How to remove turmeric stains from cookware | solutions for silicon, metal or plastic

tumeric stains on plastic container
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When you’re cooking with recipes that include curry, yellow stains are inevitable. Here are some helpful tips on how to remove turmeric stains from cookware with food-safe methods.

Remove yellow stains from pans and other cookware as quickly as you can for best results. Use a cleaner that is designed specifically for curry stains, or look in your pantry for some easy remedies such as baking soda, vinegar, or lemon juice. Some cooks even have success removing curry stains with a dab of whitening toothpaste or by placing the cookware outside in the sunlight.

Cookware covers anything from silicon covers or plastic storage containers and mixing bowls to metal baking sheets, non-stick, or stainless steel pans. The way you spot clean is going to depend on what the cookware is made out of.

Keep in mind that whether it is plastic, silicone, metal, non-stick, or stainless steel, you will need to be able to eat off of it once it’s clean. So, it’s best to start by looking in your pantry for cleaning ingredients that are food-safe like lemons, vinegar, or baking soda.

Let’s take a look at how to spot clean some of the most common cookware that gets stained by turmeric.

What is the best way to remove turmeric stains from cookware?

The best way to remove turmeric stains from the cookware is to use baking soda or an acid like vinegar or lemon juice. For a sure-fire spot cleaner for curry stains, use both of them together.

Here is an example of how how to remove turmeric stains from a white cutting board with a lemon wedge. I simply scrubbed the cutting board surface with an already used lemon wedge, and the results were perfect:

How to remove tumeric stains_ three step process with lemon_cleaning cutting board

Don’t worry! Trying to get out those stains caused by cooking with turmeric isn’t necessarily going to involve a science experiment-level baking soda volcanic eruption reaction all over your kitchen counter.

How to remove turmeric stains from non-stick pans

The main issue to consider when removing any stain from a non-stick pan is to not use anything abrasive that would scratch off the coated surface. To get the curry stains out, use a mixture of baking soda and water.

While baking soda is somewhat abrasive, it won’t scratch the non-stick coating when you create a paste. Cover the bottom of the pan with water, and then sprinkle baking soda into the water until it forms a thin paste.

Don’t scrub! Let the pan sit for a while. It may take a few hours. Rinse, and wash the pan.

If the yellow stains are still noticeable, boil 4 tablespoons, 56.7 grams, of baking soda with ½ cup, 120 ml, of water in the pan. Let the pan cool down before rinsing, and then gently scrub the stain away using a brush or cloth that is safe for non-stick pans.

How to remove turmeric stains from silicone cover or container

To remove yellow stains from silicone, fill the sink with very hot water. To make sure it’s hot enough, boil some water first and then pour it into the sink.

Add 1 teaspoon, 4.9 ml, of degreasing dish detergent. Mix the detergent into the water, and place the silicone in the soaking solution. Let it soak for at least a half-hour, and then rinse.

If you don’t want to fill up your sink, use the heat of the oven to help get rid of the curry stains. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, 177 degrees C. Put the silicone on a baking sheet and place it in the oven for 10 minutes.

When you remove the silicone cookware from the oven, rinse with water, and sprinkle baking soda on the silicone to form a paste. Scrub with a sponge. Rinse, and air dry or use a microfiber cloth.

If the stain is set in, use hydrogen peroxide or a diluted bleach and water mixture. Let it soak overnight, and rinse well before using the silicone for baking.

How to remove turmeric stains from metal cookware

Remove turmeric stains from metal cookware by using baking soda, water, and vinegar. If you prefer, lemon or lime juice also works well as an acidic cleaner. Sprinkle the surface of the metal cookware generously with baking soda.

Now for the fun part. Combine 1 cup, 240 ml, of hot water and 1/3 cup, 75.6 grams, of vinegar, lemon, or lime juice.

Just like science class with the volcano experiment, the baking soda and acid will fizz briefly. Unlike science class, it won’t bubble up and explode because the acidic portion is more diluted than what is used in those baking soda volcano experiment.

Let the metal cookware soak for several hours.

Scrape the surface with a metal spatula, and then let it soak for a little while longer. Wash the pan using baking soda and a scrub brush. Rinse well.

If the stains are deep-set, make a paste out of baking soda by covering the bottom of the pot or pan. Add water until it forms a thin paste-like substance. Heat up the pot or pan until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove it from the stovetop, and wait. Once it has cooled down, wipe or scrub the metal cookware to remove the stain.

Another way to get the stains out of metal cookware is to mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Apply the paste to the stain on the metal pot, pan, or baking sheet. Let it sit for a couple of hours. Rub the paste off, and clean with a cloth or sponge. Wash the metal cookware before using it for cooking food.

How to remove turmeric stains from plastic containers

To remove turmeric stains from plastic containers, a few different methods work well. Choose either bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or rubbing alcohol. Soak the plastic in the substance you choose, and let it sit for a while before wiping it off.

  • If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer will work.
  • For bleach, mix 1 cup, 240 ml, of water with 1 tablespoon, 15 ml, of bleach.

If you are worried about using bleach on a container you use to store food in, you can always opt for vinegar instead. Or, dissolve denture tablets in hot water.

Always rinse and wash thoroughly before using the plastic container for food prep or storage.

How to remove turmeric stains from stainless steel

One of the fastest ways to get yellow stains out of stainless steel is to use either white or apple cider vinegar. Gently rub the pan with a soft cloth.

Another method is to use baking soda mixed equally with dish soap. Form a paste, and use it to gently rub out the stain with a soft cloth.

Important Tip: Like wood, stainless steel has a “grain”. These are the thin lines in the stainless steel. When cleaning stainless steel, always scrub in the direction of the steel’s grain.


Don’t hide or toss out those pots and pans that have yellowing caused by turmeric. Look in your pantry for simple ingredients like vinegar or baking soda. Learn how to remove turmeric stains from cookware by using these helpful cleaning tips for pots, pans, metal baking sheets, or silicone and plastic containers.

Rok Jurca

I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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