What to Do with Leftover Easter Egg Dye

What to do with leftover Easter egg dye? We finished coloring our Easter eggs. Now what? We were left with 12 cups of dye {food coloring really}. I felt like there had to be some use for all of this.  It seems like a waste not to do something with it.

What to do with leftover Easter eggs

Idea #1: Vinegar Water & Baking Soda

The dye we used had vinegar in it because it was supposed to make the colors more vibrant.

That gave me the idea to mix the colored vinegar water with some baking soda.  Would there be enough vinegar to get a reaction??

By the way have you seen all the fun you can have with colored vinegar and some baking soda?

  • I saw this first at hands on: as we grow.  She saw it at here who saw it on Pinterest {pin no longer there}.  Like the idea trail?
  • Then, Heather from Quirky Momma Kids Activities Blog added a different twist.  Check it out here.
  • Reading Confetti has another version she learned about from Not Just Cute.  It adds a fun surprise to the science.
  • And Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas also had an added surprise element to her reactions.

I really wanted the color change element in our little science fun, so I added a drop of food coloring to an egg carton compartment.  {Reusing things, don’t you love it?}

Then I added some baking soda on top.

Too much baking soda = no color change.  {Because there was not enough vinegar in the water to react with the baking soda.}

To change the color, I had to stir.

Take 2 with less baking soda.

This time I got a color change.

While I thought all of this was very cool, Aiden was not really that interested.  He just wanted to paint with the colors; he wasn’t interested in the small bit of bubbles.  {We’ll have to do some real baking soda and vinegar mixing soon.}


Idea #2:  Cornstarch and Colored Water

I love mixing cornstarch and water.  It’s one of my favorite science experiments, and the texture is awesome.  If you’ve never tried this, you really should.  Check out my previous post about it here.  I’ve included the science behind it and some questions for learning.


Idea #3:  Watercolor Painting

It seemed a little soupy to paint with just colored water, so I thought I could thicken it up a little.


Here are the different thickeners we tried:

  • baking soda
  • flour
  • corn syrup
  • corn starch

Trial 1:  I mixed all four together, but wasn’t really getting anywhere, so I abandoned the effort.

Trial 2:  I started over and added flour to the water.  The result was paste that was a good painting consistency.

Trial 3:  I added cornstarch to the water.  I added so much that it was difficult to stir.

I left the three mixtures out overnight to see if some of the water might dry out and we could use wet paint brushes to paint {just like watercolors}.

All three mixtures actually worked as paint {sort of}.  The cornstarch and water worked, but the color was too pale to really see on white paper.  I guess it needed more food coloring.

The flour and water mixture still worked as paint – it was a little drier than the first day.  {Our brushes got pretty messy from the flour though, so be warned if you try this method.}

Surprisingly, I liked the random mixture of baking soda, flour, corn syrup, and corn starch the best.  I dumped off half of the water the night before.  In the morning, I was left with a nice paint consistency.  Not really water colors, but more like tempera or acrylic.

I haven’t yet used all of the leftover food coloring.  Maybe we’ll come up with something else to do.

Thanks for stopping by!



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