You may have noticed that we’re big fans of turmeric around here, we’ve made desserts, tofu scrambles, golden milk, chia pudding, a cold remedy, and a smoothie. We’re obsessed for good reason, adding some turmeric has a host of health benefits and adds a happy bright yellow to your meal! But if you’ve used fresh turmeric root or dried powder before, you’ve probably managed to get a bright yellow turmeric stain on your counter, clothes, or dishes. Maybe even all of the above.
While turmeric can be used as a natural dye, there is hope for removing stains! The most important tip is to act quickly. It should be noted that results may vary depending on the surface, but these are some possible options in fighting turmeric stains:
1. Oxygenated Bleach
This is the most heavy duty response to a turmeric stain, and also probably the most effective. But it should only be used under certain circumstances.
If your turmeric stain is on a white cloth, this method is perfect. Avoid using it on coloured fabrics. After washing the turmeric off, soak the stain in a 1:1 solution of water and bleach for about 15-20 minutes. Rinse out the bleach well and wash as normal.
Soaking your ceramic mug after a golden milk in a bleach and water can also remove yellowing. A diluted bleach solution can be used on some countertops, but make sure you follow manufacturer instructions or you’ll risk damaging your countertop.
Not into using bleach? Give white vinegar a try instead. After washing off the turmeric, create a pre-soak with water and vinegar before washing clothing as normal. Use vinegar to soak stained ceramic dishes.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another great option for counters and clothing. Create a paste with water and baking soda and spread it over the stained area, leaving it sit for about 10 minutes. After sitting gently scrub the area with the paste, an old toothbrush is a useful tool for this. Be gentle, baking soda is quite abrasive. After, clean the clothing and counter as normal to remove baking soda residue.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Did you stain your fingernails yellow while chopping fresh turmeric? You probably stained everything. But a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water can help clear up those nails! Use 3% hydrogen peroxide in a 1:2 ratio with water. Soak a cotton ball or rag in the mixture and wipe your nails. This can also be used as a pre-soak on turmeric stained fabrics.
5. Dish Soap
This is the least effective, but if it’s all you’ve got on hand, give it a go! And then order vinegar and baking soda, because they are excellent for general cleaning. Wash off the turmeric with soap and water, then soak the stain is a soapy solution of water and dish soap, before washing with your regular detergent.
This can also be a good first step if your turmeric stain is the result of an oily curry.
Full disclosure: there are a lot of factors that can contribute to the staying power of a turmeric stain and you may have to repeat these methods more than once.
This probably goes without saying, but don’t mix all of these methods together in hopes that they will create a super cleaning solution. Mixing cleaning products can produce unhealthy or undesirable results, I’m sure you’ve mixed baking soda and vinegar before…If you’re going to try more than one method on your stain, do so separately.
Short of embracing yellow and dyeing everything with turmeric, do you have any tips to deal with turmeric stains?
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