How to get Kool-Aid out of clothes is the problem that makes you uncomfortable when washing clothes for the kids. A childhood drink with a sweet taste and an indispensable beverage in summer becomes a nuisance in the laundry.
Are you angry with your kids because he accidentally spilled a watermelon-flavored Kool-Aid on a white t-shirt? Come on, calm down because Kool-Aid isn’t that obnoxious. Please do not be mad when you see a fruit-flavored stain on their shirt.
Even the most prominent stains like red from watermelon or strawberry Kool-Aid will be easily removed. Follow the instructions below to say goodbye to them as quickly as possible.
Summer cooling drinks become a nuisance when it gets on clothes. What causes Kool-Aid to stain when it gets on your fabric?
Kool-Aid is one of the delicious refreshments, with a history dating back to 1927. Until now, it is still one of the favorite drinks of both children and adults.
According to what is announced on the product packaging, Kool-Aid comprises sugar, citric acid, ascorbic acid, BHT (Preserves Freshness), artificial flavor and color, etc.
In particular, the artificial color added to Kool-Aid makes it eye-catching colors such as red, orange, pink, purple. Each flavor of Kool-Aid contains a combination of food dyes such as FD&C Red 40, FD&C, Blue 1, or FD&C Yellow 5.(1)
- Red Dye 40: is considered a petroleum-based food dye. This colorant is FDA approved for use in food and beverages, approved in the European Union.(2)(3)
- FD&C Blue 1: is a synthetic organic substance used to create color for food, is one of the artificial color additives approved by the FDA, and is safe for health.(4)
- FD&C Yellow 5: is a synthetic lemon yellow dye that is FDA approved and widely used in the food industry. You can combine it with other dyes to create different shades of green. (5)
That’s why when Kool-Aid gets on clothes, it leaves an unsightly color stain. However, you do not need to worry about these stains because they do not leave permanent marks if you treat them quickly and properly.
Using some simple materials around your home and the few methods below, you can easily remove Kool-Aid stains. Remember to check the label instructions of the fabric or test in a hidden part of the fabric before applying any method.
Here’s how to read care label instructions:
1. Boiling Water Method
The striking red or orange color of Kool-Aid is easily dislodged with the steam of the water. For stains containing artificial colors, boiling water is an appropriate choice.
However, you should carefully check the fabric’s care label to see if it is suitable for boiling water or not, to avoid shrinking the fabric.
- Boiling water
- Large basin
Step 1: Use a kettle to boil water; you should prepare a large pot to make the fabric soaking process more convenient.
Step 2: Place the cloth in the basin. Then spread the fabric widely in the basin so that the stain is placed in the center. Pour boiling water over the stained material.
Pour water slowly and gently to avoid a hot splash of water hitting the skin. You can use gloves to protect yourself.
Step 3: When hot water comes into contact with the fabric, the stain will fade away. You can continue this process until the stain is no longer visible.
Step 4: After removing the stain from the fabric, you can wash the fabric as usual with detergent. Use cold water during washing.
Step 5: Recheck the fabric after washing, and you can repeat the process if the stain is still present. Do not dry the fabric while the stain remains. The heat from the dryer will make your stains permanent.
2. Ice And Borax Method
If you are concerned that using hot water will cause the fabric to shrink, this method is very suitable for you.
Borax is considered a highly alkaline detergent with excellent bleaching properties but is extremely safe and gentle on clothes. You can apply this method to colored fabrics.
- Ice water
- A clean cloth
- Spray bottle
- Soft bristle toothbrush
Step 1: The first thing you need to do is blot as much stain as possible. Never rub the fabric, as this can cause the stain to spread further.
Therefore, you should use a white cloth to dot the stain. It would help if you blotted from the outside to the inside. It enables the stain not to spread to the outside.
Step 2: Spray ice water on the stained area. The fabric should be damp but not soaked in too much water. Next, cover the stain with Borax.
Step 3: Gently rub the solder with a soft-bristled brush, using a clean cloth to absorb the stain. Continue blotting with a clean cloth until no more stains appear.
Step 4: Wash the fabric with cold water as usual with laundry detergent after removing all stains.
