How to Remove Food Coloring From a Counter

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Things You'll Need

  • Sponge

  • Bowl

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Ammonia

  • Cloth

  • White vinegar (optional)


Apply the mixture to an obscure portion of the counter to test for colorfastness before attempting stain removal.


Ammonia has a mild bleaching effect on some materials. If you have dark-colored counters, substitute white vinegar for the ammonia. Do not mix ammonia with bleach, since this produces toxic fumes.

Remove food coloring stains when they are fresh.

Food coloring is a useful way to transform the color of icing, Easter eggs and a variety of other food items. However, it can be messy to use and will stain anything that it touches including countertops. If the food coloring sits on the counter for even one to two minutes, a stain often occurs. Removing stubborn food coloring stains from a counter requires the use of a chemical solvent.


Step 1

Wipe the counter with a damp sponge to remove as much of the food coloring stain as possible.

Step 2

Fill a bowl with 2 cups of warm water, 1 tsp. of liquid dish soap and 1 tbsp. of ammonia.

Step 3

Insert the sponge into the mixture and wring it out only enough so that it is not dripping.

Step 4

Apply the liquid to the food coloring stain until it pools up slightly.


Step 5

Allow the mixture to sit for five to 10 seconds and then wipe it up with the sponge.

Step 6

Examine the counter to see if the food coloring stain remains. If it does, repeat the procedure until the stain is completely gone. Afterward, rinse the counter with clean water and wipe dry with a cloth.



Kimberly Johnson

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.