How to remove turmeric stains from white cabinets?

White kitchen cabinets, a hallmark of clean and classic design, can be particularly challenging to maintain when faced with stubborn turmeric stains.

Turmeric, while beneficial for health and a staple in many cuisines, is notorious for leaving stubborn stains. Curcumin is the substance that gives this vibrant yellow spice its color.

Turmeric might be a stubborn stainer, but your white cabinets can be stain-free with patience and the right methods.

Why are Turmeric Stains Stubborn?

When you find your turmeric stains stubborn, a question crosses your mind why does this turmeric stain become stubborn in no time?

Curcumin’s molecular nature makes it simple for it to adhere to surfaces. It permeates into porous materials like wood when mixed with moisture, as when you’re cooking, making the stain even more tenacious.

5 Effective Methods to Remove Turmeric Stains

Now we are on the main question of how to remove turmeric stains from white cabinets. I have explained 5 effective methods below that will help you remove turmeric stains without damaging your kitchen cabinet.

Always test any cleaning solution on a hidden area of your cabinet first to ensure it doesn’t damage or discolor the surface. You can test it inside of a cabinet door, Underneath the cabinet, or on the back panel of the cabinet.

Method 1: Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda isn’t just for baking! It can be used to remove stains that may happen during cooking. By acting as a mild abrasive, baking soda can remove the stain without damaging the cabinet’s surface.

  • Make a thick paste by mixing baking soda with water. Mix equal parts of baking soda and water in a bowl.
  • Apply the paste onto the stained surface of the kitchen cabinet and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. This time will allow it to set entirely inside the porous of the cabinet surface.
  • When the solution is set completely, gently scrub the area using a soft cloth or sponge in circular motions. Use a white cloth because a colored cloth can leave its color behind.
  • Wipe off the paste with a damp cloth and then dry the area with a towel. If the stain is not completely gone repeat if necessary until the stain disappears.

Use of the solution of baking soda and water is helpful if you have noticed the turmeric stain at times. However, if it has become stubborn then the next methods are best for it.

Method 2: White Vinegar Solution

White vinegar solution is another effective way to remove turmeric stains because white vinegar is acidic, which helps break down and dissolve turmeric stains.

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. This mixture will be used to tackle the turmeric stain.
  • Spray the solution directly onto the stain. Make sure the mixture that you spray has entirely covered the stained area.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes, allowing the vinegar to soften or break down the stain.
  • Wipe the area with a soft cloth by applying gentle pressure. Continue scrubbing until you see the stain starting to fade. Rinse with water and wipe dry the surface of the kitchen cabinet.

Vinegar is a good solution but it may become a headache if you apply direct vinegar to the surface without mixing water in it. So ensure that you are using diluted vinegar.

Method 3: Lemon Juice and Salt

Another way to remove turmeric stains is lemon juice and Salt. Lemon juice works similarly to vinegar. When combined with salt, it acts as a mild abrasive, making stain removal more effective.

  • Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the turmeric-stained area of the cabinet or any other affected surface.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the salt until it’s wet down completely. Now let it set for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After that gently scrub the stain using the back of a spoon or a soft cloth. Don’t do it harshly because it can put scratches on the cabinet surface.
  • Rinse with water and dry the area with a white and clean towel.

Lemon juice and salt can be effective against turmeric stains. However, when using them on white cabinets, caution is essential. Always patch-test on a hidden section to ensure no discoloration occurs.

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Method 4: Dishwashing Soap and Warm Water

The second last method to remove turmeric stains from the white kitchen cabinets is applying a solution of dishwashing soap and warm water.

The grease-fighting properties of dishwashing liquid can help break down the turmeric oils, lifting the stain from the surface of the cabinets.

  • Mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid with warm water in a bowl.
  • Dip a soft cloth into the solution and wring out excess water. Use a white cloth because a colored cloth may leave its color on the white cabinets and become a headache for you.
  • Gently blot the stain, moving from the outside in. Do not rub cloth on the surface.
  • Rinse with clean water and pat dry the surface of the cabinet by using a white cloth.

Dishwashing soap is not only for washing dishes but also helpful in removing turmeric or any type of stains easily. If you know how to use dishwashing soap then you can do it easily.

Method 5: Commercial Cleaners

The last method is the use of commercial cleaners to remove turmeric stains. Some commercial cleaners are specifically formulated to tackle tough stains like turmeric.

  • Choose a cleaner suitable for your cabinet material (e.g., wood, laminate). For more information check the material and guidelines for applying commercial cleaners.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid any damage to the kitchen cabinets, especially white cabinets.
  • Always test on a small hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the finish.
  • Apply the commercial cleaners as they are directed. Rinse and dry the surface at the time.

Commercial detergents are not highly recommended because they are different to use on different materials. If you have not removed turmeric stains with the first 4 methods then you can go with this method after following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

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  • Natural First: Opt for natural cleaning agents like baking soda or vinegar before trying commercial cleaners. They’re gentler on surfaces and less likely to cause harm.
  • Avoid Scrubbing Too Hard: Over-scrubbing can damage the finish on your cabinets. Always use a soft cloth and gentle pressure.
  • Test First: Before applying any cleaning solution, always do a spot test in an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t damage or discolor the cabinet.
  • Stay Away from Bleach: While bleach might seem like a good idea, it can damage or discolor the wood. Stick to milder cleaning agents.
  • Clarify Cabinet Material: Understand the material of your white cabinets, whether it’s wood, laminate, or another substance. This will determine which cleaning methods are safe to use.

Final Thought

Turmeric, which is recognized for its culinary and medicinal properties, presents the difficulty of leaving permanent stains, which are especially obvious on white cabinets. These golden marks can be frightening, but they can be properly managed with the right information, methods, and safety measures.

It’s crucial to act swiftly, use appropriate cleaning solutions, and always prioritize the integrity of the cabinet’s material and finish. So, even in the face of a turmeric mishap, equipped with these insights, homeowners can confidently restore their white cabinets to their pristine glory.

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