The Best Ways to Get Rid of Food Coloring from Clothes

If you want to add color to make your food look attractive, food coloring is the way to go. However, you need to be careful and look out for spills that may cause a stain on your clothes. Removing them takes time, and here’s how it’s done.

What is Food Coloring, and what is it made of?

food coloring on clothes

First, you should understand what food coloring is. Food coloring is a pigment used to add color to food or crafts.

The use of this substance is known to originate from 1500 B.C., with the Egyptians as the first people to use it. If you are curious about how food coloring came to be, you might want to check out this link.

In modern times, food coloring is used in a wide range of foods and beverages. It’s known to elevate the colors and feel of a specific type of food and make them look more appealing to the eyes of consumers.

Some examples of how food coloring is used are candies, popsicles, wines, and cupcake icings.

How to get food coloring out of clothes?

remove food coloring from clothes

Imagine having a great time decorating cupcakes or making slime with food coloring, only to get some of it on your beloved clothes. While this may dampen the mood, it’s essential to know that this stain can be removed and only takes a few steps.

The first step is to determine if the stained fabric is washable. If not, you should be ready to remove excess stains using a dull knife or white tissue paper before sending it to a professional dry cleaner to remove the stain. If so, prepare the materials below and get ready to do the process, step by step.

Things to prepare

  • Dull knife
  • White Vinegar
  • Ammonia
  • Basin
  • Dish soap
  • Oxygen bleach
  • Coldwater


Once you’ve prepared all the materials you’ll need, you are now ready to start the process. First, you need to remove any excess food coloring in the cloth. If it’s liquid food coloring, all you need to do is run cold water on the area directly.

On the other hand, if it’s gel or powdered food coloring, do not rub the area. Instead, get a dull knife to scrape off any excess.

Next, create a solution with 8 cups of cold water, ½ teaspoon of dish soap, and 1 teaspoon of ammonia. Mix it well before soaking the cloth for 15 minutes.

Rub the area gently, then soak it again in the mixture for 15 minutes. Once you’re done, rinse the cloth and soak it in another basin with four cups of cold water mixed with a tablespoon of white vinegar. Leave it for 30 minutes, then rinse.

Check the cloth if there’s any stain left. If there is, soak it again, but this time with cold water and an oxygen-based bleach. Read the bleach’s label to figure out how much you should add. If there isn’t any stain left on the cloth, you can now wash it as you usually do.

How to get old food coloring stains out of clothes?

food coloring stain

At some point, you may notice an old stain on your clothes or a spill that happened the past week and was not removed immediately. Do not worry if you experience this problem since you will only need to add a few steps to the regular stain removal process.

Just like what we did for fresh stains, you need to figure out if the fabric is washable or not. Bring it straight to a dry cleaner if it’s non-washable and prepare the thing you’ll need before starting the process if it’s on washable fabric.

Things to prepare

  • Lukewarm water
  • Stain remover
  • Ammonia
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge or clean white cloth (optional)


The first step in getting rid of older and dried-out food coloring stains on clothes is to make a solution that you will use to soak the cloth. Start by getting six cups of lukewarm water and adding a tablespoon of ammonia and a tablespoon of dish soap. Mix it all before soaking your clothes in it. Let it sit for about 30 minutes or so.

Once 30 minutes is up, you can use a white cloth or a sponge to rub the stained area before you rinse out the cloth. Make another set of mixture where you’ll soak the cloth again for 30 minutes.

This will help ensure that there is minimal to no stain on the cloth. If there’s no more stain on the cloth, you can now wash it like you regularly do.

Everyone knows that older stains are generally more challenging to remove than fresh stains since they are all dried out on the cloth. If the stain is still visible on the cloth after two batches of soaking, you may need to apply stain remover to the area.

Let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it out. Then, finish it off by laundering it immediately after. If all else fails, send the cloth to a dry cleaner.

How to get food coloring out of Upholstery?

does food coloring come out of clothes

Sometimes, food coloring can be spilled on Upholstery materials, and you might think that it’s an impossible stain to remove. Well, let me tell you that it’s not as hard as you think it is.

It may take more time than the usual process, but it’s all well worth it in the end. Before you start with stain removal, here are some things you will need.

Things to prepare

  • Warm and cold water
  • Dull knife
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • White cloth or paper towel
  • Vacuum (optional)


By the start of this process, you are expected to have all the things you’ll need. The first step is to eliminate any excess food coloring from the piece of clothing. If it’s in solid forms like powder or gel, you can use a dull knife to lift particles on the surface.

On the other hand, if it’s in liquid form, you may want to get a white paper towel or a clean white cloth to blot the area and hopefully get rid of some food coloring. You may also add some cold water to the area to make removing it with a paper towel.

Next, create a solution with two cups of warm water one teaspoon of ammonia and dish soap. Use a clean white cloth to rub the area with the solution and remove the stain. Repeat this until the stain is not visible anymore.

If the stain is still visible after many rounds of blotting with the solution, you need to make a brand new solution of water, dish soap, and white vinegar. Use the exact measurements as before and blot the area. Once you’re done, rub alcohol on the area and let it dry before washing it like you usually do.

Helpful tips to make the process easier

does food coloring come out of clothes

Now that you know how to get food coloring out of clothes, we aim to make your life easier by giving you some helpful tips.

These tips are some of the basic things you need to do to make the stain removal process more manageable and a lighter load. Here are some of the best tips that you need to know when removing stains from clothes without further ado.

Always act fast

The most important tip is never to let a second go to waste. Every minute counts, so you need to wash the cloth immediately once stained. If it’s left to dry out, you will have a hard time removing it, and that can be annoying. Act fast and make sure to check your clothes for any stain from time to time.

Rub the clothes gently

Another tip that can help you is to make sure that you rub the clothes gently. Rubbing it hard can harm the fabric of your clothes and damage it further than the stain does.

Do not use large amounts of stain remover

When doing a stain removal process, you mustn’t use too much store-bought stain remover since it contains chemicals that can damage your clothes in the long run. It’s okay to use them in moderate amounts only since they also have bleaching effects that could ruin your clothes.

Use cold and lukewarm water only

For any stain removal process, it’s essential to use cold and lukewarm water only. Do not use hot water since it will not help you but instead help the stain set more easily. If you are advised to use warm water, make sure that it’s only a bit warm and not too hot. You may also want to check this video below to learn more about choosing the proper water temperature for removing stains.


Knowing how to get food coloring out of clothes will be very helpful for all the crafty people out there who use food coloring daily. They can now freely enjoy any craft without worrying about stains that may not be removed.

how to get food coloring off clothes

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