How to Get Turmeric Out of Clothes

If you’re wondering if turmeric can leave a permanent stain on clothing, the answer is yes, especially if you don’t act fast. On contact, turmeric leaves a persistent stain on clothes. It also reacts with soap to produce an intense red(ish) color, so you might want to tread carefully where it concerns turmeric. 

Tumeric, the all-powerful queen of spices, is called ‘queen’ for a reason. Its richness can bring flavor and add vibrant color to any food to which it is added. You can crush fresh turmeric or use the powdered form without hassles until it’s time to wash your utensils and clothes.

If you have turmeric stains on your clothes, do not worry; you will find 10 ways to get rid of turmeric stains in this post. Keep reading!

10 Ways to Get Turmeric Out of Clothes

So you used turmeric in your cooking. All was going fine until it was time to clean up, then you discovered that the turmeric stains stubbornly cling to your clothes and won’t come out even after laundering. 

Well, there’s a right way to get turmeric stains out of clothes, and tossing them immediately in the washing machine isn’t one of them.

Act Fast!

Do not wait to get rid of turmeric stains, the longer they stay on your fabric, the more they set in and the harder they become to remove. Here are ten ways to remove turmeric stains from your clothes the right way: 

1. Cornstarch

If you’re dealing with oil-based turmeric such as when it’s used in curry or in food, then you need to first draw out the oil before taking steps to remove the turmeric stains. One good way to do this is by using cornstarch. 

Cornstarch is very absorbent, but needless to say, it will not remove turmeric stain; it will only remove the oil and excess turmeric so that other cleaning measures can act unhindered. Simply sprinkle the stain with cornstarch and allow a few minutes to let it absorb excess turmeric. 

After applying cornstarch, the stain will fade noticeably – this is your cue to remove the stain using any of the methods on this list.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda has a number of uses asides from its use for baking delicious pastries. This time around, it can be used to absorb the oil from turmeric stains in clothes. More like cornstarch, baking soda won’t exactly remove turmeric stains – although you will notice a reduction in the stain’s intensity after application. 

But don’t underestimate what baking soda does; without absorbing turmeric oil from the stained spot, you may never completely get the stains out -so don’t skip this step. 

Apply baking soda to the stained spot until it’s completely covered, then for 30 minutes before you proceed to use any of the methods for eliminating turmeric stains below.

3. Vanish & Hand Sanitiser

Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound responsible for its yellow color. And one way of breaking down curcumin is by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; this will also prevent the stains from spreading. For stain removal, you need a strong stain remover like Vanish.

Here’s how to get Tumeric out of your cloth using Vanish and an alcohol-based sanitizer: 

  • Apply hand sanitizer to the turmeric stain. Make sure that the entire stain is covered, then leave it to act on the fabric for 30 minutes.
  • After the wait, most of the hand sanitizer must have evaporated. Now, apply Vanish to the spot and let it sit for 15 minutes. Vanish is color-safe so you won’t have a problem using it on colored clothes.
  • After the wait, you will notice that the turmeric stain has faded considerably but may still leave traces. Load the cloth into the washing machine and wash it normally.

Sometimes you may still notice a trace of turmeric even after the first wash. Simply apply Vanish to the spot again and wash the cloth for a second time – turmeric stains rarely survive a second application of Vanish and machine wash. 

4. Vanish & Dishwashing Soap

Similar to using the method above, you can simply use dishwashing soap if you don’t have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at home. 

First, you need to mix equal parts Vanish and dishwashing soap like Dawn dishwashing liquid. Next, apply the mixture to the turmeric stain and let it sit overnight. Afterward, rinse the cloth under running water, then toss it into the machine and wash it using the normal settings. 

5. Vinegar

Using vinegar is a great way to eliminate all kinds of stains because of its acidic content in the form of tartaric acid. But you must have used either cornstarch or baking soda to absorb turmeric oil. 

When you apply vinegar, tartaric acid from vinegar acts on curcumin in the turmeric stain, effectively breaking it down. To do this, fill a bowl halfway with water, then add 2 cups of white vinegar to it. Mix the solution, then put the cloth in and let it soak for at least an hour. 

Repeat this process if you still see traces of turmeric stains or simply apply other methods on this list to eliminate the stain. This method works well, especially for white clothes. Find out other genius tricks for getting stains out of white clothes.

6. Lemon Juice 

Lemon juice is a safe way to remove turmeric stains on your cloth without the risk of bleaching it, thanks to its strong, acidic property. 

Simply apply a few drops of lemon juice to the turmeric-stained portion of the cloth and let it sit for 15 minutes. After that, rinse away the lemon juice and launder the cloth normally. You may have to repeat this process before the turmeric stains completely disappear. 

You may also like to learn about different ways to get oil stains out of clothes.

7. Bleach

If all other options don’t work to your satisfaction, you might want to try using bleach. However, remember that you cannot use chlorine bleach to remove stains on colored clothes; for whites, you may use it. For colored clothes, use a chlorine-free bleach – you can try Ecover Zero non-chlorine bleach for fabric.

Regardless of what kind of bleach you use, always read and adhere to the application instructions on its label. You may also like to know that the bleach may not be effective if you don’t first absorb excess oil for oil-based turmeric stains. 

8. Hydrogen Peroxide

You can also use hydrogen peroxide to remove turmeric stains from your clothes. It is a color-safe approach, but you still need to first test a hidden part of the cloth to make sure it won’t bleed the color. 

If you have hydrogen peroxide nearby, fill a bowl halfway with water and pour in two cups (250 ml) of hydrogen peroxide, then agitate the mixture until thoroughly mixed. Now, soak the affected cloth in it overnight. Finally, wash in the washing machine using the usual settings. 

9. Baking Soda & Salt

Alone, baking soda is a great stain remover, but if you add abrasion which table salt provides, then turmeric stains will come out of your cloth quicker. 

To remove turmeric stains from your cloth using baking powder and salt, mix equal parts of both substances with water until it forms a paste, then apply the mixture over the turmeric stain. You can then rinse it off and wash your garment normally. 

10. Toothpaste

Odd for a list like this, but toothpaste can help to remove turmeric from your cloth. On application of toothpaste to the turmeric stain, it will react with curcumin in the turmeric and turn the stain red – don’t panic.  Leave the toothpaste to stand for an hour or two. After that, rinse off the toothpaste and toss the garment in a washing machine. 


Sometimes, even after trying several methods for getting turmeric stains out of your garment, you may still find traces of turmeric stains, but do not worry. Simply spread your clothes out to dry under sunlight. Like magic, sunlight can help you to remove every last trace of turmeric stain from your cloth. 

Are Turmeric Stains Permanent?

Curcumin in turmeric can leave a persistent stain on clothes, which is the reason for its use as a dye in the textile industry. Although turmeric stains are not as permanent as chemical dyes, they can still leave a persistent stain that lingers even after several washes. 

Also, heat sets turmeric stains into fabrics. But it doesn’t have to be permanent – that’s why you need to treat turmeric stains using any of the methods outlined in this post to get turmeric out fast. 

Does Vanish Remove Turmeric Stains?

Yes. In fact, we recommend using Vanish for removing turmeric stains from your clothes; it’s effective and color-safe, so you don’t have to worry about bleeding your garment’s color with the stain.

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