Washing turmeric stain from fabric

Removing Turmeric Stains

Cooking or eating foods containing turmeric (such as mustard or curry) can sometimes lead to mishaps and yellow stains. Though the curcumin pigments in turmeric make it a dye, some stain removal methods may work.


For all fabrics, scrape off the offending glob of food with a dull edged tool — such as the back edge of a butter knife or rubber scraper. Flex the cloth to loosen any dried, embedded food fragments. (xii.40)

Avoid using ammonia, which will set the stain. (xii.40)

Washable Fabric — Method 1

If the cloth is not white or you are unsure if it is colorfast, test an inconspicuous corner of the fabric first before treating the area. (xii.40)

  • Dilute hydrogen peroxide with water using a 1:6 ratio (e.g., 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with 12 tablespoons of water). Although some experts advise using warm water, others warn that heat can set the stain. (xii.40-41)
  • Apply hydrogen peroxide mix to stain and wash as usual. Alternatively, you can soak white/colorfast fabrics in full-strength hydrogen peroxide for ½ an hour before laundering. (xii.40-41)

Washable Fabric — Method 2

  • Apply plain glycerin, which you can find in the skin cream section of most pharmacies. (xii.40)
  • After letting the fabric sit for an hour (or more), launder as you normally would. (xii.40)

Dry Clean Only Fabric

Using a sponge and cold water, dab the stained area immediately. Apply the peroxide and water mixture with a sponge followed by more cold water, and then dry clean. (xii.41)


  • Rub the spot with glycerin and let soak for an hour. (xii.40)
  • Without pressing down, wipe up area with paper towels. Repeat as necessary. (xii.40)
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