How to dye cotton with kool-aid

Kool-Aid is made with food colouring, which can be used to dye your tongue or some fabrics. Natural fibres are the easiest to dye with food colouring. If you want to dye cotton with Kool-Aid , you should first dissolve the drink powder with a small amount of hot water. Kool-Aid is commonly used as a fruit drink, not a dye solution, so experimentation may be needed for any projects using it.

Pour three packets of Kool-Aid into a large stockpot. Add 2 cups of water and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve. You can use the same type of Kool-Aid or mix together different flavours to create a new colour.

Put your cotton fabric into the stockpot. Be sure you have enough liquid and space for the fabric. This project would work best for a cotton T-shirt. If you need more dye, add more Kool-Aid and water. The dye mix should be approximately one packet of Kool-Aid to 1/2 cup of water.

Place the stockpot on the stove and set at medium-high heat. Stir often to move the cotton around the dye. Cover the stockpot to steam the dye into the cotton.

Turn off the heat once the Kool-Aid boils. Stir the cotton once more and cover the pot with the lid. Leave the cotton fabric in the dye overnight.

Remove the cotton fabric from the Kool-Aid dye. Rinse out with cool water and air dry.


Kool-Aid works best with animal fibres such as wool and silk. You made need to increase the amount of Kool-Aid to achieve bright colours. Experiment with different flavours to find the right colour intensity.


Wear rubber gloves for this craft.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 packets of Kool-Aid
  • 2 cups water
  • Stockpot
  • Wooden spoon
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About the Author

Charong Chow has been writing professionally since 1995. Her work has appeared in magazines such as "Zing" and "Ocean Drive." Chow graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. She also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.