How To Remove Food Coloring From Skin

How to remove food coloring from skin

Food coloring is a thing of wonder.

With it, you can turn milk blue, cake pink, bread purple, and cheese red.

Although it is amusing to experiment with, unfortunately, food coloring is much like ink and is hard to get off of your skin.

So, when the fun is over, you will often find yourself bending over the sink while furiously scrubbing to remove the stains.

Fortunately, there are much better ways to get rid of those pesky stains than scrubbing yourself raw. Read on now to find out how to gently but effectively remove food coloring from the skin.

White Vinegar and Baking Soda

These two must-haves of every home can get rid of even the most stubborn food coloring stains.

What you need:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Paper towels/old washcloth
  • Soap
  • Water

How to do it:

  1. Wash the food coloring stain with soap and warm water. Give it a good lather to get rid of as much of the food coloring as possible.
  2. Soak a clean paper towel or washcloth in white vinegar and gently rub it over the stained skin. If you feel a stinging or burning sensation, try diluting the vinegar with some water. An equal part of vinegar and water will usually be gentle enough for most people.
  3. Keep rubbing until the stain fades. Make sure to rinse the washcloth frequently or replace the paper towels with new ones. Make sure to also re-soak the just-rinsed washcloth or new paper towels with more vinegar.
  4. If the stain remains, rinse the vinegar from the skin. Then, make a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Next, spread the paste over the stain and rub it into the skin gently.
  5. Wash the paste off with running water and repeat the process if necessary.

how to clean food coloring from hands

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, acetone, or even nail polish remover can be used to remove food coloring from the skin. However, they are rather harsh and drying — making them unsuitable for young children or those with sensitive skin.

What you need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton
  • Soap
  • Water

How to do it:

  1. Soak some cotton in the rubbing alcohol. You can also use acetone or nail polish remover in its place.
  2. Apply the cotton to the stain and rub gently. This should help to dissolve the pigments in the dye and most of the color should come off with just a few strokes of the cotton.
  3. Next, replace the stained cotton with fresh cotton. Do not reuse the stained cotton as it will just transfer the color back to your skin.
  4. Repeat until the stain is gone.
  5. Lastly, wash the area with some soap and running water. If at any point your skin feels sensitive, raw, or is getting red, take a break. Repeat the process again later on.
  6. Be sure to moisturize afterward as this method is rather harsh and drying on the skin.


Oh, yes. The toothpaste you use to brush your teeth every day? It has excellent stain-removing power — even against food coloring.

What you need:

  • A non-gel toothpaste. Even better if the toothpaste has baking soda in it.
  • Washcloth
  • Soap
  • Water

How to do it:

  1. Wash your skin with soap and warm water. Make sure to lather it up.
  2. While your skin is damp, spread the toothpaste on the stain with your finger. You can also use a washcloth here, instead.
  3. Rub it gently using a circular motion for about 2 minutes. Add more toothpaste if you need to. If the paste starts drying, splash some water over it and continue.
  4. Wash the stain with running water. The food coloring should start to fade and be barely visible by now.
  5. Repeat the steps if necessary. For deep-set stains, you may need to repeat this method 2-3 times to completely get rid of it. If your skin starts to feel raw and sensitive, stop and try again in a couple of hours.

Other Methods

Sometimes all you need to remove food coloring is a nice long soak in a warm bath with some soap.

You can also try wiping the stain with face wipes or even baby wipes.

If that doesn’t work, give coconut oil a try by soaking a cotton ball in it and wiping it over the stain.

There you have it! These are some of the best methods around to remove food coloring from the skin. Now you can truly enjoy experimenting with food coloring without the fear of having colorful stains all over your body.

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