The best thing about enjoying a great Asian meal is the lovely flavor of turmeric that totally elevates my dishes. Or a dash of turmeric in some boring old chicken – and lo! It tastes a hundred times better.
Turmeric is a food that not only tastes amazing but also has many medicinal and nutritional benefits. Add the bright yellow powder, or a whole piece of turmeric root and you have yourself a delicious and healthy dish.
The only downside? Turmeric stains anything and everything it touches. And getting turmeric stains out of clothes or skin can be a tough project.
But fret not – here is a complete guidebook of everything you need to know about how to get rid of turmeric stains from just about anything.
So if you find yourself in a frantic dash to do some damage control on a spill of curry or that stubborn turmeric stain on your skin, just follow these handy steps.
Getting Out Turmeric Stains From Clothes
You’re enjoying a fun dinner with friends at a restaurant – it only takes a split second for that delicious curry to splash on your clothes and create a troublesome mess. The bright yellow turmeric stain is not only a headache to get rid of, but if you use the wrong “fixes” on it you risk making it permanent.
So what are the easiest and most effective solutions?
Tip: Time is of the essence. The longer you let the stain dry on the clothing, the more difficult it is to remove.
For Oil-based Stains On Clothes
- Wipe off the food containing turmeric from your clothes with a paper towel. Take care not to spread it around more.
- The next step is to soak all the oil out the fabric from the fabric. Use a powder like flour, cornstarch or rice flour and spread it evenly over the stain.
- Let it dry for 15-20 minutes till the flour absorbs the oil.
- Soak the stained area in a bowl of white vinegar for 1 hour.
- Gently rub out the stain and wash with warm water.
- Repeat steps 4-5 twice or thrice if required.
Cleaning Turmeric Stains From White Clothes
If you spill some turmeric juice or powder on your favorite white shirt – don’t worry. This method works best with light colored clothes and whites. It is also ideal for stains on white linen like tablecloths and napkins.
What do you need?
- Laundry bleach
- 1 bowl hot water
- 1 bowl cold water
- Liquid detergent
What to do?
- Prepare a solution of regular laundry bleach in a bowl of cold water.
- Apply it liberally on the stain making sure to soak the whole area.
- Let the bleach soak through for 30 minutes.
- Rinse off and wash the garment with hot water and detergent.
Tip: For softer fabrics like wool, silk, or synthetics, hydrogen peroxide is a milder alternative.
You can also increase or decrease the concentration of the bleach solution depending on how deep the stain is. Just add more bleach for the more stubborn ones because that is what takes the turmeric stains out.
Note: why does the turmeric stain turn red when washed with soap?
Don’t get alarmed if you see the stained area turn a reddish color when you apply the detergent on it. It’s simple chemistry. The acid in the turmeric reacts with the base in the soap and a neutralization reaction occurs. The product of this reaction is red in color – so you will see the stain change color if you apply soap on it directly.
So avoid this, clean off as much of the turmeric as possible before using detergent. Rinse for 2-3 times if required.
Dealing With Old Turmeric Stains
Did you just notice that nasty splatter on the tablecloth from last night’s dinner? It looks deep yellow and has completely dried out.
Don’t panic, take a deep breath, because there’s a way to fix it.
This method is perfect for handling dried turmeric stains – for example, removing dried curry stains from clothing.
Step 1: reactivate the stain
- Once the turmeric from the food dries, it creates an extremely strong bond with the fabric. The first step is to make it pliable again.
- Soak the cloth in a mixture of white vinegar and dishwashing soap for 30-40 minutes. You can start with a solution of two parts vinegar and one part soap – increase the amount of vinegar for larger and deeper stains.
Step 2: manual scrubbing
- After the cloth is fully soaked and the stain is pliable, gently scrub at the area with a toothbrush and some more dishwashing soap.
- Keep scrubbing till the foam of the soap loses the yellow color.
Step 3: rinse off
- Wash the garment in a warm water cycle with ample laundry detergent.
How To Remove Turmeric From Skin
Turmeric is an exceptional material that has a huge number of medicinal and therapeutic properties – and trust us, it can do wonders for your skin. Research has proven that applying turmeric paste on your skin regularly can help heal wounds, treat acne spots, and even help with psoriasis.
The downside, to this, of course, is that turmeric leaves a deep yellow residue on the skin temporarily that can be a mess to deal with.
Why does turmeric stain skin?
Turmeric contains an organic compound called curcumin, that gives it its health benefits, as well as its bright yellow color. When you apply it in its liquid form (like in a paste), it is much easier for your skin to absorb it. This often causes the turmeric to stain the skin until properly washed off. If you are allergic, then direct contact can also cause irritation, redness, and itchiness – that’s why, it’s always best to remove a turmeric stain as soon as you spot it.
Remove The Stain Using Oil
- Heat up some vegetable or cooking oil in the microwave till it is warm to touch. Be careful not to get it too hot.
- Apply a few drops of the oil directly onto the stain.
- Massage it into the skin gently. You should be able to see the pigment lift off from the area, and start getting lighter in color.
- Let it sit on the skin for 1-2 minutes, and then wipe off with a paper towel.
- Wash the skin with warm soapy water.
The natural pigment in turmeric is more soluble in oil than water – hence the pre-treatment with oil draws most of it off quickly. This method is great for removing a spatter you might have caught on your hand while eating or cooking.
Home Remedy Tip: Using A Sugar Scrub
This one is ideal for removing the yellow stain from your skin after a beauty treatment like turmeric-based face mask. Not only is it super gentle on the skin – you can get exfoliating benefits from the sugar itself.
What do you need?
- Sugar (you may use organic can sugar too)
- 1 bowl cold water
- Liquid hand wash or body wash
- Soft paper towels
Steps to follow:
- Mix equal amounts of sugar and water in a bowl till it forms a thick paste.
- Apply some of the paste onto the stained area and scrub in a circular motion.
- Continue gently scrubbing your skin for about 2 minutes, and then leave the paste on for an additional minute.
- Wipe your skin with some clean paper towels to get all the sugar out.
- Rinse off with warm soapy water.
How To Remove Turmeric Stains From Nails?
We can understand your frustration when you’ve just gotten the most spectacular french manicure done on your nails, and then accidentally get an ugly yellow turmeric stain on it while eating.
You can’t let that ruin your lovely manicure, right?
Here’s some effective remedies for removing those stubborn turmeric stains from nails.
Use Lemon Juice/Hydrogen Peroxide
- Dip your nails in a bowl filled with fresh lemon juice. This is best for protecting your manicure while removing the stain. If you don’t have any nail paint on, you can also use hydrogen peroxide instead of lemon juice.
- Keep your nail in the solution for 2-3 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water.
- Repeat twice or thrice till the stain becomes lighter.
Tip: use a toothbrush dipped in lemon juice for extra stubborn or dark stains. But remember that these will take a day or two to go out completely.
This method also works on nail extensions or gel nails, as the lemon juice is mild enough not to damage the enamel.
To sum up: the faster you work on the stain the better. With a little bit of ingenuity and a combination of products you can find in your home – it’s easy to remove even the toughest of those nasty turmeric stains.