DIY Repurposing

11 Totally Unexpected Uses for Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid is a summertime staple in many American households. But did you know that this drink mix can do more than satisfy your thirst? Here are 11 surprising reasons to keep a few extra packets of the sweet, brightly colored powder on hand.

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Check Your Toilet for Leaks

To check for leaks in your toilet tank, open the lid and pour a packet of dark-colored Kool-Aid into the reserve tank. Let it sit for 30 minutes. If the liquid in the bowl changes color, then water is leaking from the tank into the bowl.

Related: 10 Things Never to Flush Down the Toilet

Dye Unfinished Wood

Kool-Aid can stain small pieces of unfinished wood for craft and home projects. Simply add three or four packets of your favorite color of Kool-Aid to a bowl of water, stir until the powder dissolves completely, and submerge the wood in the mixture overnight.

Related: Bob Vila’s Best DIY Projects for Beginners

Dye Yarn

Handy DIYers can dye any light-colored yarn with Kool-Aid. To begin, stir a packet of the colored powder of your choice into water until it’s dissolved. Transfer the solution to a pot, and completely submerge the yarn in the liquid. Bring the water and yarn to a boil, take the pot off the stove, and let it sit, covered, for at least 30 minutes. Rinse the yarn in warm water and allow it to dry.

Related: 11 Totally Unexpected Uses for a Crock-Pot

Clean Your Coffee Maker

You can rid your coffee maker of hard water stains by running a batch of Kool-Aid Lemonade through it. Dissolve a packet of lemon-flavored Kool-Aid in two cups of water. Add it to your coffee maker’s water reservoir, and run the appliance through a brew cycle for a squeaky-clean finish.

Related: 10 Things a Coffee Maker Can Do—Besides Brew Coffee

Get Rust Off Concrete

Don’t fret if you find rust stains on your concrete. For an easy DIY solution, mix a packet of Kool-Aid Lemonade with just enough water to form a paste, and apply it to the stain with a stiff brush. The paste should loosen the rust enough for you to rinse it off with the garden hose.

Related: 10 Ways to Buy Better Curb Appeal for Under $50

Dye Easter Eggs

No Easter Egg kit? No problem. You can dye eggs just as easily by dissolving a packet of Kool-Aid into 2/3 cup of water and using it as you would any other egg dye.

Related: 13 Unusual Household Uses for Ice Cubes

Clean Your Dishwasher

If your water has a high iron content, you probably have rust stains inside your dishwasher. Get the appliance sparkling clean again by putting a packet of Kool-Aid Lemonade into the soap dispenser and running the dishwasher on a hot-water cycle.

Related: Over a Dozen Things You Didn’t Know You Could Clean in the Dishwasher

Clean Pots and Pans

The citric acid in orange- or lemon-flavored Kool-Aid can effectively break up stubborn gunk on pots and pans. Simply mix a packet of the beverage with a teaspoon or two of water. Use the resulting paste to scrub the pan clean. 

Related: 11 Ways You’re Accidentally Ruining Your Cookware

Clean Tarnished Silverware

There’s no need to buy silver polish if you have a spare packet of Kool-Aid Lemonade in the pantry. In a large container, mix the powder with two quarts of water and one cup of sugar. Soak the silverware in the Kool-Aid liquid for 10 minutes. Then take it out, wipe with a cloth, and rinse before carefully drying.

Related: 14 Instant Fixes for a Total Pantry Makeover

Make Paint

Entertain the kids by whipping up some watercolor paint with packets of Kool-Aid. Dump each pouch in a small container or dish, mix with a tablespoon of water, and let the creativity flow!

Related: 11 Insanely Easy 60-Minute Paint DIYs

Clean the Toilet

In a pinch, homeowners can clean the toilet bowl with a packet of Kool-Aid Lemonade. Sprinkle the powder into the bowl and scrub as you usually would with your toilet brush. Flush the toilet, and watch those hard water rings wash away.

Related: 13 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Bathroom Ever

Refresh Your Routine

Bring a little color to big cleaning day when you add these clever tricks to your routine. Once you’ve finished your chores, why not treat yourself to a sweet drink. You don’t have to reach for a Kool-Aid—but you could!