Step 5: It is best to let the fabric dry naturally orput it in the dryer only after completing the stain test.
3. Iron Method
The heat of the iron can help you remove color stains from Kool-Aid. You can combine it with ammonia to increase the effect. Do not use this product on fabrics such as wool, silk, or nylon. You are worried about old stains; this is an excellent method for you.
- A clean cloth
- Spray bottle
Step 1: Mix a mixture of ammonia and water in a 1:1 ratio, one part water, and one part ammonia, into a spray bottle. Using a spray bottle will make it easier to moisten the stained area when working with the iron.
Step 2: Use a spray bottle containing the solution to spray a little on the stain. Cover both sides of the stain with a damp cloth and place the iron on the towel.
Step 3: Leave it to sit for about 30 seconds. Stains, when exposed to heat and water, will gradually transfer to the fabric surface. The cloth should be changed regularly so that the stain does not spread to other surfaces.
Step 4: Continue ironing until the stain is no longer visible.
Step 5: After removing the stain, proceed to wash as usual. Place in the dryer only when making sure the stain has been completely removed.
4. Bleach Solution And Heavy-Duty Laundry Detergent Method
Bleach acts as a powerful bleaching agent, which can help you remove stains. When combined with heavy-duty laundry detergent, it creates a perfect cleaning mixture. However, be careful when applying this method to colored clothes.
- Heavy-duty laundry detergent
Step 1: Use heavy-duty laundry detergent to pretreat the stain and let it soak into the fabric for a few minutes
Step 2: Rinse the spot under cool water from the backside facing out.
Step 3: Wash the fabric as usual in the hottest water with bleach if the stain is no longer visible.
Step 4: If the above process does not remove the stain, you can presoak the fabric with a bleach solution for about 30 minutes or overnight. Then proceed to wash as usual.
5. Baking Soda And Heavy-Duty Laundry Detergent Method
The combination of baking soda and heavy-duty laundry detergent is always recommended because it is strong enough to clean stubborn stains. Baking soda will absorb and remove stains quickly and effectively.
- Baking soda
- Heavy-duty laundry detergent
- A clean cloth
Step 1: Absorbing as much Kool-Aid as possible is the first thing to remember during the stain removal process. Do not rub the stain to avoid it spreading on the fabric. It would help if you penetrated from the outside to the inside to control the stains.
Step 2: Use a detergent solution to put it directly on the stain. Rub the solution evenly so it covers the entire stain
Step 3: Let it rest on the fabric for about 5-10 minutes to allow the washing solution to penetrate the fabric.
Step 4: Rinse the fabric with cold water and check if the stain is gone. If there is no stain, proceed to the next step.
Step 5: Treat the stain with baking soda if the stain persists. Mix some water and baking soda to make a thick paste.
Step 6: Then, place the mixture on the stain and soak it into the fabric for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse off the mixture before washing.
Step 7: Wash the fabric as usual and scrutinize it after washing is complete.Repeat this process until the stain is gone
6. Bleach Solution Method
Bleaching agents are always great for dye-based stains like kool-aid. You can choose Oxygenated bleach over Chlorine Bleach to protect your fabrics. However, please do not use bleach on silk or wool, andyou should dilute it before use.
- Powdered Oxygenated Bleach
Step 1: You can blot off the Kool-Aid with a clean cloth, or you can allow clean water to run over the stain. Note that you should hold the back of the fabric and pour water over it to let the stain run out. Do not drain water from the front so that the stain does not penetrate the back.
Step 2: Prepare a solution of bleach and water. Mix powdered bleach and water following the instructions on the package.
Step 3: Soak the cloth in the solution. It is best to use gloves when working with bleach to protect the skin of your hands.
Step 4: Let the fabric be in the solution for 8-10 hours. After that, rinse the fabric again and proceed to the next cleaning step.
Step 5: Check the stain carefully after washing is done. Make sure it has been removed when put in the dryer.
