Of all the delicious cuisines in the world, India's is the last one you want spilled on your clothes. Thanks to turmeric, an antioxidant-packed root ground into a powdered spice used in many Indian dishes, any curry stains will stain your last tunic a bright, cheery yellow. You'll have a holy cow of a time getting them out, but it is possible.
A regular wash and spin won't do it, even on "heavily soiled." You'll be left with basically the same stain. The compound responsible for turmeric's fierce pigmentation, curcumin, isn't water soluable, so forget the old dab-it-out or even the club soda and salt trick. You'll need to break out the heavy-duty artillery AND harness the power of the sun.
Act quickly! If you want to save a shirt any shade lighter than black, take the thing off. Actually, if done correctly, this could be a solid dating move. He loves Indian food and takes stained clothing seriously! (Sound of rest of clothing hitting floor). But seriously folks, off the shirt comes. Pre-treat with detergent or laundry stain spray, let sit for 10 minutes, then wash in hot water and dry in direct sunlight. The stain probably won't be gone, but the sunlight will help oxidize the curcumin to a point where another pre-treat and wash (or two) should do the trick. Bleach will definitely help with white clothing.
Did you let the stain sit for too long? You're shit outta luck, man, it's ruined. A word of advice: wear a dark-colored apron when cooking with turmeric. Here are a few recipes for practicing not getting turmeric stains on you in the first place:
- Moroccan Merguez and Vegetable Tagine (and the tattoo it inspired)
- Beef Rendang (seriously, do not get this on your clothing)
- Golden Mussel Chowder
As for the cow, it's not Photoshop — that is a bovine naturally dyed yellow. Hindus have long used turmeric in ceremonies, including annointing the holiest of animals. Note the respectful lack of a steak joke.
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