How to Remove Dye Transfer from a Dishwasher


Monica  asked: The outside of our dishwasher door is stained red from decorative gel clings. I can’t get rid of the stain. I’ve tried alcohol and Mr. Eraser. It came off ever so slightly with vigorous rubbing, but I can still see where the clings were. Red and pink hearts are all over my dishwasher and Valentine’s day is over. Can you please help?

When dyes transfer to plastic surfaces, they typically stay on the surface. If they are absorbed into the plastic, they will be nearly impossible to remove. On the surface, there are several cleaning methods that can be tried. Work your way down the list until the dye from the gel clings are removed for good.

Using General Cleaning Products

You Will Need:

Steps to Remove the Dye:

  1. Begin by spraying the stained area with an all purpose cleaner.
  2. Scrub the sprayed area with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. The combination of the cleaner and the eraser can remove a variety of stains.
  3. Once cleaned, wipe the area clean with a soft cloth.
  4. If the stain remains, spray the area with ammonia or glass cleaner.
  5. Wipe with a soft cloth.
  6. When the stains are removed, wash the area with water and soap (dish soap works well).
  7. Rinse with clean water.
  8. Allow the surface to dry.
  9. Repeat if necessary.

Using Rubbing Alcohol and/or Nail Polish Remover

You Will Need:

  • Rubbing alcohol and/or Nail polish remover
  • Soft cloths
  • Cotton balls
  • Soap
  • Water

Steps to Remove the Dye:

  1. Rubbing alcohol is effective in removing many stains without damaging the surface.
  2. Use a soft cloth or cotton ball that has been moistened with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.
  3. Rub it over the surface of the stain until the dye is removed. There is no need to apply excessive pressure; continual rubbing will remove the dye.
  4. Once removed, wash with soap and water.
  5. Dry with a soft cloth.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are effective at removing stains from a variety of surfaces. Simply moisten the sponge with clean water and rub it over the ink stain. The sponge will lift and remove the stain. Wipe clean with a dry cloth.
  • Bleach can be used, but with hesitation. While it will remove the color from the dye, it may discolor the plastic and leave a yellow spot where the bleach was placed. Oxygen bleach such as OxiClean may be a better choice. Also note that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser contains ammonia – so do not use it with a bleach cleaner or toxic chlorine gas can be produced.


  1. Teresa says:

    Try Goof Off; it got the orange and black dye off my white fridge in only a few minutes. No scrubbing. No damage to paint. I had orange pumpkins and black lettering. Nice.

  2. Robbie says:

    Use a small amount of carburetor cleaner. It worked great for me.

  3. Home says:

    Nail polish remover worked like a charm when NOTHING else touched it!

Leave a Comment