Step 1: Mix powdered bleach and water to make a paste. Place the paste directly on the stain
Step 2: Rub the mixture on the stain and let it rest for a few hours
Step 3: Prepare 1/2 cup of powdered bleach dissolved in a basin of water. Proceed to soak the fabric in the solution
Step 4: Drain the fabric before washing
Step 5: Wash as usual, check for stains before drying
7. Rubbing Alcohol Method
Rubbing alcohol can be used in the medical, cosmetic, perfumery fields and also the cleaning industry. Stain removal is an excellent job of alcohol, including Kool-Aid stains.
- Rubbing alcohol
- A clean cloth
Step 1: Remove most Kool-Aid stains with a clean cloth. Use a cloth to absorb the stain without rubbing it to avoid spreading the stain.
Step 2: Apply the solution to the sponge, dabbing gently around the stain until it is no longer visible
Step 3: Dab cold water on a clean white cloth, then rub the alcohol off the stain. Then pat the stain dry.
Step 4: Wash as usual only when stains have been completely removed. You can use solvent-based stain remover or heavy-duty liquid laundry to remove residual stains. Let it sit on the fabric for about 15 minutes for it to break down the stain. Then wash as usual.
8. OxiClean Soak Method
OxiClean is considered one of the familiar stain removal materials in laundry work. Obviously, with just a few steps with OxiClean, you can easily remove traces of red from the watermelon Kool-Aid. Oxiclean is a chlorine-free solution, so it’s safe on colored clothes.
- Large basin
Step 1: Dissolve ¼ cup of Oxiclean with cold water in a large pot. Mix well until Oxiclean is completely dissolved in water.
Step 2: Carry out the process of soaking the fabric. Let it sit for 1 – 6 hours or can soak longer depending on the condition of the stain
Step 3: Wash as usual with laundry detergent.
Step 4: After washing, place in the dryer once the fabric test is complete
During the stain removal process, you must follow each method’s step-by-step instructions. In addition, you should also note some key points throughout the cleaning process, such as:
CHECK: Always check the care label instructions. Make sure you understand what treatment or solution is best for you. In addition, for a more reliable result, you can check in a hidden corner of the fabric first to see if the method is suitable.
BLOT: For a more effective stain treatment, you can pre-saturate the stain with a clean cloth. Remember only to dot, not rub, to limit the stain from spreading to other parts of the fabric.
PRETREAT: For stains, always pretreat them before washing them in the usual way. While Kool-Aid stains are not permanent, if you don’t treat them thoroughly before washing and drying, they will be difficult to remove or permanent on your fabric.
REPEAT: If the stain still has some faint traces, repeat the process a few times. If the stain is not treated thoroughly, it will become a big challenge for you after washing and drying.
NO MIXING: Do not arbitrarily mix chemicals if you do not understand them. In addition to combining some of the types in my tips above, you should not mix other types such as ammonia and bleach, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, rubbing alcohol and bleach, etc.
QUICK: Being as quick as possible is key in the kool-aid stain removal process. New stains are always easier to deal with than old ones. Therefore, seize the time.
NOT RELYING ON DRYER: Instead of using a dryer, you had better let the fabric dry naturally. If the stain is not treated thoroughly and is put in the dryer, it risks becoming permanent.
Do not mix these chemicals together if you do not want to face the dangers. Watch this video:
What else about the red Kool-Aid stain makes you wonder? Take a look at the questions below; maybe there will be answers you want to know.
Prompt Treatment Is Highly Recommended
Time is of the essence in any stain removal process, including Kool-Aid. So if you can schedule a time to process them, do it immediately. The faster you remove them, the easier it will be to treat them thoroughly.
I am sure that after my tips, you have somewhat understood whether Kool-Aid stains are worrying or not. Certainly not. The next time your kid accidentally spills Kool-Aid on their shirt, don’t be mad at them because it’s straightforward to get rid of using the above methods.
Would you please comment to let me know what you think? If successful, do not hesitate to share these great tips with family and friends.
- “Kool Colors – Omsi”. omsi.edu, 2021, NH-E1-KoolColors.pdf.
- “Color Additives History – FDA”. FDA.gov, 2021.
- “Color Additives Questions And Answers For Consumers – FDA”. FDA.gov, 2021.
- “Brilliant Blue FCF – Wikipedia”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2021.
- “Tartrazine – Wikipedia”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2021.