At some point in the kitchen, you or the kids will use food coloring. It doesn’t matter how careful you are; the result is almost always food dye on the hands, especially if the kids are busy dying eggs for Easter!
If you’re racking your brain trying to figure out how to get food coloring off your skin, then you’re in the right place. We’ve got six options that use everyday household items. Within no time, your hands will look so clean; you’ll be ready to start that side hustle as a hand model.
So, how do you remove food coloring from your skin? The best way to remove food coloring from your skin is to wash it in warm water mixed with a scoop of OxiClean. If you don't have OxiClean on hand, then you can also apply rubbing alcohol to cotton wool and rub it into your skin.
How to Get Food Coloring Off Skin: 6 Options
Whether it’s a kids craft activity or you’re whipping up some tasty icing for that layer cake, at least a few drips will end up on your fingers. The first reaction is usually to run your hands under water and furiously scrub; that doesn’t work. But I’m sure you know that otherwise, you wouldn’t be on this page. The problem with food coloring is that it’s similar to ink and won’t wash off easily. Your best bet is to use one of these home remedies, which work like a charm.
1. Water and OxiClean
This is our recommended option.
Fill a bowl with warm water and add a scoop of OxiClean. Mix until combined, then wash your hands in the solution. Once the signs of dye are gone, rinse with water before drying. Voila, clean hands!
Tip: If you don’t have any OxiClean you can buy it from most supermarkets or online at Amazon.
2. Rubbing alcohol
Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to some cotton wool and rub it into your hands. A paper towel may work better if your hands are completely stained.
Can’t get the stain off on the first attempt? Apply more rubbing alcohol to some clean cotton wool and rub it a second time. This extra step should remove any stains.
Note: Do not use this method on the face or on anyone who has sensitive skin.
Squeeze a glob of non-gel toothpaste onto the stained area and rub it in with the fingers of your clean hand. If both palms are stained, then apply toothpaste to both of them and rub them together. Rinse off with warm water.
Baking soda toothpaste is the best option if you have it available.
4. Shaving cream
Apply a squirt of shaving cream to your hands and rub them together. Rinse with warm water, and if there is still a stain, repeat the process.
There’s not much that shaving cream can’t do. Once you’re done removing the food dye from your skin, spray a few blobs onto your chrome taps. Wipe it off after a few minutes for shiny, clean fixtures! Still not impressed? How about using shaving cream as a pre-stain remover to get stubborn make-up or wine stains off clothing. Shaving cream is the Swiss army knife of the cleaning world.
5. Lemon juice, sugar and dish washing liquid.
In a small bowl, combine dishwashing liquid, the juice from half a lemon, and a teaspoon of sugar. Stir until 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.
Quick Tip: You can use the bottled lemon juice if you can't get your hands on some fresh ones. Not sure how much juice to use? Check out our resource to find out how much juice is in half a lemon.
6. Vinegar and baking soda
In a bowl, combine two tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of vinegar to make a paste. Rub it into your hands, then rinse with water. Reapply more of the mixture and clean a second time if necessary.
This option is appealing because it’s a natural remedy; no human-made products are required.
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There are plenty of ways to get food coloring off your hands. Some are more effective than others, but you may not have all these items in your house, so go with what you have available.
I tested all these methods and found the water and OxiClean worked well. Using rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover also got the job done, but not everyone wants that chemical on their hands. I certainly wouldn’t recommend this option for young kids and those with sensitive skin.
Keep a close eye on the condition of your skin before you begin cleaning. Do you have any cuts, eczema or rashes? You don’t want vinegar, lemon juice, or rubbing alcohol near your wounds or sensitive skin. I’d rather keep the stains than feel that sort of pain!
Do you have a secret cleaning hack that gets off food dye? I’d love to hear it if you’re willing to share. Leave a comment below.