How to Clean Food-Colouring Stains Off Tables

Brightly-coloured Easter eggs, pink-frosting roses on wedding cakes, and green-and-red Christmas cookies all share a common component: food colouring. These vivid dyes are easy to use in food decorating and crafts, but not easy to remove from countertops, fingers and clothing. Kids may not mind green-dyed fingers, but you have to work quickly to keep the dyes from ruining the kitchen table or a favourite shirt.

Things You’ll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Old washcloths or hand towels
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Ammonia (optional)
  • White toothpaste
  • Old toothbrush


1. Wash all spilled food colouring from countertops as soon as it spills to avoid staining. If stains occur, scrub the area with a little vinegar or ammonia on a damp cloth.

2. For heavier stains, treat the stain with a paste of baking soda and water. Gently scrub with an old toothbrush. The abrasive mix may remove the stain but should not damage countertops. Plain white toothpaste is another mild abrasive; squeeze a small dab onto the stain and scour it with an old toothbrush.

3. Thoroughly rinse the countertops after treating the stains.

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