5 Quick&Easy Ways To Get Food Coloring Off Skin

We all love making our cupcakes, cakes, candies and cookies colorful using different hues of red, pink, blue, purple and a whole spectrum of food colors. Food coloring not only makes our baked goodies and even other food items pretty and colorful, it also provides us with the joy and fun of cooking or baking. But the problem arises when we accidentally end up staining our hands and clothes.

The stress level rises even more when this happens to our little munchkins who were taking some baking lessons in the kitchen. So, if this seems relatable to you or happens to you very often, this article is for you.

How Long Does Food Coloring Last On Skin?

Most food colors last for about 24 to 36 hours before they fade away. While the stains usually go away on their own as you wash your hands, do other work throughout the day, there can be instances when you want to get rid of stains as soon as possible, say you’re going out or some guests are coming over. The good thing is, there are some great ways in which you can remove the food coloring from your skin in minutes.

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Best Ways To Get Food Coloring Off Skin

The best and perhaps the quickest way to get food coloring off your skin is using vinegar and baking soda. These two are the most common kitchen ingredients that are found in almost all kitchens. The combination of vinegar and baking soda is used as a natural cleaning agent. Not just the food coloring, it can be used to treat other stains as well. But never mind, here we will only focus on food color stains.

Here is how you can use these two amazing ingredients to get rid of food color stains :

Using Vinegar

  • Wash the stain with some lukewarm water and soap.
  • Work in soap lather to remove as much color as possible.
  • Take 3-4 tablespoons of white vinegar in a bowl.
  • Dip a washcloth into the vinegar and rub it on the stain slowly in circular motions.
  • If it is stinging after you rub vinegar directly, add some water to it and keep rubbing until the stain fades.
  • Replace the washcloth if it has become too stained. Don’t use it otherwise the color will be transferred to your skin again.
  • Rinse the stained part under running water and repeat the complete process if necessary.

Using Baking Soda

If the stain doesn’t go away, try using baking powder.

  • Mix two tablespoons of baking powder with enough water to make a paste. Adjust the quantity to more or less depending upon the size of the stain.
  • Take the paste on your finger or a toothbrush and rub it onto the stain in small circular motions for about a minute.
  • Wash the stained part with lukewarm water and don’t let the soda mixture dry out otherwise it will become tricky to get rid of it.
  • If the stain hasn’t lifted out, repeat the process.

How To Get Food Colors Off Skin Without Vinegar

If you don’t want to use vinegar or baking soda as it causes a stinging sensation or if you’ve cuts or burns on the stained area, here are the other ways you can try instead of using vinegar or baking soda.

Using Toothpaste

  • Wash the stain with some lukewarm water and soap.
  • Work in soap lather to remove as much color as possible.
  • Take a pea-sized amount of whitening toothpaste on your finger and apply it to the stain.
  • Rub it in the stain for about a minute or two, add more toothpaste if required.
  • Wash the stained portion with lukewarm water and check if the stain is gone or not.
  • Repeat the process if the stain is still there.

Using Lemon And Salt

  • Wash the stain using warm water and soap.
  • Work in lather to remove as much color as possible.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of salt and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in a small bowl and form a paste. Adjust the quantity depending on the size of the stain.
  • Take the paste in your fingers and apply it to the stain and rub it in circular motions for a minute or two.
  • The paste will act as a scrub and will lift the stain. Continue rubbing till the stain fades away.
  • Wash the portion with water and apply some moisturizer on the skin to soothe it.

Using Rubbing Alcohol or Hand Sanitizer

  • Wash the stain with warm water and soap.
  • Work in soap lather to remove as much stain as possible.
  • Take some rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer on a cotton ball and rub it over the stain. Avoid using rubbing alcohol for kids and if the stain is on the face, use hand sanitizer instead.
  • Keep rubbing until the stain disappears. Keep changing the cotton ball when it gets too stained.
  • Rinse the stained area using water and soap.
  • Repeat the process if required.

Other Useful Tips For Removing Food Color Stains

  • Things like vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda can cause burning sensation or itching on your skin for a few seconds. When this happens, wash the affected area with running water and if your skin has minor cuts or burns then avoid using these products. Use baby oil, toothpaste or shaving cream instead.
  • Don’t scrub with salt and lemon juice very hard otherwise your skin might feel raw and irritated. Also, apply some good moisturizer afterwards to soothe the skin.
  • Prevention is better than cure. So, wear hand gloves and proper clothing while working with food colors. Also, don’t leave the color tubes and bottles open after use, to prevent spillage.


We hope our article about “how to get food coloring off skin” helps you. Always take enough safety measures while using food coloring so you don’t need to stress about removing the stains. However, if it still happens to you, be quick and get any of the above-mentioned products and get rid of the stains quickly.