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How To Remove Food Dye Stains From Every Carpet

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Food dye stains on carpets can be a nightmare, as they tend to be vibrant and stubborn. Whether it's a spill during a baking session or an accidental mishap, don't panic!

Similar to ketchup stains, vibrant coloured stains tend to stick out like a sore thumb.

In this blog post, we'll provide you with effective methods to remove food colour stains from your carpets, helping you restore their original appearance.

Let's dive in and tackle this colourful challenge head-on!

Removing Food Dye Stains from Carpets

To remove food dye:

  1. Blot the food dye with cold water

  2. Create a mixture of warm water, soap and vinegar. Use the stain remover generously on the affected area

  3. Blot and rinse with cold water. If the stain persists, Use a baking soda mixture and leave for 30 minutes

  4. Remove after half an hour with a damp cloth

  5. Absorb the excess moisture and allow to air dry

Step 1: Act fast

As with any stain, time is of the essence. Grab a clean cloth or paper towel and blot the stain gently to remove any excess food dye. Avoid rubbing, as it can cause the stain to spread and become more difficult to remove.

Step 2: Blot with Cold Water

Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with cold water and continue blotting the stained area. Cold water helps prevent the dye from setting further into the carpet fibres. Keep blotting until you've removed as much of the food dye as possible.

Step 3: Create a Food dye stain remover

For synthetic carpets, mix one teaspoon of mild liquid dish soap with one cup of warm water along with a teaspoon of vinegar. Stir gently until the soap is dissolved.

For natural fibre carpets, consult the manufacturer's guidelines or seek professional advice to avoid damaging the fibres.

Step 4: Apply the Cleaning Solution

Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with the cleaning solution and blot the remaining food dye stain. Work from the outside of the stain towards the centre, gradually lifting the dye from the carpet fibres. Avoid scrubbing, as it may damage the carpet.

Step 5: Rinse and Blot

Using a separate cloth or sponge dampened with cold water, gently rinse the area to remove any soapy residue. Continue blotting until the carpet feels clean and free of soap. Ensure all cleaning solution and dye residue are thoroughly removed.

Step 6: Treat Stubborn Stains

If the food dye stain persists, you can create a paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste directly to the stain, covering it completely. Allow the paste to sit on the stain for at least 30 minutes. Then, dampen a cloth with cold water and gently blot the area, rinsing away the paste and the remaining stain.

You can also try ammonia, one tablespoon along with warm water and liquid dish soap. Allow to sit for 30 minutes and then wipe away with a damp cloth.

Step 7: Absorb Excess Moisture and Air Dry

Using a clean, dry cloth, gently blot the damp area to remove any excess moisture. Allow the carpet to air dry completely before using the area. Open windows or use fans to facilitate the drying process. Avoid walking on the damp carpet to prevent further staining or damage.

Step 8: Evaluate and Repeat if Necessary

Once the carpet is dry, assess the treated area. If there are any residual traces of the food dye stain, consider repeating the cleaning process or seek professional assistance for stubborn stains.

Can All Food Colouring Stains Be Removed?

While many food dye stains can be removed with this method, sometimes a stain has been on the carpet so long that it can't be removed with any cleaning process. For these types of stains, we need to do something completely different. To get rid of permanent dye stains, we need to re-dye the carpets back to their original colour.

There are a few companies now that do this, but you can also try matching the colours to your own carpet yourself if you prefer.

Preventing Future Food Dye Stains

To minimize the risk of food dye stains on your carpets in the future, consider the following preventive measures:

  1. Be cautious when working with food dyes, using protective covers or drop cloths.

  2. Encourage eating and drinking in designated areas away from carpets.

  3. Act quickly to address spills and stains, minimizing their chances of setting in.


Food dye stains on carpets may be eye-catching, but with prompt action and the right techniques, you can successfully remove them.

Act quickly, blot the stain, and use appropriate cleaning solutions. By following the steps provided in this blog post, you'll be well-equipped to tackle food dye stains and restore your carpets to their original beauty.

Remember, prevention is key, so exercise caution during food dye-related activities. Enjoy your carpets looking vibrant and stain-free!

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