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How To Remove Turmeric Stains From Clothes (Don’t Miss This Step)

How to remove turmeric stains from clothes.

One of my favorite meals to make on a rainy day is curry, which of course, needs plenty of turmeric. While I love cooking with turmeric and incorporating this natural anti-inflammatory into my diet, I hate the stains it leaves on my clothes. Luckily, I’ve figured out how to remove turmeric stains from clothes, and I’m excited to share my tips on some very effective turmeric stain removal methods with you.

How To Remove Turmeric Stains From Clothes 

Before you start treating the stain, use a butter knife to remove any excess turmeric from the fabric. This will help ensure that the stain doesn’t become larger or more difficult to remove.

Next, lay the clothing flat and cover the stain with a mixture of baking soda and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Add a few drops of water and mix everything together with your fingers to create a paste. Let the paste sit on the stain for 20 minutes. 

After the paste has had time to work, pour white distilled vinegar on top of the stain. This will help break down the turmeric and lift it out of the fabric. Rinse the clothing in cold water.

Finally, launder the clothing in cold water. Check to make sure that the stain is completely gone before putting the clothing in the dryer. If the stain remains, repeat the process from the beginning.

Top 6 Tips for Dealing with Turmeric Stains 

Stubborn turmeric stains can do a number on your favorite clothes (especially whites). Keep these tips in mind as you fight your turmeric stains. 

  • Never rub curry stains or turmeric stains with water to try and get them out; you will just encourage them to dye the fabric of your clothing. 
  • Laundry detergent alone can work, but a pre treatment is almost always necessary to remove turmeric
  • Stubborn stains that have been in place for a long time may not be removable; treat turmeric stains immediately 
  • Powdered turmeric is still sometimes used to dye clothing, so be smart about using warm or hot water around a stain like this, as you will set the turmeric in further. 
  • Baking soda, dish soap, water, and white vinegar are your best stain-fighting methods and work even on delicate fabrics. 
  • Act fast, pre treat, and be careful not to rub the stain too hard; use circular motions with your fingers or a soft toothbrush for best results. 

Powdered Turmeric vs. Oil Based Turmeric 

Did you know that powdered turmeric is a bit oily? This is what makes it even more difficult to remove this yellow stain from clothing. Combat stains from powdered turmeric, curry powder, and a finished curry dish the same exact way. Each of my stain removal methods will work on the remaining stain when all excess is removed. 

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6 Methods on How To Remove Turmeric Stains From Clothes 

The first step of dealing with a fresh turmeric stain is removing as much of it as possible. Take a butter knife and scrape it off of the stained area without pushing it into the clothing. Follow this step regardless of the stain remover you work with. I’ve seen so many people grab water and start scrubbing turmeric, and it just makes these tough stains even tougher. 

Rubbing Alcohol and Liquid Dish Detergent 

Pour a little rubbing alcohol on the turmeric stain and then top it with some liquid detergent. Let this sit on your stain for at least 30 minutes. Then take an old toothbrush and gently scrub it into the stain. Blot dry with a paper towel and wash as you normally would.

Regular Laundry Detergent 

Once I found my baking soda method, I’ve gotten more brave about using as much turmeric as I want in my cooking. Recently I got a little stain on a shirt and thought it was worth using a little liquid laundry detergent and throwing it in the wash. 

Eventually, the stain came out, but regular laundry detergent was not nearly as effective on its own. 

If you use regular laundry detergent, put a little baking soda on the clothing before it goes in the wash, you will save a lot of time. 

Hydrogen Peroxide 

A little hydrogen peroxide works well on curry sauce. Pour a little on the stain, add a few drops of liquid soap, and let it sit before washing. 

I will warn you that peroxide can be a natural bleaching agent for some clothing. I noticed this recently with dark jeans and have been a little careful of what I use peroxide on; white vinegar seems less risky. I did have luck with peroxide on white clothes. 

OxiClean and Other Commercial Methods

I love using natural methods to get stains out of clothes. To be honest, I’ve heard that direct sunlight can work, and I’ve combined that with my baking soda method. However, If your turmeric stain persists, you may want to try a commercial stain remover. 

The OxiClean stain remover is a great pretreatment for turmeric stains. Always remember to remove excess before you soak the clothing in OxiClean. 

Another product to try is the Incredible! Stain Remover. This product is in a liquid form. Place a little on the stain, let it sit for half an hour, and then run it through cold running water before putting it through the washing machine. 

Lemon Juice (The Best Solution When Out to Eat) 

With the health benefits of turmeric, it’s easy to see why anyone would order a turmeric heavy dish while out to eat. Of course, the problem with this is you won’t be equipped with all of your handy household items for releasing stains. 

Don’t worry; grab the lemon from your water and squeeze it directly onto the stain. You can then take a white cloth or napkin and blot it dry. 

Your turmeric stain won’t be entirely removed, but this method of pre-treating will help you later. 

Liquid Bleach 

I’m always careful about where to use bleach, but I can’t ignore the fact that bleach can work to get rid of turmeric stains on white clothing. I’ll warn you here that you have to follow this process carefully, or you can bleach an entire load of laundry (trust me on this one). 

Put a few drops of liquid bleach into a cup of cold water. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain with liquid bleach. Remember, this can only be done on white clothing. 

Let this air dry, and then rinse with cold water before placing it in a wash. Make sure to only wash with white clothes. Rinsing the bleach off first helps ensure no carryover to other clothes in the wash.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tumeric Stain Permanent On Clothes? 

Unfortunately, turmeric stains can be permanent on clothes. I would love to tell you that my methods always work to get rid of these stains, but if they are set in (and your clothes have been through the dryer), you may be dealing with a permanent stain. 

I would still attempt the baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar method and let it soak for a few hours. You may have to go through the process several times before the stain disappears. Be smart about initial steps and quick action; you won’t have to worry much about permanent stains. 

Does vinegar remove turmeric stains from clothes?

Vinegar is one of the best methods to remove turmeric stains from clothes; you can dilute the vinegar with dish soap and water if you don’t want to use pure vinegar. 

Does turmeric powder come out of clothes?

Turmeric powder is harder to get out of clothes than a curry stain. Always remove excess turmeric before using baking soda or vinegar solutions to remove turmeric powder. 

Does OxiClean remove turmeric stains?

OxiClean can work to remove turmeric stains, but it does best when the stains are first treated with a baking soda and vinegar solution. OxiClean stain remover on its own may not be enough to remove stubborn turmeric stains. 

Does hydrogen peroxide remove turmeric stains from clothes?

Hydrogen peroxide can remove turmeric stains, but it works best when combined with baking soda. The baking soda’s texture helps remove the stain while the peroxide lifts and dissolves it.


Britt Olizarowicz