How to Remove Food Coloring from Skin

How to Remove Food Coloring from Skin

Food coloring has now become synonymous with plating, cake decoration, etc. Most people nowadays have taken to exploring new ventures and hobbies. With the advent of social media and other platforms, it has become a trend to display our eccentricities and hobbies.

Given such circumstances, it becomes natural to dabble in different aspects of crafts and arts. With rising circumstances, people have found more opportunities to get creative and take up different hobbies. Many avid cooks have explored several options.

Of late culinary experiments with cake decoration, colored food items, etc have become a trend. Naturally, for such experimentations, you would like to get more creative and it is here where food coloring is popularly used.

It is interesting to note that food coloring is also added for makeup purposes, or craft, or any other school project. Now while delightfully edible food coloring can be a challenge to remove from various surfaces. But, perhaps the most challenging of them all is the skin. It is a task to remove food coloring.

Whether you are coloring batter for that perfect cake or baking that perfect batch of cookies you will get to experiment with food coloring a lot. Especially if you want to spend that weekend afternoon trying to keep your kids engaged. Try as you may the colors are bound to be spread across the surface including, your hands.

This is when some handy and home remedies will be helpful to you. With these few tricks up your sleeves, you can easily remove the food dye from the skin. Read on to learn how to remove food coloring from the skin in seconds with these simple steps.

There are some ways to remove food coloring from your skin. The key is to take action as soon as possible. The sooner you remove the dye, the easier it is to come off. Before all options, wash hands with warm soapy water to remove as much of the stain as possible.

Methods to Remove Food Coloring

Remove Food Coloring

Shaving Cream

One of the most popularly referred methods used is shaving cream. To start with, rinse your hands with some warm water. Following this simply rub foam shaving cream on the skin with food coloring. Massage into the skin. You should leave it on for approximately thirty seconds. Once that the time is up, wipe it off. You will notice that most, if not all, of the food coloring, will have disappeared from the skin.

Rubbing Alcohol

Another useful option you can go for is using rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Dab some rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer on a cotton round/ball and rub the stain. Watch the food coloring disappear before your very eyes.


There is another method that a lot of people swear by and that is using toothpaste. The humble white paste contains fluoride that is instrumental in removing off stains. All you need to do is massage a whitening or non-gel based toothpaste on the skin with food coloring for about two minutes. Rinse off with warm or cold water. You can repeat the process if you want. This is a faster way of removing the coloring if you are not grossed out by paste on your skin.

Vinegar and baking soda

Dip a clean washcloth into a bowl of distilled white vinegar. Rub on the skin until the food coloring fades. If the vinegar starts to sting, dilute the vinegar with equal parts water. Avoid rubbing the stain back into the skin by using a fresh section of the washcloth as it gets stained.

If the stain persists, add two tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of water to form a paste. Rub over the stain for approximately one minute, then wash off.

However, if you are stuck with some very stubborn stains then you can follow some more detailed methods to remove the coloring.

  • You can use white vinegar, baking soda, running water, and a washcloth or paper towels. You can begin by rinsing or wiping away as much of the food coloring as possible. Discarded clothes or a kitchen cloth will also do for this purpose.
  • You could also use a paper towel or several towels for this purpose so that you can avoid transferring the stain to a washcloth.
  • Following this soak a clean washcloth or paper towel with white vinegar.
  • Moderately wipe the cloth over the stained areas of skin.
  • Make sure to rinse the washcloth recurrently with water or replace the paper towel when it becomes stained.
  • If the stains are stubborn, make a paste of baking soda and water. It is also imperative to rinse the vinegar from the skin before applying the paste.
  • Gently rub or spread the baking soda paste into the skin. Rinse and alternate with vinegar rub.
  • Once the stain has been sufficiently removed, wipe, or rinse skin clean. Repeat the process after a break, if needed.

Tips for Better and Safe Removal

  • When you are using baking soda or vinegar make sure that it is not directed towards the child’s mouth. While not entirely harmful it can unexpectedly produce bad results. You will end up with a crying kid or an emergency. It’s not likely to be harmful, but it won’t foster cooperation either.
  • For particularly stubborn stains and/or children, you can mix a slight bit of vinegar and baking soda. There will be a fizzy reaction and a slight explosion which could keep the kids engaged long enough to remove more of the stain.
  • Don’t rub or scrub so hard that you damage the skin.
  • If necessary, other options that you can try are rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or plain white non-gel toothpaste.

Besides the synthetic food coloring, natural food colors emanated from walnut, lemons, turmeric, beetroot, etc. can also be quite tough to get off the skin. Here are some helpful tips to remove colors that ultimately turn into stains.

