How to Remove a Curry Stain from Clothes

How to Remove a Curry Stain from Clothes

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Knowing how to remove a curry stain from clothes might just save your favourite top.

Everyone’s been there at one point or another; enjoying the Friday night take-out with the family before there’s a splash and suddenly you’re looking down onto a T-shirt you’re fond of and wondering if it’ll ever be the same again. You’ve dropped curry down yourself. 


Cue the laughter and the inevitable joke from someone who says, “stop playing with your food”. 

There’s a stigma that says you can never get a curry stain out of your clothes and it couldn’t be further from correct. While a general wash with normal laundry detergent won’t do the trick, there are some other methods you could try that’ll do the job just fine. 

Here at Laundry Life, laundry is our life and you can count on us to help you remove a curry stain from clothes and so much more.


Why Does Curry Stain Clothes and Fabrics?

First thing to get out of the way before trying to get rid of a spilled curry stain is understanding what makes the curry stain so strong. 

Curry, as we know it here in the UK, is a colourful, delicious and spicy dinner treat for so many foodies out there. And, while it can differ depending on how mum (or the take-out place round the corner) makes the classic korma, there are a few staple ingredients. First to know is cumin, then there’s coriander, some fenugreek, some chilli peppers and the star of the laundry show: turmeric.

Turmeric contains a yellow component called curcumin (not to be confused with any relation to cumin). This is a naturally occurring chemical with the ability to stain a golden yellow colour (much like lily pollen; stay tuned to hear more about this!). This includes our clothes, upholstery, carpet and any other fabrics in your home. In fact, turmeric is often used as a permanent fabric dye.

Unfortunately, it’s not water-soluble. Meaning, you’ll have to ask how to remove a curry stain from clothes using some other-than-generic cleaning methods.


Do Curry Stains Come Out of Clothes?

Yes. Curry stains can come out of clothes when the right cleaning ingredients and methods are called to action. 

Sometimes this can be easier than on other occasions. For example, if the fabric is white, you can head straight to the bleach/hydrogen peroxide. Additionally, it’s easier if the curry you ate contains different (but equally delicious) ingredients that don’t include turmeric.

Another reason it might be harder to get rid of a spilled curry stain is if the curry has had a chance to dry into the fibres of the fabric or if it has been in contact with direct sunlight for a prolonged period.

When it comes to knowing how to remove a curry stain from clothes it’s always about thinking quickly to remove what you can before anything has set. 


What Takes Turmeric Stains Out of Clothes?

There are a few questions within this question when it comes to understanding how you can remove a curry stain from clothes. And, in the majority of cases, they’ll always need you to follow some instructions before starting to try out any of the methods.

The first step is to carefully scrape away any excess curry from the item of clothing using the blunt side of a butter knife without agitating the fibres. Then, grab a dry towel and begin to blot the area to remove liquids that can be absorbed to spread the stain. 

Finally, place the garment into a bowl of room-temperature water so the fabric can expand. This way, any surface-sitting curry can lift while you gather the laundry recipe for your chosen cleaning method. 

With that, we wanted to answer five common FAQs about how to remove a curry stain from clothes that’ll help you find the method to suit you. 

A quick tip is to always check the label before using stark products to make sure it’s safe for the fabric!

Can Baking Soda Remove Curry Stains?

Most of the time, having baking soda in your cupboard will be a life saver. From clearing pores and helping cupcakes rise all the way to creating a suitable paste to help remove a curry stain from clothes. You’ll need to make a 3:1 paste of baking soda and water before massaging into the stain of the fabric for around a minute. Leave overnight and throw into your washing machine for a cycle.


Can Glycerine Remove Curry Stains?

Yes. However, not alone. When you use glycerine, you’ll want to gently rub it into the stain on either side of the item of clothing for around a minute. Then, leave to sit for a few minutes, rinse in cold water and launder on a hot wash with a cap of bleach.

Can Lemon Remove Curry Stains?

Lemon can’t remove curry stains completely. However, it is commonly used as an “unsettler” to give you time to find another method of some heavy-duty laundry detergent. Just slice a lemon in half and squeeze it all onto the stain. Make sure your item of clothing isn’t left in a warm or dry area as it will reduce the time you have.

Can Alcohol/White Spirit Remove Curry Stains?

This is one of the most reliable and quick methods for removing turmeric stains from any item of clothing or fabric. While in a well-ventilated room, drip some alcohol onto a sponge and spot-dab away the stain. Afterwards, bung into your normal laundry load and see the stain disappear.

Can Vinegar Remove Curry Stains?

Vinegar is just as effective at removing a turmeric stain as alcohol is with a less-dangerous smell (even if it does singe your nose hairs). Simply mix a 1:1 tablespoon solution of liquid laundry detergent and white vinegar with 500ml of cold water. Dab onto the stain until removed and throw in the washing machine.

And finally, if you’ve got curry on the carpet…

Try this stain remover on your carpets for curry stains, it’s the best we’ve found.

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