Koolaid seems to be THE drink kids use to love since generations but plenty of people use this sugary drink in a total different way. Here are but two ways to use koolaid without drinking it and I'll also tell you my favourite koolaid phrase and how it came to be.
What is kool aid?
After a first look on the package you could easily say - pure chemistry. And yes this might not be a super healthy drink and there have been rumors over the years that koolaid could cause cancer. The red one seemed to be especially dangerous. This is linked back to the artificial colors included in the powder to make this drink super colorful and shiny for kids. And this is basically whats in it: color pigments and citron acid. A package costs but a few cents and you can buy the full rainbow without spending a lot of money. This made koolaid really tempting for people to use it for other purposes.
Koolaid as dye
The mixture of pigments and acid is a regular combination to dye all sorts of fibers. Usually dye is quite expensive and you have to buy particular ones for specific projects. Koolaid can be used in multiple ways. Here are a few of them.
Youtube is full of videos where people dye simple bright wool with coolaid and create lovely color gradients when they combine the different packages. In most of the cases they use a microwave to speed up the procedure. I have no microwave and my first try to dye wool was not really sucessfull - this had mostly to do with the special structure of the lama wool I tried to dye - but when I have a satisfying outcome, I'll show it to you.
Important when dying with koolaid is that is has to be a fiber from an animal - like wool from sheep. The koolaid is reacting with the structure of hair and so this dying only works with fibers from animals and not with cotton or polyester. The higher the animal fiber part of your yarn, the more likely is your success.
This brings me to my next point:
Dye your hair
This sounds ridiculous but yes it works. There is no real difference between animal hair and the human one. Other bright and colorful haircolors are expensive so people took the super cheap koolaid as subsistent. I saw several youtube videos and were suspicious if this would really work. But there was this boring sunday, the weather was bad, I was bored, I had long blonde hair I did not like anymore...I grabbed a package of koolaid and some hot water and voilà dyed my hair with koolaid.
Put a package or two into some boiling water and let it cool down a little. You have to soak your hair in there for like half an hour so take care not to burn yourself with too hot water. The heat is essential but no serious injuries please. After your hair have been soaked for half an hour just wash the sticky lemonade out of your hair. There is no sugar in the koolaid packages so don't worry about sticky hair - but the taste alone is super sugary and chemical. Some people love it. To me it was a bit strange. The first days after my koolaid hairdye the bees seemed to especially love me. The color is not permanent with will wash out after several hair washes. You can mix the different colors to create a colorflow. Since you have to soak your hair in the dye water it works best with long hair I guess.
A big advantage is, beside the price, that the color is not dangerous and you could even drink the left over koolaid if you want.
Some of you might remember this scene from the Netflix show "Orange is the new black" where they mix koolaid with vaseline to create some sort of lipstick in the prison. i saw this and tried it. I had no vaseline at home but used an old lip care stick - melted it a bit in the microwave and mixed it with some red koolaid powder. It worked and looked nicely a bit cherrylike on my lips. But to be honest since I did not really enjoy the smell of koolaid I also disliked the taste on my lips. But this is a personal thing I guess.
So last but not least my favourite koolaid saying
"You drank the koolaid!"
When I first came of the US I had seen a bunch of dye videos and could not actually believe that people would drink this poisonic liquid of hell brewed with chemistry only. I was wrong. During an interview my counterparts told me that it was their thing to have koolaid as kids and that they were cool and drank the red one and gave a shit about the cancer rumors. "We drank it anyway and here we are!" Both were in their mid thirties there and then told me about this saying "You drank the koolaid."
Never heard of it? Me neither so I'll explain it to you. There was the Jones cult in south america which commited group suicide just before authorities were about to storm Jones town. They put the poison into a tank of koolaid and spread it to each other. The member of this sect new that this drink would kill them. And drank it anyway.
So this phrase is today used when you are part of something, you know its a super stupid idea and it will end badly...but you join anyway. Beside the tragic offspring of this phrase I really fell in love with it.
so this is it for today - when I'm done with my next koolaid experiments I'll write a sperate article for you :)