The brown color from walnuts can be a tough task and leave marks that are impossible to wash off. So follow these quick easy steps to remove all the color. For this, you will need vegetable oil, vinegar, dish soap, acetone or nail polish remover, lemon juice, salt and lemon juice for the stubborn stains, dishwashing soap and baking soda, toothpaste, hand soap, water, and even hand lotion.

Steps for Removal

  • Select any of the items to remove the color mentioned in the list above.
  • Once you apply to the stained area scrub gently.
  • Some of the items like salt and lemon can be mixed to achieve a better result.
  • As soon as you see the color beginning to come off wash with hand soap and warm water to remove the cleaning agent.
  • Pat and dry with a soft towel.
  • If the cleaning agent that you have used is too dry for your hands, you can apply a quality hand lotion or a moisturizer.

Helpful Tips and Advice

  • In some cases, you might have to repeat the procedure. Just bear in and that you do not overdo it and harm your skin.
  • If you are allergic to any of the things mentioned above then avoid using them. Better still do a patch test in case you are unaware of any allergies.
  • Most importantly if you have extremely sensitive skin then avoid using any kind of harsh cleaners or combinations of scrubbing mixtures especially on your facial skin as it is more easily irritated.
  • You should especially be careful about using things on children’s skin as they are more sensitive.

Removing Colors Caused by Lemons or Lime

Lemon is the most common household ingredient that is often found in kitchens across the world. Be it a cool refreshing drink or that perfect garnish to your dish lemon is widely used. However, while you can use gadgets to decorate your project or dish you will eventually find yourself using lemons with your hands which leaves brown stains on the skin. So here are some ways in which you can remove the brown color.

Check Also: How to Cook Frozen Crab Cakes?

Steps for Removal

  • Often known as Mexican Beer Dermatitis or Margarita Dermatitis, this phenomenon is caused when you touch lemons or expose yourself to sunlight after touching or using lime juice.
  • Ideally, people use hydroquinone or glycolic acid-based treatment to lighten the brown colors emitted from the juices.
  • Before you set up your afternoon party scene or that perfect weekend sorting through your cocktails and juice options it is better to be prepared with certain preventive measures that will not spoil your skin.
  • To prevent any additional spots from reappearing just place a glass of water in an easily accessible place – maybe on a smaller table or stool. In this way every time you touch some lemons you can just dip your hands into a bowl of water. Make sure to replace the water periodically so that you can remove the stains effectively.
  • You could use soap, however, it is generally not advised. Lime is an astringent which means that it is a drying agent. Washing your hands with soap will cause further dryness.
  • Keep your skin away from sunlight, as this will cause the color to become darker.
  • Other preventive measures could include wearing gloves or applying foundation till the spots wear off automatically.
  • Despite all of this if your hands do become dry or crack then keep a moisturizing lotion handy. You can also get these fancy moisturizing gloves that will keep your hands moisturized at all times. These can be worn through the night.

If you have kids then you are bound to get into uncomfortable or unexpected situations. Especially during the holiday seasons when the whole family is gathered around for some experimental cooking and culinary delights. Children especially tend to take things lightly and end up getting food color or dye on their hands, face, and even their tongue. While some of them mention how to different types of food coloring from the skin especially face and hands you can refer to the steps given below to remove food coloring from the tongue. This is one of the likeliest places from where kids can get the color on.

Steps to Remove Food Color from the Tongue

  • Green or red food coloring usually lasts for a day without brushing.
  • So brush your tongue gently with the bristles of the brush in circular motions.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water repeatedly.
  • You can also use a tongue scraper in gentle up and down motions.
  • Colors like yellow, green and blue, gently fade after constant brushing, rinsing, or drinking. Normally the changes are noticed within 20 -30 minutes.

Final Tips

  • You can always use Water and Oxiclean which is a much-recommended option. Just fill a bowl with warm water and add a scoop of OxiClean. Begin and continue to mix until combined. Wash off with the solution. Once you notice the dye fading away, rinse in water before drying.
  • Don’t forget to use that toothpaste for dye removal. Besides removing stains from your tap and making it shiny, this simple non- gel-based paste can provide an instant solution when combined with warm water.
  • One of the best household remedies is having a bunch of lemons around. While individually they can stain your hands as well when used with sugar and dishwashing liquid the acidity from the lemons can help in color removal.
  • All you need is to combine dishwashing liquid, the juice from half a lemon, and a teaspoon of sugar. Keep stirring until they are evenly combined then apply it to your hands and rub them together. Rinse with warm water and reapply more of the mixture if the stain hasn’t completely gone.

Read Related Article: How to Reheat Chicken Pot Pie?

Final Word

With the holiday season coming around and everyone engaging in some festival cheer, it is natural to come together and cook for everyone. Colors and stains are bound to spread and stain clothes and skin. With these tips, you can have a stress- free time during and after the celebrations and family time. So go ahead and explore these options while you can.

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