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How to remove yellow curry (tumeric?) stain from kitchen countertop??

A delicious Indian take-out dish -- cauliflower in a ground sesame and yellow curry sauce, for the record -- left behind patches of yellow that don't respond to conventional cleaning. Any ideas?

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  1. Not sure what your surface is, but my Corian responds to any cleanser with bleach in it.

    1. If your surface is natural stone, try a poultice of baking soda, mixed to a thick paste. Let dry. Clean off. Repeat. (Sounds like a shampoo bottle...) It can take repeated applications.

      1. I had this problem once. I just used good ol'lysol antibacterial spray for the kitchen. I have crappy counters though so you might want to test out a wee spot before you spray a massive amount of lysol on your counter

        1 Reply
        1. re: bitsubeats

          I agree. Lysol antibacterial spray works every time I have a tumeric stain on my counters, and I've had an unusually high number of tumeric stains on my counters.

        2. You might try the Magic Eraser sponge if none of that works. It works great on tea and kool-aid stains on my counters.

          5 Replies
          1. re: kwatz

            Magic Eraser rocks. It removed red paste food coloring stains from my ancient formica.

            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              Just so you know - the Magic Eraser is essentially sandpaper (albeit very, very, very fine-grit sandpaper). It tends to remove some of the "shine" from my ancient formica countertops. So, test it somewhere inconspicuous first.

              Me, I keep a Magic Eraser under the sink and use it all the time. Shiny countertops aren't everything...


              1. re: AnneInMpls

                My formica is so old it no longer has any shine whatsoever, so ME is no threat to its "beauty"...

            2. re: kwatz

              Magic Eraser also works on turmeric stains.

              1. re: wally

                I idly tried one out and it got out all the ballpoint ink stains my kids have made on my kitchen table -- not the gel pen stains from 2 years ago, but hey, I call it a victory.

                I use bleachy scrubs on most stains but I did try that magic eraser and it got a surprising number of stains off my countertop (tea, pomegranate). Hooray!

                Rubbing alcohol gets out a lot of inky stains. I use it for ballpoint pen on clothes (much faster than that hairspray "trick" that takes scrubbing all day long).

            3. ---First: always test surface in an inconspicuous area before trying any cleaning agents. ---

              I removed yellow mustard from my sister's counter-top by a quick spray of oven cleaner on a damp towel, then wiping it directly into the stain. The stain came up by sponging the area down with plain water.

              The process however, did require a full counter cleaning as we discovered the entire top to be dingy from a buildup of kitchen grime that never responded to anything else. Adding up each length of counter space she had about a 25 feet that cleaned up like a charm in less that 5 minutes even with a good surface rinse

              BTW- Some floor strippers contain almost the same chemicals found in oven cleaners. Weaker forms do include some more stronger countertop cleaners. Neither should be used on aluminium or silverware as they are lye based. Throughly rinse areas with a sponge with fresh water.

              1. I had the same problem and used Soft Scrub with Bleach. Gently rubbed on, let sit a few minutes, and it was gone.

                1. Wow do I know this feeling. I once placed a bag of Indian takeout on the bed in a UK B&B. To my horror an oily yellow stain was produced. I was able to get most of it out with a Shout wipe.

                  For your counter, I would advise something sudsy and grease-cutting or a bleach-based counter spray.

                  I was a fan of the Magic Eraser until I noticed that while it removes scuffs and dirt, it also seems to remove some of the surface of paint.

                  1. I use a non-abrasive cream cleanser (in Canada we have something called Vim) for my granite countertops, and I've used it on my 1950's arborite-topped kitchen table, as well. It works really well on turmeric stains.

                    1. Bon Ami is amazing on stains. And it hasn't scratched yet.

                      1. Oxyclean might work. It takes out stains really well on many types of surfaces and materials.

                        1. I second soft scrub. It's a miracle worker. I get the version with bleach...shake it well.

                          1. Depending on the material of which your counter is made and the colour, a bleach solution may be all that is necessary. Many of the posts have suggested bleach-based solutions. Perhaps a mild bleach solution sprayed on the counter (let it sit and wipe) or soaked into a cloth over the discolouration will help. I keep a spray bottle of bleach-based sanitising solution in my kitchen for basic cleaning, but it has worked on stains, too.

                            1. Vim works great for this kind of stuff. It took out some two month old mustard stains from my Formica countertop.

                              I love Formica. It's so cheap, I have no problem ruining it whatsoever :)

                              1. gin. it will safely remove stains from about anything, even delicate knits.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                  And if it doesn't, you can drink the gin to help you not care about the stain...

                                  I love this tip!!!


                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                    Wow, what a great tip. I had red food coloring on a cheap countertop and I thought it would never come out. I found this thread and tried the gin first (having just bought a bottle today!). I couldn't believe how well it worked. Non-abrasive, non-corrosive, and yummy. It's a floor cleaner and a desert topping!!

                                  2. I use Clorox Clean-Up spray. Gets pretty much all stubborn stains off my counter, that others don't. Let sit for a few seconds before wiping.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Covert Ops

                                      I've used citrus degreaser to varying degrees of success. Do a test spot first, as degreaser is pretty caustic. I usually let it sit for a bit to break up the stain. Make sure to scrub down the surface with soap and water after using the degreaser.

                                    2. Try a paste of Oxyclean -- the laundry additive. It seems to remove food stains very well, even tea and coffee. It should work on the curry stain.

                                      1. I've always just used light to get rid of the stain as the pigment is photosensitive.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: JungMann

                                          Do you mean you let the stain sit and it'll eventually fade? Or do you shine a flashlight on it? Does this work on carpet?

                                          I have tumeric stains on my car's carpet due to a spill of curry sauce and my super-trusty carpet cleaner (it's removed very old coffee stains) managed to remove everything but the bright yellow tumeric. So, the stain's gone from dark brown to bright yellow. I'm glad I found this thread!

                                          1. re: geekyfoodie

                                            My favorite cleaner in my kitchen for stubbon stains (an a thorough cleaning) is plain old bleach. For cleaning tough stains (in my sink I do this weekly) I put a paper towel down on the stain then pour a few drops of bleach on it where the stain is. I let it sit for about 20-30 minutes an presto- the stain is always gone. I love doing this in my white enamel sink and my counter tops/table tops. It helps to sanitize my kitchen. I also soak all my sponges in bleach water for a few minutes- then without really wringing them out much toss them in the top rack of my dishwasher and wash them. The excess bleach water left in them helps to really make the dishes shine.

                                            1. re: MeffaBabe

                                              that is a great idea! does the bleach not harm silverware (stainless and old -- not fancy -- silver plate?

                                            2. re: geekyfoodie

                                              My problem is usually that turmeric stains my tupperware; but if I leave the tupperware on the window sill, sunlight does what Palmolive cannot. I don't think a flashlight operates at the right wavelength to bleach your carpet, but a sunlamp might. Just be careful as the heat of a sunlamp can also burn carpeting.

                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                Sprinkle the stain with scouring powder, moisten it, let it stand for about 5 minutes, and scrub.

                                          2. first I tried putting lemon juice, then baking soda, then spraying it with with a mix of water/vinegar and scrubbing. that helped a bit; then i dotted dishwasher detergent on the stains, and poured vinegar straight on it. this worked and removed pretty much all traces

                                            1. I am so grateful to find this thread and for all this advice, but I have tried EVERYTHING on here and nothing has even remotely altered the highlighter yellow stains on my ugly fake tile apartment countertops. I guess I haven't tried the gin yet, though. Bleach, vinegar, magic eraser, oven cleaner, oxyclean, lime away...no go. Weird, huh?

                                              1 Reply