Ellie asked: How do I remove red and green food coloring from my children’s face and hands?
A child covered in food coloring is one of those not-so-rare horrifying moments of parenthood. Food coloring is like ink and requires a bit of patience to remove, and that’s something parent and child are likely to be out of after a few scant moments of scrubbing. Fortunately, there is a better way to remove food coloring from kids than scouring, and it’s much faster than the typical Plan B, which is to let it simply wear off. Here’s what you need to do.
You Will Need:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Water (preferably running water)
- Washcloth or paper towels
Steps to Remove the Food Coloring:
- The first step is to rinse or wipe away as much of the food coloring as possible. If you have an old washcloth, use it. If not, opt for a paper towel to avoid transferring the stain to a washcloth.
- Next, soak a clean washcloth (or paper towel) with white vinegar.
- Gently rub the cloth over the stained areas of skin.
- Rinse the washcloth frequently with water or replace the paper towel when it becomes stained.
- If the stains are stubborn, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rinse the vinegar from the skin before applying the paste.
- Rub the baking soda paste into the skin gently. Rinse and alternate with vinegar rub.
- Once the stain is gone or patience has run out, wipe or rinse skin clean. Repeat the process after a break, if needed.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Take care not to get baking soda or vinegar directly into the child’s mouth. 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. It will fizz and “explode.” The “cool” factor may keep the kids engaged long enough to remove more of the stain.
- Don’t rub or scrub so hard that you damage skin. A food coloring stain is easier to live with than an irritating, painful rash.
- If necessary, other options that you can try are rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or plain white (non-gel) toothpaste.