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Cleaning Pros’ Top Tips to Remove Turmeric Stains — and How Using Hot Water Can Make Things *Worse*

A few household staples can make stains vanish — in seconds!

Is there anything turmeric can’t do? Study after study shows this super spice can help ease inflammation, speed weight loss, brighten dark spots on the skin and so much more. Plus, it’s got a bevy of culinary uses! It’s a mainstay spice in Indian cooking and adds warm flavors to curries, stews and many other dishes. The only downside to the ingredient? Its golden, yellow color can stain anything it touches! We asked cleaning experts and a food blogger how to remove turmeric stains from common surfaces, so you can continue to reap the benefits of the spice without worrying about a mess left behind! Read on for their top tips.

Related: Turmeric Benefits for Women: Why Experts Call It a “Complete Well-Being Tonic” for Your Health

How to remove turmeric stains from countertops

You love to add turmeric to your dishes for flavor, but it can leave the distinct — and tough to remove — golden residue on your counter. To the rescue: a baking soda and water paste, says Julie Pollitt, who posts food recipes on Back To My Southern Roots. “Let it sit for a few minutes and gently wipe it off.” Baking soda’s absorbent properties means it will soak up the pigment. If it’s a tough stain, Pollitt recommends using vinegar with baking soda. Combining equal amounts of the ingredients will create a chemical reaction that successfully lifts the stain.

“Hydrogen peroxide is also a great stain remover for countertops,” adds Pollitt. “As always, ensure your countertops are safe for use with these products before trying.” If you go this route, the peroxide will release oxygen to break down the stain.

Related: 7 Genius Baking Soda Hacks Guaranteed to Save You Time and Money

How to remove turmeric stains from a rug

Eek! You spilled some turmeric on your kitchen rug. To erase it, spray the stain with cold water, add a few drops of dish soap and gently scrub the spot, shares Omni Robinson, a star cleaner for BetterCleans. Then make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water and apply to the spot.

Let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing in a circular motion with a clean damp cloth. Dish soap and baking soda are known stain lifters, so the combination will leave your carpet looking like new. If by some chance the stain still won’t completely disappear, treat it with a carpet spray cleaner. Robinson recommends the incredibly popular (with more than 91,000 reviews on Amazon!) Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover (Buy from Amazon, $6.65)

Related: 20 Brilliant Uses for Vinegar and Dish Soap —Clean the Entire House for Under $8!

How to remove turmeric stains from cutting boards

A clean cutting board after knowing how to remove turmeric stains
Anna Gorbacheva/Getty

After chopping up turmeric for your tikka masala, your wooden cutting board is covered with the residue. Luckily, there are a couple of common ingredients that can ensure the board doesn’t have a permanent stain. “A lemon and salt scrub can work,” says Taylor Anderson, a lead cleaner for Super Cleaning Service Louisville.

First, sprinkle the board with salt, then slice a lemon in half and use the cut side as a scrubber. The salt granules will scour away food particles while the lemon’s citric acid acts as a natural bleach to break down the discoloration. (Click through to find out what to do with your leftover peel when you’re done).

How to remove turmeric stains from fabric

Whether you got turmeric on your shirt from eating dinner or prepping a meal, the key to avoiding a permanent stain is to act fast! “Immediately wash it in cold water to flush it out,” shares Anderson. “Never use hot water for this as it will be harder for you to remove it. Continue to rinse the stained area under cold water until you notice that the water running through is clear.”

If desired, apply a stain remover like Shout before you wash your garment.

Related: Experts: Using Too Much Laundry Detergent May Be Making Your Clothes ‘Dirty’

“You can use an old toothbrush or any soft-bristled brush for a gentle scrub,” says Anderson. “Rinse under cold running water and repeat the process until the stain is washed away.”

How to remove turmeric stains from skin

Turmeric on skin
Veena Nair/Getty

Working with turmeric in the kitchen or incorporating it into your beauty routine can certainly leave behind a bright tint on skin. The save: “If you get it on your hands, rub lemon juice all over and let it sit for a few minutes,” says Pollitt. “Then wash with soap and water. If it’s a tough stain on your nails, nail polish remover should do the trick.”

Lemon’s natural bleaching properties help break down stains (even on skin) so you’re not left with any orange tint on your hands.

How to remove turmeric stains from plastic

Whether you use turmeric in recipes that you transfer to plastic food-storage containers or sprinkle the spice in soups or smoothies, you might discover that the spice stains the plastic. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix so make them clear once again.

TikTok user Julius Fidler shares how he made his plastic blender bottle look like new when homemade turmeric shots gave the plastic an orange tint.

“All you’ve got to do is give the jug a good wash and place it into direct sunlight,” he explains in the video. “Within a few days, the turmeric stains disappear entirely.” Credit goes to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which naturally brighten and bleach the plastic.

For more cleaning hacks, keep reading!

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