How To Remove A Food Coloring Stain: Practical Tips For These Dyes

by Taylor

You can encounter a food coloring stain from lots of different items, since an inescapable fact of modern life is that many foods now contains dyes in them.


Obviously, when you first think of these colors you may think of the little bottles of dye you can add to food, and it is quite frankly a potential disaster when these concentrated drops get on your skin, clothes, carpet, counter or anything else.

However, you also encounter such dyes in less concentrated form in such common things as sodas and colas, Kool Aid and other kids drinks, and even popsicles and freeze pops.

I've gathered lots of tips about how to remove these stains individually as they relate to these particular food items (as you can see from the links above), but it occurred to me that often the techniques used for removing food coloring contained in one food is the same as for another.

That's why I've created this page. This is a way to let everyone share their ideas and product recommendations for cleaning up these kinds of messes from all types of surfaces, from clothing but also from any other place you might accidentally spill this stuff.

You can scroll down below to see the suggestions already shared, and please feel free to tell me your tips and experiences as well! I love hearing from people, and will add your ideas to the page as well.

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Removing Food Dye Stains: Carole's Approach

by Carole

Carole read my post about how I easily removed purple popsicle stains from my daughter's dress and she responded with tips which were more general, about removing many types of food coloring, so I added it to this page instead.

Carole says:

I have seen my share of these type of stains, including ice cream, yogurt, and popsicles of "varying" colors both on the kids and adult clothes!

Whenever I have to remove a colorful (dye type) stain from clothes that show up in the laundry days after they happened I presoak them in either OXI Clean or BIZ powder before attempting a wash.

Since the dress you showed was a light color I would probably limit the soak to about an hour.

I would then wash with detergent (including pouring some directly on the stained area), either Tide or Wisk, and line dry it to be sure no stain remained.

I recently used this approach for a strawberry yogurt stain on a yellow top (guessing it was 4 days old) with success.

P.S. For stubborn red or blue stains I will sponge with white vinegar if it does not come out in the first wash, then repeat wash with Oxi Clean or BIZ, and detergent.

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Taylor says:

Thanks so much for these tips and ideas Carole.

I really appreciate you suggesting products that people can use for removing this kind of spill or drip. You're right, oxygen bleach is a great way to remove these types of spots without also removing the color from the clothes at the same time.

I would love to hear from even more people, sharing how they've removed a food coloring stain or spill. You can share your tips here, or read others that have already been submitted.

Photo courtesy of stevendepolo

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A Great Laundry Pretreater For Dyes Is Shout

by Taylor

I've now had two really great amazing experiences using Shout Stain Remover for getting out spots from clothes that I really didn't think would work.

how I removed strawberry syrup stains
I'd already mentioned how I got out the purple popsicle stains from a dress using Shout Free.

But at Thanksgiving I also used the regular Shout (the scented version) to remove strawberry milk stains from an ivory tablecloth.

Both times I just sprayed the pretreater on quite liberally and washed in the washing machine, and voila, the dye stains were removed!

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What laundry pretreater do you suggest for these stains? I'd love to hear even more suggestions to help people when they have one of these laundry disasters.

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Use BIZ To Keep These Stains At Bay

by Samantha

Samantha says:

I am very familiar with stains of this "ilk".

If they were fresh I would mix up a paste of BIZ powder and let it sit on the stain for about 15 minutes, then throw in the wash.

If the stain was days old I would presoak with BIZ powder and water, making sure the timing of the soak was adjusted based on the color of the garment, then throw it in the wash with detergent.

In my house the stains are usually old. I just hope I catch them during the sorting. BIZ works wonders on these stains.

Taylor says:

Thanks so much for this suggestion.

As I said above, it definitely seems that oxygen bleach type products work best on these food dye types of spots and drips.

Further, the stain removal technique that is most effective, at least for clothing, is presoaking, since it gives the bleach a longer chance to work for total removal.

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Stain Removal Tips & Tricks For Busy Moms

A Mom's Laundry Guide

Go From Removing A Food Coloring Stain To Home Page

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Comments for Use BIZ To Keep These Stains At Bay

Click here to add your own comments

yellow food coloring out of carpet
by: Anonymous

I have no idea how to remove, tried blotting but no more dye is coming out.

green food coloring from carpet - how to remove?
by: Kathy

Do you know how to remove green food colouring from brown carpet?

green food coloring on white jacket
by: Anonymous

My husband got green food coloring on a white tennis jacket. It's fairly light and I haven't washed the jacket since he got the food coloring on it, but I have washed the jacket before. Can the jacket be salvaged?

shaving cream
by: Vicky

Mens shaving cream works great.

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Taylor

Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.

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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.