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11 Surprisingly Practical Ways To Use Kool-Aid

photos of various things you can do with kool air packets

Kool-Aid Packets Are More Useful Than You Know

My family has a long history with Kool-Aid. Back when the kids were little, we almost always had a pitcher of it in the fridge, both because Dave and the kids loved it and because it was a quick way to boost my son Kell’s blood sugar levels when they dropped too low. (Unfortunately, this happened fairly regularly back when we were first learning the ropes of managing his Type 1 diabetes.)

While we don’t keep as many Kool-Aid packets on hand today as we used to, I may just have to stock up again after writing this post! Because it turns out that there are a surprising number of different ways to use Kool-Aid packets beyond using it as a drink mix.

From cleaning to dyeing to crafting, those little packets of Kool-Aid are handy to have around! So if you’re wondering what to do with Kool-Aid packets, here are 11 of the most surprising ways you can put them to good use.

11 Surprising Ways To Use Kool-Aid Around The House

pouring a kool aid packet into a toilet

1. Try The Kool-Aid Toilet Hack

Kool-Aid drink mix packets come in all sorts of flavors, but the most useful flavor is lemonade, hands down! Packets of the lemonade drink mix contain citric acid, which makes a great cleaning agent in areas where mineral build-up occurs, like in the kitchen and bathroom.

You can use a packet of lemonade Kool-Aid mix to clean your toilet bowl! Just sprinkle the Kool-Aid in the toilet bowl, then use your toilet brush to give it a good scrub. (If you have stubborn hard water stains, let the powder sit on the surface for a minute or two before scrubbing.)

Related: The One Recipe You Need To Keep Your Toilet Clean

pouring a kool aid packet into a washing machine

2. Clean Your Washing Machine

To clean your washing machine, sprinkle 1/4 cup of lemonade Kool-Aid mix into the drum of your machine. Turn the machine on to a normal wash cycle. Repeat as necessary to keep your machine clean and free of yucky deposits that can cause bad smells.

Related: How To Clean A Washing Machine The Right Way

pouring kool aid into a dishwasher soap dispenser

3. Clean Your Dishwasher

To clean your dishwasher, sprinkle a packet of lemonade Kool-Aid mix into the detergent compartment. Empty out the dishwasher, then set it to run on a normal dish cycle. The Kool-Aid will help to dissolve any residues in your dishwasher, so that it can clean your dishes more effectively.

Related: How To Clean Your Dishwasher In 3 Easy Steps (And Fix Most Dishwasher Problems)

cleaning a stain on concrete with a paste of kool aid

4. Clean Concrete

Use some lemonade Kool-Aid mix to help scrub away stains on your concrete! Simply mix a few drops of water into some lemonade Kool-Aid mix, just enough to form a paste. Apply the paste to a concrete stain and use a stiff scrub brush to scrub the area clean.

putting wooden clothespins into a dish full of liquid kool aid

5. Dye Unfinished Wood

You can use any flavor/color of Kool-Aid mix to dye small pieces of unfinished wood! Pour the contents of 3-4 packets of your Kool-Aid mix of choice into a cup or bowl of water, and stir until the mix dissolves. Place your unfinished wood item into the bowl and let it soak overnight.

Use this dye method to add character to all kinds of small wood crafts and projects!

putting white yarn into a pot of liquid kool aid

6. Dye Yarn

You can use the colored Kool-Aid mix of your choice to dye white or light-colored yarn! Start by dissolving a packet of your Kool-Aid mix of choice in a small bowl of water. Pour the dissolved Kool-Aid into a larger pot of water, then add the yarn to the pot.

Bring the pot to a boil on your stovetop, then place the lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Let the yarn sit in the covered pot for about 30 minutes, then rinse the yarn in warm water and allow it to dry completely.

egg in a glass of liquid kool aid

7. Dye Eggs

Here’s a tip to keep in your back pocket for next Easter – use a packet of Kool-Aid mix to dye your eggs! Mix one packet into 2/3 of a cup of water, and stir until dissolved. Place an egg in the colored water, and keep the egg submerged until the desired color is achieved.

bottles of elmer's glue that have been dyed with kool aid packets

8. Make Colored Glue

Colored glue is an easy way to up the fun-factor of your kids’ craft supplies. Simply pour a packet of Kool-Aid mix into a bottle of school glue, then shake the bottle for a few minutes until the powder has dissolved and the color is evenly distributed. Fun!

drying pictures on a piece of plastic wrap with elmer's glue to make window clings

9. Make Window Clings

Follow the instructions above to mix up a batch of colored glue, then use that glue to make your own window clings! Stretch out a piece of plastic wrap across a flat surface, then use the colored glue to create the designs of your choice. Let the glue dry completely, then carefully peel your creations away from the plastic wrap. Stick your homemade window clings on windows and mirrors.

pouring a packet of kool aid into a small bowl of non petroleum jelly

10. Make Lip Gloss

Stir a small amount of the colored Kool-Aid mix of your choice into a small container of your favorite non-petroleum jelly. Add more powder to achieve a deeper color. And voila, you’ve got a super-simple (and tasty) colored lip gloss!

