Does a Color Run Stain Your Clothes?

Written By: Jeremy N

Having run seven color runs over my running career (if you call it that) I can speak from experience about color run powder staining clothes

After the event, the color is typically washed away. As with anything filthy, the sooner it's washed, the better. It's preferable to wear clothes that you don't mind becoming colorful. The color powder is corn starch which is commonly found in many foods.

Does a Color Run Stain Your Clothes?

What is a color run?

A color run is an event in which runners, joggers, and walkers complete a shorter run, usually a five kilometer distance, and get doused in color powder at different check points along the run and at the big color throw after the finish.

They can wear brightly colored and white clothes so that at the end of the run they are completely colorful instead of just the solid color clothes from the beginning of the run.

They are super fun outings to do with your friends and family and to get some awesome looking before and after photos!

The powder is usually made out of corn starch, baking soda, and food safe dyes, so they will not hurt your skin or cause you any harm if you accidentally ingest any of the powder. However, could this beautiful color powder stain your clothes?

What should you wear in case it does stain? How do you get this stain out? This article can help guide you to finding the answers to your color run powder questions!

Answer: Can color run powder stain your clothes?

While most of the time most of the color powder will easily wash out of your clothes, there is definitely a possibility that the color powder will stain the clothes that you go to the running event wearing white.

Many of the color run events have a cleaning area near the finish line that can be used by participants before getting in their cars to ensure that the color powder does not get on the interior of the car or anywhere in their homes.

According to the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Color Run official website, the color powder cleaning stations at the end of the finish line area will air blow you off, but they will not completely clean you off.

So in short, it can.

The page on the Color Run suggests that like with anything else, the sooner you wash whatever clothing that has color powder on it, the easier it will wash out and the less likely it will stain. The Color Run FAQ

What should I wear?

With the knowledge that your clothes might be stained by the color powder, it is important for you to make the decision in which clothes you might wear to the event.

When preparing for the color run, make sure that you have clothes that you can wear that you are okay with possibly being a little bit stained from the event.

Most recommendations for what kind or color of clothing to wear discuss wearing white and/or bright colors in order to stand out and have the color powder stand out against your clothes.

This does not mean however that you have to wear your favorite white t-shirt or your favorite brightly colored running clothes. Make sure to wear clothes that, in your eyes, are stainable.

My favorite shirt is stained; what do I do?

If you did wear a shirt or running shorts that you wish you had not worn so they would not be stained, do not worry! It is still possible to remove the stains that the color powder might have caused.

If the clothing that you wore and is stained is brightly colored or has color on it that bleach could damage, you can soak your clothing in a different stain remover mixed with water before putting your clothes in the washing machine.

If you wash the, in the washing machine first it is likely that the stain will go deeper into the fabric. If the clothing that you wore and is stained is only white, you can soak the stained clothing in a mix of bleach and warm water before putting your affected clothes into the washing machine.

You can also try to remove the stain by adding bleach to your load of laundry in the washing machine so long as there is nothing in your laundry that could be damaged or changed by bleach.

This second method can work, but if the stains are severe or deep, it might not complete erase the stains in your clothing as it is not as intense of a stain removal process.

If you would like to keep the color in your color run shirt, here is a step-by-step instructions

Conclusion: Does a Color Run Stain Your Clothes?

Color runs can be incredibly fun events for everybody. However, there is always the possibility that the clothes that you choose to wear to these awesome events could become stained by the color powder thrown your way throughout the run and at the finish line color throw.

This is why it is important to prepare what you are going to wear as well as how to get the stains out it something happens in a way you did not plan or prepare for. I hope you have the best color run experience and this article is a help to you all.


Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Me.

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Jeremy. 

I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods

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