Easter Egg Dye Disaster of 2012

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Easter 2012 will be remembered as the egg dye debacle.

I am hoping y’all can help me understand what happened.

So every year my family colors eggs ( we buy those little kits)

Kit was bought from Target earlier this week.

My dad mixed the colors ( in the color coordinated cups of course) – I saw him make it ( he followed the directions)



The lovely egg above was sitting in the blue dye cup for 5 minutes.

We found out that all the dyes were EXTREMELY weak except for the yellow.

So what do you think happened?

What can we do need year to dye eggs? Is there a better way then using those kits?


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  • Amy

    We used KoolAid and water and they turned out AMAZING and super bright! If you want to use the kits, use vinegar, as it makes the colors stronger.


    usually the key to good colored eggs is the vinegar. We didnt use it this year. we used water and food coloring drops. TUrned out OK but next year we will use the vinegar with it, i forgot to buy it this time. LOL

  • Tiffany L

    Pinterest had a cool little koolaid egg dieing trick that we tried and it worked great and we had everything we needed so didn’t have to spend anything! We’ve learned sometimes the die kits don’t work everytime anymore since they changed it.

  • Susie

    May have been an old kit, too much water not enough vinegar? We use the dyes that you get from Wilton’s in the cake decorating section. No vinegar, lots of colors to choose from and they work well! Hope next year is better or you!

  • Katy Emerich

    Do you have well water at your new house? maybe it has something to do with that from boiling the eggs and using it in the dye?

  • Dana

    Did you add the vinegar? I tried to dye eggs naturally this year and it worked “okay”. The trick is more vinegar. I used strong coffee, grape juice, chili powder, and curry (I was out of turmeric, it would have worked better). I saw a post using Kool Aid packets though, so I’m all about that next year.

  • Monnie Bigger

    I have found that if you buy the kits that go on clearance and wait to use them until the next Easter, they don’t always work. Or maybe just a couple of colors will work and the rest won’t! Otherwise, I don’t know.

  • Shairbearg

    Could it be the kit was just old? Left over from last year, and thus not very potent? I have seen things like that happen with kits my Mom has purchased, as she gets them on sale, and they are very old.

  • Cathy

    we had the same problem…doubled up on the colors, of course the kids mixed them with different colors…..for the ones that turned out nearly white…..we used those sleeves or stickers……kids are still little and didn’t care as much as we did. we also used 3 different brands, Dudley, Paas and one other one…..so it must be just a new formula….i plan on doing it with KoolAid next year…..

  • Kim

    We did the kool aid dye this year and they came out wonderfully! Bright colors and the dye took fast! We will be doing that one next year. All you need is the hard boiled eggs, a package of kool aid in each color you would like and water.
    2/3 cup of water per package.

  • Gina Hibbs

    How did you boil your eggs? Did you add oil to the water? Or like someone else said, maybe it was just old dye.

  • Debbie

    Same thing happened to us this year – purple, red and pink all made only pink eggs, yellow orange and green, nothing for color on the egg, and the blue slightly worked – what a rip – never buying a kit again – going back to the old fashioned way using food coloring.

  • Linda Bell

    I also like the KoolAid dye and love it. You should try contacting the company and see if they will send you a new kit for later.

  • Paris

    We bought a kit from Target as well and it said add vinegar for ultra vibrant, add lemon juice for normal, and water for pastel. We added vinegar and they came out pastel. I have always hated kits because they never turn out right. I wanted to do the Koolaid ones with the kids but all Target had was Cherry, tropical punch, and grape. So we just bought a kit instead of going to another store.

  • OcalaMom

    We use boiling water, vinegar, and food coloring – good old fashioned way. Never liked the kits – don’t know if its because I’m clinging to my childhood long before those kits were ever made, but to me, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • Tanya

    Years ago I bought about a dozen of those kits when they had been reduced to a dime each, and I used them every year up until I used my last one last year and never had a problem, so I can’t think being old would matter. They only thing I can think of is something with the vinegar? Does it smell and taste like vinegar? No one used the jug for water and didn’t mark it? LOL I just can’t imagine. But I love the koolaid idea…gonna have to try that out! πŸ™‚ And yes, the good old fashioned food colors seem to work really well.

  • Amber

    I had a similar set from target the Paas Neon one all of our eggs were very weak in color except for the yellow as well the pink was non existent, I have decided that the just palin water way gives more consistent color not as bright (if it works ) but consistent!

  • Shannon Pickin

    I bought the marble egg kind…and I don’t recommend those either. They required vinegar and oil…and the oil just made the eggs greasy and the color wipe right off. So, we had to redo our eggs with just the color and vinegar.

  • Jennifer R.

    We just used food coloring and white vinegar or you can use kool-aid and vinegar. Our eggs turned out lovely this year. The colors were so much more vivid versus using the kits.

  • CarolSue Baird

    We wondered why ALL our eggs came out pink this year. Used a PAAS kit from walmart, warm water, vinegar, dye. They did not work. Maybe others had bad kits too… Weird.

  • Kimberly Cramer Whetsell

    I know you said you used vinegar, however it doesn’t work well when not enough is added. I did the same thing last year yellow came out fine but the other colors not so good, I went back and remixed it adding more vinegar and viola the colors were great.

  • bethlaf

    yellow onion skins beautifull copper gold color
    red onion skins pinky purple or BEETS or Grape juice
    hibiscus tea(jamaica tea) lovely purple
    spinich nice pale green
    TEA-regular black tea, gives warm brownish colors
    all are Boiled with the eggs.
    then let cool in the water, then remove.
    my kids love prepping for it too

  • Billie

    with the PAAS if your using vinegar, it’s suppose to only be the vinegar, no water. 3 tablespoons of vinegar and one tablet. Granted, they never submerge the egg, but they definitely get color.

