Kool Aid Stain Removal

Kool Aid is one of kids' favorite drinks, but for parents, the thought of Kool Aid is often accompanied by fears of the dreaded task of Kool Aid stain removal. These stains are a parent's worst nightmare for a good reason: the bright colors of this sugary kid's concoction often translate to stubborn stains on clothing, carpets, upholstery and more.

Why are Kool Aid stains so hard to remove? That bright color comes from food coloring, which is an edible dye. Kool Aid, then is just a drinkable version of the same dyes used to color clothing and other fabrics. No wonder it makes such a mess! The good news is, although Kool Aid is basically drinkable dye, it can be removed from fabrics, carpets, upholstery and other srufaces if you act fast. Let a Kool Aid stain get set in, though, and you may have a permanent stain. 

Kool Aid Stain Removal

Kool Aid Stain Removal for Washable Fabrics

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Heavy Duty Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Liquid Chlorine Bleach
  • Powdered Oxygen Bleach
  • Protective Gloves

The key to successfully removing a Kool Aid stain from a washable fabric item is knowing what stain fighter to use. For fabrics that are safe for washing with chlorine bleach, there's no better way to remove a dye stain like Kool Aid than a soak in a bleach solution. But for fabrics that can't be washed in chlorine bleach, a great alternative is powdered oxygen bleach.

For chlorine bleach safe fabrics, remove Kool Aid stains using these instructions:

  1. Rinse the stain under cold water to remove as much of the Kool Aid as possible.
  2. Pre-treat the stain by applying heavy duty liquid laundry detergent directly to the stain.
  3. Fill your washer or a sink/tub with the hottest water safe for the fabric. For a tub or sink, add half a cup of liquid chlorine bleach. For a washer, add one cup of liquid chlorine bleach.
  4. Add the fabric item to the washer or tub/sink, and allow to soak for several hours or overnight.
  5. Add heavy duty liquid laundry detergent as directed by the label, and wash the item according to label instructions.
  6. Air dry; do not dry in the dryer until you're certain the stain has been removed.

For fabrics that cannot be washed in chlorine bleach, use powdered oxygen bleach to remove the stain, using these instructions:

  1. Don protective gloves
  2. Rinse the stain under cold water to remove as much of the Kool Aid as possible.
  3. Make a solution of warm water and powdered oxygen bleach. Make sure the powdered bleach is dissolved completely.
  4. Apply to the stain. Let sit several minutes, but do not let the solution dry on the fabric.
  5. Rinse with cold water.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 until the stain is completely removed.
  7. Wash as directed by the label, using heavy duty liquid laundry detergent according to label instructions.
  8. Air dry; do not dry in the dryer until you're certain the stain has been removed.

Kool Aid Stain Removal From Carpets and Upholstery

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Protective Gloves
  • Powdered Oxygen Bleach
  • Clean White Cloths

Every parent's worst nightmare is carpet or a couch destroyed by a Kool Aid spill. Most Kool Aid stains are easily removed from carpets or upholstery, however, using powdered oxygen bleach.

To remove Kool Aid stains from carpets and upholstery using powdered oxygen bleach, use these steps (note: these instructions are intended only for washable carpets and upholstery):

  1. Blot as much of the stain as possible from the carpet or upholstery using clean white cloths.
  2. Don protective gloves.
  3. Make a solution of warm water and powdered oxygen bleach. Make sure the powdered bleach is dissolved completely.
  4. Apply the solution to the stain. Let sit several minutes, but do not let the solution dry on the carpet or upholstery.
  5. Blot with a clean white cloth dampened with cold water.
  6. Repeat steps 4-5 until the stain is completely removed.
  7. Rinse by blotting with a clean white cloth dampened with water.
  8. Allow to dry.

Kool Aid Stain Removal for Hard Surfaces

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Protective Gloves
  • Baking Soda or Scouring Powder (With Bleach if Safe for Surface)
  • Nylon Scrubber Sponge
  • Clean Cloth or Paper Towel

One of the most aggravating aspects of making Kool Aid is the tell-tale stains it leaves behind on everything from your plastic stirring spoons to your countertops to the pitcher you make it in. Kool Aid has the capability of staining almost anything it comes in contact with, and that includes hard surfaces. However, most Kool Aid stains can be removed from hard surfaces using a scouring powder. For surfaces that can take it, commercial scouring powders, including those with bleach, are best. But for plastics or countertops that may be damaged by scouring powders, baking soda can often be substituted with good results.

To use baking soda or a scouring powder on a Kool Aid stain on a hard surface, use these instuctions:

  1. Don protective gloves if using a scouring powder.
  2. Dampen the surface with water.
  3. Sprinkle scouring powder or baking soda on the surface.
  4. Dampen a nylon scrubber sponge with water.
  5. Scrub the surface gently with the nylon scrubber sponge.
  6. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 until the stain is removed.