Help! Curry stains!

Difficulty level: upholstery

So, we’ve got colds and we didn’t clean up from dinner in a big hurry, okay? And this morning discovered that the cats probably got into our soup bowls and there’s bright yellow curry stains on my cream-colored dining room chair upholstered seats.

Now, I’ve gotten red wine out of these chairs before, two days after I bought them, with no traces left. But curry? Isn’t this impossible? Set-in curry?

If it matters, it’s curry powder in a soup with chicken, sweet potatoes, peas, etc.

Am I totally screwed?

The yellow color from Turmeric is soluble in alcohol.
I’ve never had to clean curry off of a chair, but vodka worth a shot.

You’ve got turmeric (unfortunately for you, it’s used as a fabric dye) and you’ve got oils, both of which can stain. I would second the blotting with vodka (or, even better, Everclear) idea, and then a grease remover like dishsoap - assuming your upholstery can handle the water needed to rinse it out.

Honestly, I don’t have great hope. The good news is that dining room chairs with upholstered seats are easy to reupholster. :smack:

Well, like I said, it’s had wet things used to clean it before - with the Red Wine Incident we dumped salt on it, poured on red wine, AND OxyCleaned it. Something worked. Will try vodka.

Sigh. I don’t think the vodka is working. I left a rag wet with it on there like you do with your spit for a bloodstain on your sewing, but I don’t think it’s gonna work.

Did I mention there’s TEN CHAIRS I’d have to recover?

Give that OxyClean a try; it worked for me on mustard (seems like same color from same thing??)

If you spilled some curry
and you’re in an awful hurry
There’s always Oxyclean
For that good old-fashioned Oxy-sheen.

If you are struggling with impossible stains or marks, try Oxyclean. Oxyclean - Cleaner of Champions.

Eh, mustard isn’t colored by tumeric. It is one of the things I tried on the red wine, so I guess it couldn’t hurt to try.

I think the chemical in turmeric that gives it is staining power is called curcumin. Curcumin apparently breaks down in bright light - I read this in New Scientist a while ago and have sinced managed to de-stain various pieces of tupperware by just leaving them out on the windowsill for a couple of days.

Not sure if that helps? Will the seat covers come off? Or can you place the seats near a large window for a few days?

Actually, some mustards are colored with turmeric: French’s Mustard Classic Yellow

Damn, now I’ve stained the page! :smack:

Actually, on the third application of vodka I believe it has begun to work! Either that or… now that I read… you know, those two chairs are the ones closest to the windows that get sun in the afternoon. Hmmm…

Hold your monitor up to some bright sunlight, and it should go away :smiley:

I got turmeric out of carpet with repeated applications of Hydrogen peroxide. Just put it on a couple of times a day and it will fade, eventually to nothing. No need to scrub. It’s going to take a while. Putting the chairs in bright sunlight should also help.

I once used dishwasher detergent (the type used in a dishwashing machine) to get turmeric stains out of a cotton T-shirt. It worked very well, but I did encounter something I didn’t expect - the stains turned purple when I applied the detergent. I found through experimentation that the yellow chemical in turmeric (curcumin, according to Ed Yong) turns purple in the presence of a base.

Can you remove the upholstery from the chairs?

Try this

Get some TSP from a paint store (Tri Sodium phosphate), mix it into a slurry/paste with warm water, and place it on a stained area. (I also suggest trying this on a non visible area, as it may discolour the fabric). Let it dry, and then put a cloth soaked in Hydrogen peroxide on the area, with out removing the TSP… Cover with saran wrap (or other sandwich wrap type stuff), leave for a few hours and then wash with cool water. Use a wet vacuum if you have one to pull the "gunk’ off of the fabric as opposed to blotting wiping.

this mixture is essentially home made “Oxyclean”
The yellow colour does break down in bright light, but only oxidizes to a dull brown, so the “leave it in a sunny place” solution won’t work, btw
best of luck

Wear gloves if you try this. TSP is a skin irritant.

In the bright light of day, no it didn’t fade. Will try hydrogen peroxide next.