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How to Remove Turmeric Stains from Wood (5 Simple Methods)

How to remove turmeric stains from wood.

As someone who cooks with turmeric often, I’ve learned a thing or two about the challenges of cooking with turmeric. 

It’s easy to accidentally stain your clothes, but what do you do when turmeric gets on your countertops, cutting board, or even your hardwood floors? Dealing with the stain can be quite tricky, and I’m convinced you shouldn’t be using it in your kitchen unless you know how to remove turmeric stains from wood.

The key to removing turmeric stains from wood is to act quickly. The longer the stain sits, the harder it will be to remove. So, as soon as you notice a turmeric stain, grab a clean cloth or paper towel and start blotting up as much of the stain as possible.

In this article, I’ll show you the best method for removing turmeric stains from wood.

How To Remove Turmeric Stains From Wood 

I’ll show you a variety of methods to remove turmeric stains from wood, but as I mentioned before, act fast, or the stain will set in. Take these steps first:

  1. Remove as much excess turmeric as possible using a vacuum or a knife 
  2. Take baking soda and pour it directly on the stain 
  3. Add a few drops of water to the baking soda and rub it into the stain
  4. Let your baking soda and water paste sit for about 20 minutes
  5. Pour a few drops of vinegar on the paste
  6. Let the stain sit another five minutes
  7. Use a sponge to wipe away the stain in circular motions
  8. If the turmeric is still visible, create the baking soda paste again, let it sit for 30 minutes, and repeat 

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5 Methods for Removing Turmeric From Wood

Although most countertops are made with materials that do a good job of resisting stains, cabinets are not the same. Even reaching for another spice while you have turmeric on your hands can leave you with a mess to clean up.

Cornstarch and Hydrogen Peroxide 

In many kitchens, cornstarch is just an arm’s reach away; remember to wipe up any excess before putting your cornstarch on the turmeric stain. 

  1. Place cornstarch directly on the turmeric stain 
  2. Take a small spray bottle and fill it with hydrogen peroxide 
  3. Spray the stained area and allow it to sit 
  4. Scrub with an old toothbrush until the stain starts to loosen 

Baking Soda and White Vinegar 

Some methods will tell you to make a thick paste of baking soda and water before putting it on the stain; I have found pouring baking soda directly on the stain to work just as well if not better. 

  1. Sprinkle baking soda on your hardwood floor or counter and apply liberally 
  2. Let the baking soda sit for a few minutes
  3. Pour a few drops of white vinegar to make the cleaning solution bubble and start to work 
  4. Mixing baking soda with vinegar helps break down the stain
  5. Use a damp cloth (cool water) to wipe up the solution
  6. If the stain remains on the wood, complete the process again 

Magic Eraser 

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is known to quickly remove stains like curry sauce and direct turmeric stains, but it’s not effective on its own. You must still follow the process I outlined above with baking soda, water, and vinegar. When this is complete, run your Magic Eraser through cold water and use it to gently rub the area where the stain was. 

Bar Keeper’s Friend 

Bar Keeper’s Friend is a powdered cleaning solution (it also comes in spray and soft cleanser form) that is non bleaching and helpful in many areas of the kitchen. 

  1. Test Bar Keepers’ Friend in an inconspicuous area to ensure it does not stain your counter
  2. Sprinkle Bar Keepers’s Friend on the turmeric stain
  3. Use a microfiber cloth or cleaning pad and rinse it with cold water, 
  4. Gently scrub the stain 
  5. Use a paper towel to wipe up the stain remover and see what remains 
  6. Repeat the process if necessary

Dawn Dish Soap, Lemon Juice, and Baking Soda 

Putting liquid dish soap like Dawn on a clean cloth and scrubbing your turmeric stains is not always the most effective method. You need something to help break down the stain a bit more. 

  1. Take a fresh lemon and squeeze it on the stain 
  2. Allow this to sit for a few minutes
  3. Pour Dawn dish soap on the stained area 
  4. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the stain
  5. Use a dry cloth to start scrubbing the solution into the turmeric stain 
  6. If this method seems too mild, you can add a little rubbing alcohol to the stain and then repeat from the top. 

Tips for Removing Turmeric Stains from Wood 

Act Fast 

I can’t stress this enough. I know you are busy in the kitchen, and you think ok, I’ll get to that later. Let’s remember turmeric is used as a fabric dye; it’s sinking into your wood surfaces and doing its job of leaving its color behind. Don’t let it!

Be Smart About Hard Surface 

Try to limit exposure to certain hard surfaces when working with turmeric. For instance, if you are eating a nice curry dish on a wood table, use a tablecloth that can easily get put in the washing machine. 

Keep Hands Clean

The flatter the surface you are dealing with, the easier it is to work on the stain. To keep stains off of furniture and cabinets, keep washing your hands while making turmeric dishes or working with turmeric tea.  

Stay Away from Tonic Water

Some methods say to pour soda water on the turmeric stain as soon as it happens. This can sometimes be effective to remove turmeric, but the problem is that many people reach for the tonic water instead. 

Tonic water, clear soft drinks, and even warm water are things to avoid when working with turmeric stains on wood.

Use the Sun

I’ve brought a wood chopping board out into the sun for a few hours when working on a stain, and it’s worked to help make the stain milder. The sun can be a natural bleaching agent, especially on turmeric stains on carpet or clothing. Create your baking soda paste, clean the chopping board, and then place it in direct sunlight for a few hours. 

Dealing with Stubborn Stains 

At some point, you may feel like you have no luck removing your turmeric stains (especially when they are dry), and that’s when it’s time to call in the experts. 

I first struggled with who to call on this one but ended up doing really well talking to a custom cabinet builder and repair shop. They deal with wood cabinets, so often, they do well with countertops and even wood floors if you have an issue.

Don’t Make This Mistake 

The first time I searched for home remedies to remove turmeric stains from wood, I found the advice to create a paste with baking soda and water and place it on the wood overnight. Leaving the solution overnight on a wood surface can cause it to warp! Don’t do this; removing a turmeric stain and replacing it with a water stain or damage due to warping is not the end goal!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get turmeric stains out of a wood table?

Wood can get stained from turmeric just as easily as wood floors or cutting boards. Scrape the excess turmeric off with a knife, place the baking soda on the wooden table, and let it sit for a few minutes; add a few drops of dish soap and water and wipe the stain. Be careful to use non-abrasive stain removers so you don’t damage the finish on your table. 

How do you remove dried turmeric stains?

Dried turmeric stains can sometimes be permanent. Allow the vinegar to sit on the stain for at least five minutes, wipe clean and repeat to see if the stain is breaking down. 

How do you remove turmeric stains from furniture?

If turmeric gets on your furniture, create a paste using equal parts baking soda and water mixed with a few drops of dish soap. Don’t let the paste sit longer than 15 minutes if the furniture is wood. 

How do you remove turmeric stains from kitchen cabinets?

Put a little vinegar on a clean cloth to remove turmeric stains from kitchen cabinets. Wipe the cabinets clean and see if that loosens the stain; it may take several treatments to remove the turmeric. 

Can coconut oil remove turmeric stains?

Turmeric stains can be removed from clothing or hands using coconut oil, but stay away from using this on your wood floors or furniture. 


Britt Olizarowicz