If the stain still remains, mix 3 tablespoons of bleach into 1 gallon of hot water, and pour it onto the stained area. Scrub the mixture into the stain, and then rinse with water.


  1. Dampen the stained area with a little bit of water.
  2. Mix a solution of 1% concentration of hydrochloric acid or a 20% water solution of diammonium citrate. If using diammonium citrate, allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Then carefully scrub the area.
  3. Rinse the concrete and allow it to dry.

Related Questions:

Does Tie-Dye Stain Skin?

It’s always a good idea to wear protective gear, including plastic gloves when tie-dyeing. If, however, you get tie-dye on your skin, it can stain.
Luckily, it’s pretty simple to remove by using techniques that change the chemical bond between your skin and the dye. 
You can start by exfoliating your skin by combining baking soda or sugar with a little bit of lotion or an oil such as coconut oil.
Citrus-based soaps like Fast Orange or Orange Goop are popular with artists and mechanics alike and are another good choice for removing tie-dye stains.

Does Tie-Dye Stain Stainless Steel?

Although the word “stainless” is in the name, tie-dye does have the potential to stain a stainless steel sink if left in the sink for too long.
To avoid stains, be sure to thoroughly wash out your sink after rinsing your tie-dye projects.


It might come as a surprise that tie-dye can stain concrete, but the stains don’t have to be permanent. Using bleach, mineral spirits, or even baking soda can help to remove stains from concrete.

The best plan when it comes to avoiding tie-dye stains on concrete is prevention, so be sure to protect your concrete surfaces before you begin a tie-dye project.

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