Food Gel Paste-New Bottle or Open Bottle

I know this post may not be very exciting but, it is something that has helped save me a little time. I have a problem when it comes to purchasing supplies. I don’t live close to a bakery supply store or even a store that sells food paste gels so I when I need them, I end up taking an entire day go to shopping.

Well, needless to say when I do make the trip, I stock up. I buy 2 or 3 bottles of each color so I don’t run out in the middle of a project. The only problem with that is, when I am mixing icing and need a color, I pick up several bottles that have not been opened. Maybe on the 3rd try I will get the open one. By then, I have icing on my hands and get it all over the lids of the bottles and it is a real mess. I have some good news! I found an easy way to tell which bottle has been opened and which is new.

Food Gel Paste- New Bottle or Open Bottle by www.thebearfootbaker.comIt is very simple and I wonder why I didn’t think of it before now.

Food Gel Paste-New Bottle or Open Bottle

Food-Gel-Paste-New-Bottle-or-Open-Bottle-via-thebearfootbakerWell, there it is, my big box of food gel paste. I have CK, AmeriColor and Wilton. I keep them all in one box. I like the AmeriColor simply because you can squeeze out one drop at a time. You don’t have to use a toothpick like you do when you use Wilton. I like Wilton colors and use them all the time but, I think AmeriColor is brilliant for the one drop at a time way of doing things. I wish Wilton would do the same for us. Fingers crossed. 

Food-Gel-Pastes-New-Bottle-or-Open-Bottle-thebearfootbakerAren’t they beautiful? Just imagine all the things you can make with them.

Food-Gel-Paste-New-Bottle-or-Open-Bottle-by-thebearfootbakerAnyway, do you see anything odd about them other than all the smudges and smears on the lids?

Food-Gel-Paste-New-Bottle-or-Open-Bottle-via-www.thebearfootbakerSee the black dots and the black lines on the lids? Those are the bottles that have been opened. Yep! It is that simple. Just take a Sharpie and make a mark on the lid when you open the bottle. Now when I need a color, I look for the Sharpie mark. I know what you are thinking. You are wondering why there are so many of the same colors with the Sharipe Mark. Well, I will tell ya. Like I said before, I just started doing this recently so I opened several before I realized I already had one open. Once these are used up I won’t have that problem anymore. I will be able to see which one I need by the mark on the lid.

Hope this little tip helps you save a little time and frustration when you are mixing your icing colors. If you are looking for more helpful tips, you may want to check out the links below.

How to Hand Cut Cookie Dough
Free Printable Cookie Supply Shopping List
How to Fix a Mistake on a Cookie
Tips on Taking Orders
Beginners Guide to Cookie Decorating
Karen’s Cookies Bag Trick
One Tough Cookie Give it a Shpritz

Bear hugs,



  1. Lisa, why didn’t I think of that?? I generally keep the two separated, but they somehow manage to get in the wrong box(generally when I’m really busy, and get sloppy with organization). Invariably, I’ll pick up one that’s not been opened yet! What a great idea for keeping them straight! I’m marking them today!!! You are so practical…a girl after my own heart! BTW, were you at CC 2014, and I missed you????

    • I KNOW RIGHT!! I got tired of trying to figure out what bottles were open and which ones weren’t. I am so happy this trick is working. :)

      I am sad that I didn’t attend Cookie Con this year but, I have high hopes for the next one! I hope you had a great time. I wish I could have seen you in person. Someday we will get a big bear hug from each other. SMOOCH!

  2. HOLY MOLY … you have a lot of food coloring! I like your system … you are one smart cookie :) Years ago (pre-Americolor), I had a jar of paste color that tipped over in my box and leaked … what a mess … ended up throwing everything away … it was such a mess!

    • That sound bad Brends! I think I would cry if I had to throw all of them away! LOL One good thing about having a full box is they hold each other up so they don’t fall down and leak. At least that is how I justify my collection 😉

  3. I keep my containers in a storage box like you do, but I hadn’t thought about how to mark the ones that are open, so thanks for the idea. I, too, would love to see Wilton come up with squirt bottles. Have you notified them yet? If a bunch of us do that, maybe they’ll consider the switch……

  4. As boring as this post may seem to some, I actually found it so useful! I live very close to all kinds of stores, yet I can’t seem to enter one and then exit without some sort of supplies. It’s OK to say I have issues. :-)

    Needless to say I have so many bottles of the same color and I too waste so much time with them. This is a great idea!! I just love little tips like this.

  5. I was at CVS pharmacy this week and noticed bottles were marked on the front w an X to let the fillers know what was opened. Nice translation to color open bottles

  6. Oh for Pete’s sake. Translation: Why in the world didn’t I think of this? Genius! :)

  7. Robin WEGENER says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing Lisa. I’ve done this for years, and never thought twice about it.

  8. hi lisa, i have a Q about the color.. Why do my royal icing taste bitter? I used ameri & wilton.. Tq

    • Hi Nora,
      Try using less color. Once the colors sit for a little while, the colors darken as they develop. And unfortunately, some colors such as black, red, pink and purple will always have a bit of a bitter taste to them but there are some things you can do to help prevent it.
      Sweet Sugar Belle uses Tulip Red to avoid the bitter taste. You can see her post here:
      To make pink, I add a touch of red because I think the pink is awful.
      For the black, you can mix some brown and forest green together to make a dark base color and then add a small amount of black to help cut the bitterness.

  9. I keep my colors too in a box like yours only I am not so organized. I should also start marking them. That’s why I love visiting your blog. I learn something new every time.

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