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I tried an Easter Egg dye experiment using four different types of dyes-PAAS, liquid food dye, gel icing dye, and Kool-Aid- to see which worked best. I picked the color blue, one of the most challenging dye colors for eggs.
PAAS Rainbow dye kit is a liquid dye. This dye uses room temp water, set out the water early. This kit requires vinegar. Dye time is five minutes. The color is a deep blue-first egg on the left in the below photo. PAAS Rainbow has five dye colors. Stains! Wear gloves and protect the work surface.
Liquid Food Dye
Liquid food dye has been my old standby. I followed the recommendations found at Not Martha Stewart. The color is a mid-range blue-third egg from the left in the below photo. Dye time is twenty minutes using the number of drops called for in the article and needs to be stirred every five minutes. However, ten minutes may be sufficient if you add more drops of color. The fun with liquid food dye is the number of color combinations you can make, and it is relatively cheap. Buy both the neon and regular dye kits. As with all dyes, it will stain; however, removing this dye is easier than removing either Wilton’s gel icing colors or PAAS dye.
Wilton Gel Icing Colors
The next dye in the Easter Egg dye experiment is Wilton Royal Blue gel icing color in jars. You need boiling water with this dye. If you don’t get the gel completely dissolved, it will streak. The color is a deep blue-second egg from the left. Dye time is between 3 to 7 minutes. You can do a few color mixes, see chart here. Stains! Wear gloves and protect work service.
I used Mixed Berry flavored Kool-Aid. Make sure you completely dissolve the Kool-Aid packet in a 2/3 cup of warm water. Do not add vinegar when using this dye. Use unsweetened Kool-Aid. The color is a lighter pretty blue–the egg on the right. Dye time is about 5 minutes. Not all flavors can be used to dye eggs. Some come out too pale–Lemonade–while others create unflattering colors-Grape. While Lemonade doesn’t work most combos with Lemonade does such as Lime-Lemonade and Raspberry-Lemonade. Cherry, Peach Mango and Orange are also good choices.
Which dye won the Easter Egg dye experiment?
I had a few problems with some of the dyes-see Failed at Dyeing Easter Eggs. All the dyes will create acceptable dye coverage. So it depends on what you are wanting.
Deep blue color-PAAS Rainbow Dye kit and Wilton Royal Blue gel icing color produce the darkest blue. The darker you attempt to make your eggs using gel icing colors, the more likely you will get pink and other discoloration marks.
Quickest dyeing time -PAAS took only five minutes. Gel icing color and Kool-Aid takes a few more minutes depending on how deep you want your color. Liquid food dye takes double the time.
A variety of colors-Liquid food dye can create a variety of colors. There are numerous charts with”recipes” for possible colors. You can mix Wilton gel, but there are few charts to assist you. Both PAAS and Kool-Aid have only five colors available. Kool-Aid doesn’t have a true, deep red and is more of a rust-orange.
Less apt to cause permanent stains-Kool-Aid followed by liquid food dye. All will stain clothing, but Kool-aid is the easiest to remove from hands and surfaces. Protect your work surface with newspaper or plastic and wear gloves. Both PAAS and Wilton gel colors can leave permanent stains if not cleaned up quickly and are difficult to remove from your hands. Anti-bacterial gel or soap seems to be the most effective at removing stains from the skin.
Smells good-You probably weren’t looking for this option, but the Kool-Aid does have a pleasant odor.
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