How to Remove Turmeric Stains from Clothes: 4 Methods that Work


Enjoyed a hearty Indian meal last night and ended up with a bright yellow stain on your shirt? It doesn’t really matter how it got there, now you cannot ignore the curry stain shining right back at you.

If you have a liking for Indian cuisine, you are probably aware that turmeric is a common ingredient used in Indian curries. However, getting turmeric stains out of clothing can be quite a pain.

Turmeric contains curcumin that gives the spice its bright, cheery yellow color. The same compound is insoluble in water, making turmeric stains extremely hard to remove. A quick rinse under running water will be of little help in salvaging your favorite shirt, and washing it in the laundry machine as usual will just leave you with a permanent pink stain.

how to remover turmeric stains from clothes

You don’t need to throw away the stained clothing or buy an expensive, specialized stain remover. Quick pre-treatment using simple home ingredients will do the trick in removing the turmeric stain.

Like wine or ink stains, acting quickly and rinsing the turmeric stain with water is winning half the battle. You can then apply one of the pre-treatment methods to loosen the stain, and launder the shirt as usual to completely get rid of it. Exposing the stained area to sunlight will also help in oxidizing and removing the stain.

Here are seven pre-treatment methods you can use to remove turmeric stains from clothes.

Note: Be sure to follow the instructions on the garment’s care label for washing it. Also, if the label says not to use bleach, choose another pre-treatment method.

Method 1: Use Bleach

before after with bleach

When it comes to stains on white clothes, bleach acts as your second line of defense after rinsing out the stain with water. Even in the case of turmeric, no other ingredient can outdo bleach in removing the yellow stain completely.

However, it goes without saying that you should use bleach only on white or light-colored clothes. Using bleach on colored clothes, wool or silk can discolor or damage the fabric.

Step 1. Prepare a pre-soak solution of bleach and water

prepare a solution of bleach and water

  • Pour ½ cup of water into a bowl.
  • Add ½ cup of bleach to the water and stir well.

Step 2. Soak the stained area in the solution

soak the stained area in the solution

  • Immerse the stained area in the solution.
  • Let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3. Rinse the stain with water

rinse the stain with water

  • Remove the garment from the solution and give it a light rub.
  • Rinse it with water.
  • If the stain is still visible, you can soak the stain overnight in a baking soda solution (See Method 2 below).
  • When you’re satisfied with the results of the pre-treatment, wash the clothing as usual with laundry detergent.
  • Let it dry in the sun.

final with bleach

Method 2: Use Baking Soda

before after with baking soda

Baking soda works like magic to clean your home. It also acts as an absorbent and an abrasive agent that can help clean notorious turmeric stains out of clothing. The residual stain can then be washed out with your regular laundry detergent.

Step 1. Rinse the stain with water

rinse the stain with water

  • Hold the stained area of the garment and pour plain water on it to loosen the stain.
  • You can also rinse the stain with running water in the sink.

Step 2. Pour baking soda over the stain and scrub it with a toothbrush

pour baking soda over the stain and scrub it with toothbrush

  • Place the stained clothing on a flat surface, and sprinkle sufficient baking soda on the stain to cover it completely.
  • Wait 5 minutes, then scrub at the stain with a soft toothbrush. Don’t rub it vigorously, as it can damage delicate fabrics.

Step 3. Give the stain a final rinse and launder the item

give a final rinse and launder

  • Rinse the area again with water to wash out the residue of baking soda as well as the stain.
  • Launder the item as usual and let it dry in the sun.

final with baking soda

Method 3: Use Vinegar

before after with vinegar

Found in every household, white vinegar can be used to clean almost everything in and around your home. It is also a powerful ingredient against turmeric stains. Prepare a concoction of white vinegar, water and liquid dish soap and say bye-bye to that stain!

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • White vinegar (degreaser and stain remover) – ½ cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Liquid dish soap (cleaning agent) – 2 teaspoons

Step 1. Mix vinegar, water and dish soap

mix vinegar, water and dish soap

  • Pour 1 cup of water in a bowl.
  • Add ½ cup of white vinegar.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap.
  • Stir well to blend all the ingredients.

