Woman with spoon three split


‘I have this same spoon that I also stained with mac and cheese’: Woman shares the secret to removing Kraft stains from your spoon

'I also forgot to mention that lemon concentrate isn’t a strong acid.'


Eric Webb


Posted on Feb 29, 2024

If you have a stained cooking utensil hanging around your kitchen, this might be the hack you’ve been waiting for.

TikTok creator Jen (@alltheusernamesrtaken1) recently posted a video about restoring her roommate’s yellowed spoon after a run-in with some macaroni cheese. The video has racked up 12.7 million views and 2 million likes.

Jen offers a scientific explanation for her method—more on that later. But the gist: She adds a bunch of epsom salt to a pot of water, turns the heat up on the stove, and starts stirring the spoon around in the hot water.

“Also if you do this, make sure you add a lot of salt. Not like you’re seasoning the water that you’re going to put your pasta in,” Jen says in the video.

After about 30 minutes, the spoon comes out with stain largely removed.

“I have this same spoon that I also stained with mac and cheese so thank you so much for this,” one commenter wrote.

“Seeing this made all the time I have wasted on TikTok worth it,” another person wrote.

“The way I just would have bought a new spoon,” one commenter chimed in.

After the original video went up, some viewers debated the science behind the hack. “I wonder if your method worked by application of very hot water which would increase the solubility of the colors in water?” one viewer offered.

Jen later posted a follow-up video in response to clarify a few things.

In the original video, Jen says that she stained the spoon with artificial food dye while making Kraft Mac & Cheese. Several commenters pointed out, and the creator acknowledged, that Kraft Mac & Cheese doesn’t contain artificial coloring these days. It’s currently granted its golden hue by turmeric, paprika, and annatto, according to its ingredients list

The original video also claimed that food dyes are proteins. “Most dyes are not proteins,” Jen says in her follow-up video. According to the Food & Drug Administration, modern artificial food colorings are actually derived from petroleum. Food dyes can bind with proteins, according to U.S. News & World Report. Turmeric imparts its yellow color thanks to curcumin, a chemical derived from a plant.

Jen also initially provided lemon juice concentrate as an example of a strong acid and bleach as an example of a strong base, and both as possible ways to remove the food stain. “I also forgot to mention that lemon concentrate isn’t a strong acid, it’s just the strongest acid I have since I’m out of vinegar,” she wrote in the comments of the follow-up video.

“The videos I make are for the general public. They are not for the scientists and the people with PhDs. So with that in mind, it means I’m going to generalize on certain things so I don’t overwhelm the general public with information they don’t really need to know,” Jen said in the follow-up video.

Salt is indeed a popular ingredient for natural home cleaning solutions. Sometimes, that’s due to its abrasive quality; because of its ionic qualities, “it makes a great absorbent for certain stains, like when you clean kitchen surfaces,” according to Chemistry Cachet.


♬ original sound – Jen Uhhhhhhh

Better Homes & Gardens offers other cleaning solutions for turmeric stains. For dishes, the outlet recommends soaking stained items in vinegar, warm water, and soap, before rinsing and scrubbing.

The Daily Dot reached out to Jen via TikTok.

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*First Published: Feb 29, 2024, 4:35 am CST