Help: Removing fabric dye from head sculpts?

Hello all, what recommendations do you have to remove leftover fabric dye that stains figure bodies and head sculpts? As you can see I had a balaclava on this and the head is now completely stained. I have a few figures with this issue. Thanks in advance for any help!

There is no magic solution, it’s stained in the mass… I don’t know product to clean it without removing the paint from the faces… for me the only solution will be to completely redo the paint on the faces. Maybe some on the forum will come up with a better idea.

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I am sorry for you, that is a common problem for many people in this hobby.
The fabric doesn’t even have to fit snugly on the head, sometimes it’s enough if your head is just lying on it. I recently had this surprise. I have found these solutions in another forum but i haven’t tried it myself yet:

  1. you can use acne creme (for example clearasil) or something that contains benzoyl peroxide (Oxy10) to bleach it out. Depending on how bad the stain is, it could take numerous applications (make sure there’s no acetone).
  2. use very fine wet sand paper - be careful and keep your fingers crossed not to remove the original color
  3. repaint - would be the worst case for me

Don’t know about the BPO - that’s a highly active chemical…
Maybe hydrogen peroxide?

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I do not really know. Found this in another Forum. Benzoylperoxid is often used for Acne treatment. I do not know how it works and how dangerous it is. But you put it in your face or better for your skin. So it should not too chemical.


Perhaps if I was better skilled with a brush!

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I’ll be sure to give them steps a try! Hydrogen peroxide unfortunately was a bust and didn’t seem to take any ink out. Just wanted to prep a few items before selling but looks like I’ll probably just sell “as-is”.

Haven’t found anything that will work without removing paint unfortunately.

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It’s probably a matter of dose or concentration with BPO. BPO is a radical starter used in polymerization processes and allergies exist.
As always, the dose makes the poison, so why not give it a try…
I guess the problem is that the stain is not limited to the surface but kind of seeps into the material itself. So, sad but true, doing a whole new paint job might well be the only solution.

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I think it also depends on the material and the used color and sealling of it. I have used fine sandpaper which helped quite a bit. It is still visible at my head but much less. Luckily it’s just a little bit on the cheekbones and at the back of the neck. The head just lay on the balaclava. The fabric or better the used dye of the balaclava must rub off extremely on plastic.

The heads from Wally can probably only rescued by a fresh paintjob. It seems to be drawn right into the material. Interestingly enough, mine is also a damtoys head.


DAM are a majority of mine like this as well. Usually it’s their black fabrics that bleed dye easily. When the figure heads are turned to the side or down when packaged at the factory they are sometimes in contact with the clothing or vest. Sometimes the plastic cover over the head slips out of place creating the same problem. If you keep figures unopened for some time it is something to consider checking.


Is there a way to stop this happening in the first place?

Yes, always keep the heads cleanly separated from any material.
I have my heads all in separate boxes and my favorite heads also have the protective film from the original packaging.

I only know this problem in connection with black masks, balaclavas and also with some glasses.

The paint from the glasses frame can cause issues with color transfer too.

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I mean there’s nothing I can wash these pieces in to stop them staining?

This is some kind of chemical reaction. You can only clean the heads with water and soap. But there is no coating protection so that the two different components do not react to one another. You would also have to make sure that this protection does not attack the material or the painting of the head.

The only security is to separate them from each other


Any black fabric it seems. Boots, shirts, and other clothing are bad for it too.

That can cause it’s own problems with the material going sticky as the plasticizers in the PVC offgasses and then condense back on themselves as they aren’t open to air. Sideshow and some of the older Soldier Story figures are really bad for this. Best to keep heads in open air conditions, same with any clothing that has knee or elbow pads and comes from the oem behind Flagset.


You can try soaking the fabric to see if you can get some of the dye to bleed out but that might cause it’s own problems with the clothing.


Hi Adam,

thank you for the additional info. My box with the heads is open so this should be no problem. For safety’s sake i will remove the protective film. Then everything can breathe freely ;-).


I remember using a mister clean magic eraser. Try it out and good luck.