If you have children in your home, you most likely know the frustration of finding a red juice stain on counter surfaces from a glass of Kool-Aid.
That's because the dye found in Kool-Aid is strong enough to stain most countertops. Sometimes, having a regular countertop stain remover isn't enough, and you need a specific Kool-Aid stain remover. Using a few household items, you can make a Kool-Aid stain remover that will get rid of those stains and prevent them from being permanent.
Step 1: Wipe With a Damp Towel
Use a clean, dry towel or a few paper towels to wipe up the Kool-Aid as quickly as possible after the spill. Dab or pat the spill dry, rather than wiping it, because this can spread the liquid around the countertop and increase the size of the stain. After the counter is dry, wipe the area with a damp towel or paper towel. If you are able to do this quickly enough after a spill, the dye may not have time to be absorbed into the countertop, preventing a stain.
Step 2: Make a Baking Soda Paste
If there is a stain after drying and wiping with a damp towel, you can make a Kool-Aid stain remover by mixing baking soda with water. The mixture of baking soda with a little water will produce a paste. Cover the stain area completely with the paste and let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping it away. Baking soda is slightly abrasive so if you do scrub it, do so gently. For more stubborn stains, allow the baking soda paste to sit for an hour or two before removing.
Step 3: Apply Toothpaste
If you don't have any baking soda in the house, an alternative countertop stain remover is toothpaste. Dry the stained area of the countertop. Fold a paper towel to reduce the chance of it ripping and dampen it with some cold water. Apply some toothpaste to the paper towel. If possible, use a toothpaste that contains baking soda. Gently rub the toothpaste onto the stain and let it set for a few minutes. Remove the toothpaste with a damp towel and dry the area.
Step 4: Be Careful With Bleach
For stubborn stains, bleach is a good stain remover, but it may damage some countertops. Test some bleach on an area of your counter that is not clearly visible before using it on the stain. Bleach should only be used on white or light colored countertops. If it is safe for your countertop, apply a small amount of bleach to the stained area and let it set for no longer than five minutes. Then, rinse the counter with a wet towel to remove the bleach. Finally, dry the area.
Step 5: Alternative Products as Countertop Stain Remover
Other products like Soft Scrub and Clorox also work on stubborn Kool-Aid stains, but they are abrasive and sometimes contain bleach. They should be tested on an inconspicuous area before applying the product to a stain. Nail polish remover is another option, but it is flammable and can damage the finish of your countertop, so be sure to test a very small area before using. And everyone's favorite, the Magic Eraser, may work on Kool-Aid stains, but keep in mind that it also contains bleach, which could leave a bleach stain in laminate countertops.
Gary Sprague is a retired master plumber who now works as a writer. He lives with his family in Maine.