If you have ever used food-dye to coloring icing, cake batter or to change the color of eggs and other foods, you know spills, splashes and splatters are likely. Food coloring does a great job of changing the color of cakes and eggs to almost any color you can imagine, but the dye also holds onto to clothing just as tightly. Most times we assume the clothing or tablecloth is permanently stained and ruined. That is not necessarily true. food-dye stains can be removed if you act quickly. The longer a food-dye stain remains on the fabric, the more it dries and sets. Once the dye dries, it is virtuously impossible to remove it and save your garment.
Immediately stretch ited fabric over a bucket and secure the garment in place.
Face it down toward the bottom of the bucket. Work to remove stains from the wrong side of the fabric to prevent it from setting deeper into the fibers. Lay a shirt, pants or tablecloth over the bucket and tie it in place with string or stretch a large rubber band around the bucket to hold it in place securely.
Pour a cup of cool water slowly directly onto the food-dye stain. This will help to push it out of the fibers.
Dye Stain Removal
Add 2 tablespoons of household ammonia to 1 cup of warm water. Stir gently to mix.
Pour the ammonia and water mixture onto it slowly. The ammonia will help to neutralize the food-dye.
Remove the garment from the top of the bucket and turn it over.
Place the clothing, tablecloth or napkin with it facing up onto a thick layer of paper towels or clean dry rags.
Pour a generous amount of table salt onto the food-dye stain. The salt should completely cover the dye stain and sit about 1/4 inch off the fabric.
Press the salt into it with your fingers forcefully. Do not rub the salt into it just press it in. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
Remove the garment from the surface. Turn it over and place it back over the bucket with the salted stain side facing down.
Continue to Work on the Dye Stain
Pour 1 cup of cool water slowly onto the back of it.
Immediately follow with 2 tablespoons of ammonia in 1 cup of warm water, poured slowly over it.
Add more salt and repeat the process if the food-dye stain remains.
Pour laundry detergent over the site of it and rub in with a damp rag. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before laundering as usual.
If the garment is white and it has not been fully removed, pour hydrogen peroxide onto the spot and set in the sun. As the hydrogen peroxide dries, it will bleach it out.
Do's and Don't's
Do not put the tablecloth, clothing, linen napkin or placemat into the dryer until the dye stain has been completely removed. The dryer heat will permanently set it into the fabric fibers.
Do not iron the garment because the heat of the iron will also set it permanently into the fabric.
Wear clothing that you won't become upset if the food coloring or dye ends up on your sleeve.
Work on a protected work surface away from pricy or irreplacable lines.
If the item of clothing is dry clean only, do not attempt wet cleaning because that will also ruin the item.