  • Beth campbell

    I have to agree with the last poster, I’d say the kit was an older one and may have been past it’s experiation date. In that case the dyes would have been a bit weaker. although, yellow is usually the weakest color. Usually blue, green and yellow need the vinegar in it, the reds and purples don’t need the vinegar in the color as they are pretty bright. Also, did you use warm water? how long did you allow the egg to sit in the dye? next year I’m thinking of using koolaid or just regular food dye cause those kits are expensive, and really aren’t all that good. It’s hard to get those little pelts to dissolve all the way, and I find that it takes alot longer to get teh dye to stick to the eggs. this year with both the green and yellow, despite putting vinegar in it, I still had to let both the blue and green sit for almost 10 mins to get a decent dye on it

  • Kate

    Maybe to much vinegar? The lines on the cup that go all the way around it are not the fill lines. Or the dye was old or bad. I had a kit about 2 years ago that didn’t work. You can also use food coloring gel watered down a littile. Tea and coffee can be used. Heat cooked eggs in with tea bags or coffee and let sit. Berries can be used too.

  • jade burdette

    We too bought a PAAS kit from walmart & nothing worked it would look like the dye was working but as soon as the eggs were taken out of the cups it all came off.

  • Jaimee

    We used old kits from years past and they all worked. Very strange. Most of the kits say not to boil eggs in certain types of pots. Maybe that was it.

  • Sharon Bauer

    Not sure. We used an old one we bought half price after Easter last year and they worked fine.
    Did you bake them instead of boiling? that might be the culprit.

    • Susan

      I did bake mine this year and they came out alot blochy so that explain the problem but I also had did the nite before and refrigerated the eggs and dyed them the next day too

  • Tracie

    Growing up we always used McCormick food coloring and apple cider vinegar mixed in water. I use it now that I have two babies.

  • leigh

    Our kit said to only put vinegar in a few of the colors – I don’t remember if it was the dark colors or the light ones. I wonder if it makes a difference.

    BTW does anyone know – is it safe to eat the eggs decorated with the PAAS and similar kits?

  • Renee Stough

    Im thinkin maybe its the type of egg you used, if its the Omega, Organic or Anti Oxident eggs, the shell forms differently than with just a regular egg. If not, Im thinking expired as well…Also if you put salt or oil in the water it will slicken up the shell…so color doesnt stay on.

  • cindy riddle

    The egg appears awfully shiny in the photo. Was someone in the house punking you? It looks oily (which would prevent the color from sticking) what was your method for boiling the eggs? Even a weak dye should have left some color.

  • Rosie

    I used vinegar, cold water and regular food coloring. The colors came pretty and it only took a few minutes.

  • Hanni

    I normally dye my eggs with a tablet of each color from the packages I buy just like you. This year I had brown eggs to color, so I bought 3 dye packages and put in each cup 3 tablets of the same color, than I added 3 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, it calls for white, but I had only that vinegar and than I added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup water and I let it sit and disolve and than I take a plastic spoon and stir it really good, so there is no color clumps left and I put in the egg and I have to say, my eggs came out so beautiful, even the brown eggs.
    So maybe next time when you dye them, get more of these little tablets, one isn’t enough. I do hope this helps.

  • Dee

    Ok. That cool aid sounds fun but what worries me is what it truly stains on the inside of us when we drink it lol lol

  • KimD

    I use 3 T vinegar for each tablet and the colors are bright and vibrant. I also used the muffin tin method to dye my eggs this year and it was great! I dyed 12 eggs at one time!

  • Beth

    WOW! When we went to my mom’s yesterday we noticed that her eggs were not vibrant either and a couple didn’t even looked dyed. She also used the Kit with the cups! Not sure where she bought hers, but am wondering now if they just aren’t making them like they used to. Our tradition stays the same, water, vinegar and food coloring. πŸ™‚

  • carol donnermeyer

    I can only think of a few things. The pot to boil need to be other than aluminum or iron. The Food Coloring in the bakery section of the store often works better. If your water has a lot of minerals might make the dye not effective perhaps distilled water might work better? What it sounds like is that the dye kit was defective.
    I did eggs one year with onion skins and they turned out beautiful. I wrapped the raw eggs in onion skins and then in nylon net and rubber banded them tight. Bring to boil. Turn off the pot and cover for 20 minutes. Use an ice bath to cool for another 20.
    Last the eggs might need to be wiped if the pot had any oil residual at all.
    Hope next year is better.
    I love the kool aid idea.

  • Jen

    Ok first if you read her post she said she used vinegar!!! I hate this for you we tried the kool aidit stunk also so we them used food coloring vinegar water they did fine.. I have tried the kits before they did not work for me.. I will be sticking to food coloring from now on.

  • Amy F.

    We too used a kit this year (not Paas brand but something else I think) and the colors sucked and were weak. The orange barely dyed the egg yellow after leaving it in there for over 5 min. No more kits for us. We’re gonna do koolaid or food coloring next year!

  • Tracey Ouzts

    Ours came out yucky this year as well. We tried the PAAS Kit and did some with kool aid. Both attempts didn’t work very well, coloring like bubbled up and was very slimy then rubbed right off.

  • Mary E. Gemmill

    Always use food coloring with very hot (boiling water) and vinegar. Think something with the egg shells this year, as they did not come out real good. Little speckles all over, which I think is the shell. Will try the Kool-Aid next year. πŸ™‚

  • kc

    If you want a fun experiement for your kids, try different fruit and veggie skins. Red onions make purple, white onions make yellow, and strawberries, raspberries, etc. make a bright red. (I did it as a science experiement for the science fair, and it was so much fun and….well I won best in show!)