Step 2. Soak the stain in the solution

soak the stain in solution

  • Dip the turmeric stained area in the prepared solution and let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 3. Rub the stain and wash as usual

rub the stain and wash as usual

  • Remove the garment from the soak and give it a light rub to dislodge the stain.
  • Launder the item as usual and let it dry in the sun.

final with vinegar

Method 4: Use Hydrogen Peroxide

before after with hydogen peroxide

Apart from cleaning and sanitizing your toilet and making your countertop shiny again, hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a mild bleaching agent to remove tough stains, particularly those of turmeric. It is safe to use on whites and colorfast clothes.

In this treatment, we used 6% hydrogen peroxide. Remember to wear gloves while working with hydrogen peroxide, as it can be harsh on your skin.

Step 1. Dilute hydrogen peroxide with water

dilute hydrogen peroxide with water

  • Pour ½ cup of water into a bowl.
  • Add ½ cup of 6% hydrogen peroxide to the water.

Step 2. Soak the stain in the diluted hydrogen peroxide

soak the stain in diluted hydrogen peroxide

  • Completely immerse the turmeric stain in the hydrogen peroxide solution.
  • Let it soak for 30 minutes or even longer if time allows.

Step 3. Rinse with warm water and wash as usual

rinse with wrm water and wash as usual

  • Remove the clothing from the solution and rinse the stained area with warm water.
  • If the stain hasn’t come out completely, repeat the soaking process.
  • Finish by washing the item with your regular detergent.

final with hydrogen peroxide

Method 5: Use Liquid Dish Soap

before after with dish soap

You can also use your regular dish soap to remove turmeric stains from clothes.

Step 1. Prepare a solution of dish soap and water

prepare a solution of dish soap and water

  • Pour 2 cups of water into a bowl.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap to the water.
  • Stir it well to make a soapy solution.

Step 2. Soak the stained area in the soap solution

soak the stained area in soap solution

  • Place the stained area in the dish soap solution and let it soak for 30 to 60 minutes.

Step 3. Rub the stain out and wash as usual

rub the stain outand wash as usual

  • Give the stained area a quick rub and rinse it to be sure the stain is gone.

final with dish soap

Method 6: Use Lemon

before after with lemon juice

Lemon can easily replace expensive cleaning agents in your home and can also be used for multiple health remedies. It is a natural bleaching agent and its acidic nature can cut through turmeric stains easily.

Step 1. Soak the stain in lemon juice

soak the stain in lemon juice

  • Squeeze out the juice of 2 to 3 lemons into a bowl.
  • Immerse the stain in the juice and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 2. Dry it in the sun and wash with detergent

dry in sun and wash in detergent

  • Give the faded stain a light rub, then dry the garment in direct sunlight to enhance the bleaching effect of the lemon juice.
  • Finish with a regular wash with detergent.

final with lemon juice

Method 7: Use Glycerin

before after with glycerine

Glycerin, usually used for beauty benefits, can also come handy to treat tough turmeric stains.

Step 1. Coat the stain with glycerin

coat the stain with glycerine

  • Place the stained clothing on a flat surface and coat the stain with a generous amount of glycerin.
  • Let the glycerin sit for about 1 hour.
  • Use a spoon to scrape off the excess glycerin along with the loosened stain.

Step 2. Blot up the remaining stain with paper towel

blot up the remaining stain with paper towel

  • Blot the area with a paper towel to remove the remaining stain.
  • Wash the clothing item in a normal laundry cycle.

final with glycerine

Tips

  • You can also use talcum powder or all-purpose flour to remove fresh wet stains, like that of curry. However, it won’t work on dry stains.
  • Dry detergent can also be used to remove turmeric stains from clothes. Simply, rub the stain with a dry detergent bar and allow it to penetrate the stain. Rinse it with water and let it dry.
  • If none of the remedies work and you don’t want to throw away your dress, you can tie-dye it in a bright color to hide the stain for good.

Comments 1

  1. I wonder why nobody turned up to thank the writer for this extremely useful post. Anyways, thank you very much for these tips. I appreciate the effort and time that you put together for the benefit of the masses.

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