How To Remove Turmeric Stains From Clothes

Turmeric is a spice that can make normal dishes taste amazing and is even known to have numerous health benefits. Unfortunately, its vibrant, yellow-orange can be quite a nightmare when it comes to staining fabrics, as they are very difficult to remove. This is because they contain a compound called curcumin, the active ingredient that gives the spice its bright colour.

With a bit of patience, removing turmeric stains from garments is not impossible, as long as you act quickly. One of the most effective methods is by using white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, and oxygen bleach that will break down the stubborn stain and bring your clothes’ colour back to its original state!

In this article, let us show you the most effective stain removal methods!

Immediate Action for Fresh Stains

If you’re outside or in a restaurant and have your clothes stained with turmeric, it can be a real emergency. The longer you wait to deal with the stain, the more difficult it will be to remove it as it will start to set. 

Thankfully, there is a short-term fix you can do when you don’t have access to your washer and laundry products yet. And you can do it with hand sanitiser or rubbing alcohol.

hand sanitiser
  1. Blot the Stain
    Use a clean cloth or paper towel to remove excess turmeric.
  2. Apply Hand Sanitiser/Rubbing Alcohol
    Gently rub the fabric after application.
  3. Wipe and Wash
    Use a damp cloth to wipe the area, then wash normally when home.

Methods For Removing Turmeric Stains

You’ve got a few options when it comes to removing turmeric stains from your clothes, here are the best ones:

Using Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent can be used for spot-treating turmeric stains, especially if they have stain-removing properties. 

powder detergent
  1. Clean Up the Stain
    Clean up the stained area first by removing any excess turmeric powder or paste on the fabric. You can do this using a paper towel or a spoon. 
  2. Apply Detergent and Rub
    Then, apply the detergent directly onto the stained area and gently rub it in. You can also use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the stain away. 
  3. Rinse and Repeat
    Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, and then rinse the garment using cold water. Repeat if necessary.

Using White Vinegar

As we all know, white vinegar is a natural stain remover. It can even neutralise the odours that the turmeric can leave on your clothing, without needing to wash it with detergent. 

  1. Remove Excess Turmeric
    First things first, remove any excess turmeric powder or paste if any on the fabric.
  2. Apply Vinegar Solution
    Then, mix one part white vinegar with two parts water and apply this solution directly to the stain.
  3. Soak and Wash
    Allow the solution to soak for at least 30 minutes. After soaking, wash the garment in cold water.

TIP: To make the solution more potent, you can add one tablespoon of washing-up liquid for bigger stains.

Using Lemon Juice for White Clothing

Did the turmeric stain your white clothing? If this is the case, lemon juice can be your best bet in lifting the stain off. Lemon juice will work well on turmeric stains due to its natural bleaching properties. 

lemon juice on stained shirt
  1. Apply Lemon Juice
    Remove any excess turmeric residue, then squeeze fresh lemon juice directly on the stain.
  2. Let it Sit and Rinse
    Allow the lemon to soak into the fabric and let it sit for at least an hour. If possible, place the garment under direct sunlight. The combination of lemon juice and sunlight helps to break down the colour of the stain.
    Rinse and wash as usual afterwards.

Using Bicarbonate Of Soda

Bicarbonate of soda is effective for removing tough stains, even ones from turmeric. Before anything, remove excess turmeric residue if there’s still any left. 

  1. Create a Paste
    Mix three parts bicarbonate of soda to one part water and apply this paste onto the stain.
  2. Let it Sit and Wash
    Let it sit for a few hours. If the stain is big or very dark, feel free to let it sit overnight. Once the paste has dried, brush it off and wash the garment as normal.

Using Chlorine Bleach for White Fabrics

Chlorine bleach is a strong stain remover, but it should be used with caution! It’s only suitable for white or very light-coloured fabrics. 

stained shirt and bleach
  1. Check Fabric Care, then Remove Excess Residue
    Before anything else, check the care label of your clothing. Delicate fabrics should never come in contact with chlorine bleach as their fibres can be damaged beyond repair.
    Once you’re sure that your fabric is hardy, remove the excess turmeric residue that’s left on the garment. 
  2. Apply Diluted Bleach
    Dilute the bleach with water and apply it to the stain.
  3. Rinse and Repeat
    Leave it for 5-10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly using cold water. Repeat if necessary, then wash as normal. 

TIP: Read the packaging on the bleach for specific instructions on how to dilute and the amount that you can use for best results. 

Using Oxygen Bleach for Coloured Fabrics

Oxygen bleach is a safer alternative to chlorine bleach and can even be used on coloured garments. If the turmeric stain is on a coloured fabric, oxygen bleach is your best bet. 

  1. Prepare Oxygen Bleach Solution
    Remove excess turmeric residue, then mix the oxygen bleach with water according to the package instructions.
  2. Soak and Wash
    Soak the stained garment in this solution for about an hour. After soaking, wash the garment as instructed on its care label.

Using Methylated Spirit

Methylated spirit, also known as denatured alcohol, can help in removing turmeric stains. 

  1. Apply Methylated Spirit
    Remove excess turmeric residue, then apply the methylated spirit directly to the stain. Gently blot the area with a clean cloth.
  2. Repeat and Wash
    Repeat the process until the stain lightens or disappears. Once done, wash the garment in cold water.
Bartoline Methylated Spirit 500ml
  • Bartoline Methylated Spirit 500ml
  • Bartoline mineralised methylated spirit

Don’t Fear The Turmeric! 

We get it, if your clothes have been stained with turmeric, you may think that it’s worth staying away from it for good. However, there’s no need to do so, as turmeric comes with so many benefits for our bodies! 

turmeric powder

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Here are just some of its benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory Effects
    Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that has strong anti-inflammatory effects. It can help in reducing inflammation in various chronic conditions like arthritis[1]
  • Antioxidant Properties
    Curcumin also acts as a potent antioxidant, helping to protect the body from free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can damage cells and tissues.
  • Aid in Digestion
    Turmeric can aid in digestion, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s often used in treating digestive disorders.

Instead of avoiding turmeric completely, it may be worth wearing an apron when working with it, as it could greatly help prevent staining your clothing!

Remember, every fabric reacts differently, so always pay attention to the care labels and test any cleaning solution on a small area first.

What method worked best for you? Feel free to leave a comment below!

SEE ALSO: Which Laundry Stains Can Lemon Juice Remove?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does turmeric stain white clothes?

Turmeric stains white clothes due to the presence of curcumin, a vibrant yellow-orange compound. This active ingredient is responsible for turmeric’s distinctive colour, making it a stubborn dye on fabrics.

Are turmeric stains permanent?

Turmeric stains are not necessarily permanent. With prompt and proper treatment methods, such as using white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, or oxygen bleach, you can effectively remove these challenging stains from your clothes.

How do you get dried turmeric stains out of clothes?

To get dried turmeric stains out of clothes, you can use methods like applying a bicarbonate of soda paste, soaking in a vinegar solution, or using a specific laundry detergent. These methods break down and lift the turmeric stain, even after it has dried.

Can lemon remove stains from clothes?

Yes, lemon can remove stains from clothes, especially white clothing. Lemon juice has natural bleaching properties which work well on turmeric stains. Applying it and allowing it to sit, sometimes under direct sunlight, helps in breaking down the colour of the stain.

What are the benefits of turmeric?

The benefits of turmeric include its anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant properties, primarily due to curcumin. Turmeric aids in reducing inflammation in chronic conditions and protects the body from free radicals. It also assists in digestion and is used in treating digestive disorders.

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