How to remove turmeric stains

Turmeric is a vibrant yellow spice used in many dishes. However its colouring can be difficult to remove once it stains clothing, carpets, and other household items. This article provides tips and techniques for removing turmeric stains from various surfaces.

remove turmeric stains

How Turmeric Stains Form

The yellow pigment curcumin in turmeric bonds to fibres when it contacts materials. It oxidizes over time, making stains harder to remove. Treat stains quickly for best results.

Removing Stains from Fabric

  • Rinse fabric under cold water immediately to prevent setting.
  • Pre-soak in cold water for 30 minutes to rehydrate dried stains.
  • Make a paste of equal parts baking soda and dish soap. Let sit 15 minutes before washing.
  • Spray with 1 part hydrogen peroxide + 4 parts water. Wait 10 minutes before washing.
  • Use an oxygen bleach booster or pretreatment spray with sodium percarbonate.
  • For delicate fabrics, blot with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.
  • Wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric with an enzymatic detergent. Air dry in sunlight.
  • For severe stains, rub the fabric with lemon juice and salt before washing. The salt scrubs the stain.

Removing Stains from Carpet

Blot spills immediately with a white towel. Avoid rubbing, which can push the stain deeper.

  • Mix 2 tbsp dish soap, 1 tbsp white vinegar, and 2 cups warm water. Blot onto the stain with a sponge.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the damp stain. Allow to sit 6+ hours before vacuuming.
  • Use an enzymatic carpet cleaner or non-bleach oxygen cleaner.
  • Make a DIY cleaner with 1⁄4 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1 tsp dish soap, 1 tsp baking soda in 2 cups water. Spray on the stain.
  • Apply carpet bleach gel to stubborn stains. Test the inconspicuous area first.
  • Rent a carpet steam cleaner for deeper stains.
  • Call a professional carpet cleaner for extensive or set-in stains.

Removing Stains from Tile, Grout, and Porcelain

Wipe up spills immediately. Scrub with baking soda or Comet cleaner.

  • Make a baking soda + water paste. Let sit 5-10 minutes before scrubbing.
  • Spray with hydrogen peroxide, let fizz 2-3 minutes, then wipe up.
  • Use grout whitener for stained grout. Re-apply grout sealer afterwards.
  • For stubborn grout stains, carefully apply diluted chlorine bleach. Rinse thoroughly and wear gloves.

Removing Stains from Plastic and Vinyl

Rinse fresh stains immediately while gently rubbing with your fingers.

  • Make a baking soda + water paste. Apply to stain for 10-15 minutes before wiping off.
  • Fill a spray bottle with equal hydrogen peroxide + water. Lightly spray stain, wait 5 minutes, then wipe up.
  • Gently rub the stain 2-3 minutes with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.
  • Use non-gel toothpaste to gently scrub plastic or vinyl. Rinse thoroughly after.
  • For tough stains, very gently use a melamine foam sponge. Avoid scrubbing softer plastics vigorously.
  • Diluted dish soap can also help clean plastic turmeric stains.

Removing Stains from Wood

Immediately wipe up the powder with a dry cloth to prevent grain penetration.

  • For unfinished wood, gently scrub with baking soda or Comet powder + steel wool. Scrub along the grain direction.
  • Make a baking soda + water paste and apply to the finished wood for 5 minutes before wiping gently with a damp cloth.
  • Very gently blot lemon juice or white vinegar onto the stain for 1-2 minutes only. Avoid damaging the finish.
  • Try an oxalic acid wood bleach according to directions.
  • Rub very gently with super fine 0000 steel wool dampened with dish soap. Don’t scrub aggressively.
  • For light-coloured finished wood, apply diluted hydrogen peroxide with an eyedropper. Thoroughly dry the area afterwards.
  • Use 220-400 grit sandpaper to buff very light staining on finishes. Take care not to over sand.
  • Severe stains may require professional refinishing.

When to Call a Professional

Call pros for:

  • Old, dried-in stains
  • Extensive stains over large areas
  • Cleaning delicate fabrics or materials
  • Intricate stained surfaces like embroidery or carved wood
  • Antique or valuable items where DIY cleaning risks damage
  • Unsuccessful removal attempts

Pro cleaners have specialized solutions, equipment, and expertise to remove tough stains without causing additional damage.


Armed with the right techniques, you can remove turmeric stains from any surface. Act quickly on fresh stains. Use powerful pretreatments on dried stains. Carefully match the cleaning method to the surface material. With persistence and appropriate solutions, even stubborn turmeric stains can be eliminated.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.

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