A person using practical ways to optimize the SEO of their website by placing a packet of Kool-Aid into a toilet.

11. Check Your Toilet For Leaks

Here’s another Kool-Aid toilet hack worth mentioning: You can use it to find out if water is leaking from your toilet’s tank into the bowl, wasting both water and money. To do it, sprinkle a packet of brightly colored Kool-Aid into the tank of the toilet, then let it sit for 30 minutes without flushing.

After 30 minutes, check the water in the bowl. If the color of the Kool-Aid has seeped into the bowl, then you know you have a leak. Ideally, you should only need to replace the flapper with a new one to stop the leak. (If that doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to consult a plumber.)

Related: 9 Annoying Household Problems And Their Surprisingly Simple Solutions

Have you ever used Kool-Aid mix in an unconventional way?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

    • Non- petroleum jelly is made from. Beeswax and other stuff. I’ve found it before at Sprouts and Bed, bath and beyond. I don’t have it anymore, but a little jar will last me about a year.

    • I use vinegar to clean my dishwasher on monthly basis, although this may be unnecessary as I am in the habit of “washing my dishes before I wash the dishes in the DW. My daughters laugh at me, but the DW is old (15 years old and still working) and does not do as good a job as a newer one. For my front loading washing machine, which is new, I replaced my 15 yr. old washer and dryer a month ago, the manufacturer suggested using bleach once a month.

      • I to wash my dishes off, before I load my dishwasher and I just had to replace my old one, it’s maybe 3 mo old, but it takes several meals to have a full load and they sour and will make the DW smell. People roll their eyes at me, but oh well… LOL To each his own…

  • I’ve also used it to color and flavor cans of white frosting. When my youngest was little she wanted lime frosting for her cupcakes and I mixed lime kool-aid in the can of white frosting for the most lime flavored frosting I’ve ever tasted!

  • For mineral deposits in the toilet, use denture tablets. Drop in 3-4 and let set overnight. Repeat if deposits are thick. Beats scrubbing with lava!

  • This is an old Navy trick… it works!! Generally use 1 pack of lemon kool aid to 1 gallon of water….it HAS to be the” old” type that you add sugar to .. the other doe not work as well…

  • Mix with plaster of Paris to create sidewalk chalk. Mix with water in a spray bottle to make sprayable fabric dye. Mix with water for water color or paint.

  • Kool-Aid Play-Doh

    2 1/2 c flour, 1/2 c salt, 2 pkg unsweetened Kool-Aid mix, 3 T oil, 2 c boiling water. Mix all ingredients with a spoon, when cool enough to handle knead for a few minutes until smooth & elastic. For fun you can also add glitter! Great for Pre-schoolers & each can have their own container. Store in an airtight container. It smells so much nicer than original, always use on plastic placemats or an old shower curtain that you can toss in the washer.

  • I’m not sure of ratio of Kool-Aid to water, but I thought I’ve heard of people coloring their hair at Halloween for a temporary color.

  • Fascinating the things that can serve in many ways. I Love all your posts about ways to use items and the
    Kool aid one exceeded my expectations….Who would have thought? Thanks Jill

  • As a grandmother, I never gave it to my child or grandchild, but during the 1950’s my family, neighbors, friends, cousins, etc. lived off that stuff–we coulddn’t afford anything else & it was cheap, cheap, cheap–maybe that’s why we grew up to be the “flower children” with tye-dye, etc.—lol

  • You didn’t mention what I most commonly use Kool-aid for– to color homemade play dough. It also makes it smell good! Just add it with the flour before you cook it.

  • We drank this like crazy when we were kids . Then my siblings got into sports and didn’t drink it as much. Where I work some folks buy it like crazy when it goes on sale. Some folks use it for the citric acid if they’ve had known kidney stones to help keep calcium deposits from forming. Folks where we live use the Koolaid to dye their hair funky colors. I’m glad to know about that use for the washer.

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