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How to Get Turmeric Stains Out of Clothes

Posted by Andres Jimenez on
how to get turmeric stains out of clothes


One of the worst things that can happen to your favorite garments is getting a turmeric stain.  Many of us have found ourselves enjoying a curry or a turmeric smoothie, only to look down and see a yellow smear on our favorite garments.  Turmeric is one of the toughest stains on the planet – we won’t lie and say otherwise – but, it’s a misconception that it’s impossible to remove, as you’re about to find out.

What Makes Turmeric Stains So Tough to Remove Anyway?

A turmeric stain is particularly tricky to treat because of a compound in turmeric called curcumin, which is responsible for that vivid yellow color that seems to stain just about everything.  See, unlike most compounds found in our favorite foods, curcumin is not water soluble, meaning that it won’t easily wash out with water.

What is the Process of Removing a Turmeric Stain from Clothing?

The key to fully removing a turmeric stain is to act immediately.  The longer it has time to set into the material of your clothing, the more likely it is to become permanent.  As soon as you can, follow these steps below.

Step #1: Scrape Away the Excess

First, use a spoon to scrape away excess turmeric on the clothing item, discarding it immediately.  The less turmeric that gets a chance to settle into the fabric, the better. 

Step #2: Sprinkle the Stain

Now, you can sprinkle some flour or cornstarch onto the stain, and then wait a couple minutes.  This will only work if the turmeric stain came from a liquid, like a curry sauce.  The dry flour or cornstarch should soak up a good amount of the stain.

Step #3: Rinse

Rinse the stain under water as quickly as you can after blotting/absorbing as much turmeric as possible.  At no time should you attempt to rub or wipe the stain as this can make it worse.

Step #4: Apply Detergent Directly 

Apply liquid detergent directly to the stain, and scrub it gently with a toothbrush to really work the detergent deep into the fibers.  Let the detergent sit for about 10 minutes so that it can fully absorb into the material. 

You can also pick up Grab Green 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods, Grab Green 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Powder, Grab Green Bleach Alternative Pods, and/or Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods, in order to really get turmeric staining off your clothing for good.

Step#4: Throw It in the Wash

Again, as soon as you can, run the clothing item through a wash cycle in the laundry, using warm or hot water.  Use more detergent in this washer load to keep fighting the stain. 

Final Step: Dry It in the Sun

Once the washing cycle is complete, take the item out and inspect the stain.  Now, instead of throwing it into the dryer, allow it to dry out in the sun, since the sun’s bleaching powers can help bleach the stain away.  If it’s an overcast day, still allow the garment to dry outdoors as air-drying is less likely to set the stain permanently.

The Key Takeaway

A turmeric stain can ruin your favorite garments if you aren’t careful and don’t follow the right directions.  Follow these steps exactly and you’ll have the best chance of saving your clothing items from maintaining a permanent yellow tinge.

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