How to Get Red Food Coloring off of Hardwood Floors

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Red food coloring is not only used in baking, but also to create dyed Easter eggs. Excited children may accidentally spill the red food coloring onto the kitchen or dining room's hardwood flooring. Since red food coloring is a dye, it has the power to stain the hardwood floor if it is not cleaned as soon as possible. It is also important to stay away from using abrasive cleaners that could scratch the hardwood flooring.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Club soda
  • White rag
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • White towel
  • Set a paper towel over the red food coloring, but do not apply any pressure. Allow the paper towel to soak up as much of the red food coloring as possible. Toss the paper towel in the trash.

  • Spray club soda over the remaining red food coloring, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Blot it up with a clean white rag. If all of the red food coloring was successfully removed, you do not need to clean the floor. Club soda doesn't leave any residue behind.

  • Test an inconspicuous spot of wood flooring with some hydrogen peroxide if the club soda didn't work to remove the red food coloring. If the hardwood is not discolored in any way, spray it over the food coloring stain. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Scrub the area with a soft bristle brush before wiping clean with a white rag.

  • Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of hot water. Use this homemade cleaner to wash the wood flooring once the red food coloring stain has been removed.

  • Dry the hardwood flooring with a white towel. Water left on hardwood for any length of time can actually warp the wood.

Tips & Warnings

  • Acetone can remove red dye stains, but it must be tested first. Like the hydrogen peroxide, acetone has the power to discolor wood.
  • You may not be able to remove the red food coloring if it was left undetected for a period of time. If this happens, you will need to sand the stain away and then refinish the floor.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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