1. How to remove turmeric stains from cookware
Turmeric can stain bowls, dishes, containers, cutting boards, and even silicone spatulas, so be careful when cooking with this spice at home. It does NOT, however, stain stainless steel and ceramic, or at least not permanently, so using metal and ceramic cookware, containers, and utensils is your best bet.
When it comes to plastic, wood, silicone, glazed ceramic, or even glass kitchenware, it’s a different story altogether, and getting rid of them will require more effort. Follow these steps to get rid of persistent turmeric stains from cookware:
1. Rinse the dish, utensil, or container with warm water.
2. If the item is small, fill the sink with a solution of 1 part bleach (or vinegar) and 2 parts water. Soak the stained items in the solution for 12 hours or overnight.
3. If the item is big, saturate a cloth with the same solution, and place it over the stain overnight.
4. Rinse the item thoroughly and proceed to clean it in the dishwasher or by hand as usual.
If the stain remains, here’s another method you can try. This trick works especially well for removing turmeric stains from wooden chopping boards.
1. Mix baking soda and water into a thick paste.
2. Massage the paste into the stain and leave it for 15-20 minutes.
3. Rinse thoroughly and proceed to clean the item in the dishwasher or by hand as usual.
2. How to get rid of turmeric stains from clothes and carpets
Even if you don’t cook with turmeric and need not worry about your cookware gaining a yellow tinge, you may still end up with a curry stain on your clothing, couch, or carpet when ordering takeout. But before you proclaim your shirt, kitchen towel, or carpet ruined, let us assure you that getting turmeric out of fabrics is possible, especially if you act quickly.
Here’s where these step by step tips come into play:
1. Remove any excess curry or turmeric from the fabric with a paper towel or spoon.
2. Rinse the fabric under a stream of cold water. Do NOT use hot or warm water because this will set the stain.
3. Depending on the size of the item, fill either a sink or a bathtub with cold water and add the appropriate amount of a stain remover (e.g. Vanish or Oxi Action).
4. Soak the fabric in the solution for 20-30 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
Fresh stains will usually be gone after you follow these steps, but if this doesn’t happen and you can still see a stain, apply more stain remover directly onto the stain and launder it in the washing machine with laundry detergent on a cold cycle. You can try to repeat these steps a few times and add some color-safe bleach in the next cycle if the stain persists.
Another way you can try to remove turmeric from fabrics is with the help of glycerin. Flatten the dry fabric and work a generous amount of glycerin over the stain. Wait for 1 hour, and launder the items as usual.
Note: Always be mindful of the fabric of the garment or other item and take it to the dry cleaner instead if it’s not advised to wash the item on the label. Once you’re satisfied with the results, let the item air-dry and DO NOT put it in the dryer, since the heat will set the stain completely.
3. Getting rid of turmeric stains from furniture and counters
In most cases, fresh turmeric stains will be easy to clean from the kitchen table or counter with a damp cloth or sponge. So, if you notice a fresh stain, it’s best to act fast. Older turmerics stains are trickier to remove. Try to use the baking soda paste trick we showed you earlier, provided that it’s safe to use on your specific counter or furniture.
You can patch test it in an inconspicuous place first to make sure that the baking soda doesn’t scratch or otherwise damage the surface.
If the stain remains, you can repeat this method a few times, or use white vinegar or a multipurpose cleaner to get rid of any traces of the stain. Small stains can also be cleaned away with a weak bleach solution or even whitening toothpaste: simply apply it on the stain, wait for a few minutes, and then wipe away with a damp cloth.
4. How to get rid of turmeric stains on the skin and nails
Rule number one of cooking with turmeric is to always use a spoon to measure out turmeric for a recipe. It’s also a wise decision to use disposable gloves when you’re grating fresh turmeric or massaging a dry rub spice mix when preparing meat. If you’re not careful, your fingers, nails, and even nail polish will be stained with turmeric.
Likewise, putting on a DIY mask that contains turmeric, while very effective at keeping the skin moisturized, may stain your face or even eyebrows if you have light hair. Luckily, there’s a way around that catastrophe, too. Here are a few things you can try:
- Overall, try to wash the affected area of the skin or the nails as often as you can - do the dishes, take a bath to let the stain wash away more quickly.
- Use a scrub, loofah, or exfoliating liquid to exfoliate the top layer of the skin. Needless to say, loofahs will only work for the hands and body, and not the face.
- Apply body oil or just plain old olive oil to get rid of stains on the body or the hands. Oils absorb the yellow pigment and may help draw it out of your skin. Make sure to use a non-comedogenic facial oil, like the anti-aging oils we mentioned in the article 6 Beauty Oils That Reverse the Signs of Skin Aging, to remove turmeric stains from your face. Otherwise, you can end up with blocked pores and acne on the face.
- Milk or yogurt is another effective remedy for turmeric stains. Dairy contains lactic acid that naturally exfoliates the skin. Apply plain white yogurt and leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then wash away. Alternatively, apply milk onto the skin with a cotton pad and then rinse with water. For stained fingernails and hands, you can even soak the hands in some milk for 15 minutes and then rinse your hands.
- Lastly, you can use hydrogen peroxide to naturally bleach your nails. To prevent any damage to the skin or nails, use 3% hydrogen peroxide diluted in 2 teaspoons of water. Soak a cotton pad in this solution, then apply it to the stained nails and fingers. Let this solution stay on the nails for 10 minutes - do not wash your hands at this time. You can repeat this method once a day.
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