How to Clean Turmeric Stains from Quartz Countertops

Turmeric is a vibrant yellow spice that can add a beautiful golden color to dishes. However, it can also leave behind difficult stains if spilled on countertops. Quartz countertops are an extremely popular choice for kitchens thanks to their durability, appearance, and low maintenance. But their light colored surface also makes turmeric stains highly visible. With the right techniques and cleaning solutions, these stains can be removed from quartz. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to clean turmeric stains from quartz countertops.

What Causes Turmeric Staining

The active compound curcumin gives turmeric its bold yellow color. Unfortunately, it is also highly staining. When turmeric comes into contact with porous surfaces like quartz, the curcumin penetrates deep into the small grooves and pores. This makes it challenging to remove the vivid color.

Quartz countertops contain ground natural quartz combined with polymer resins. Though less porous than materials like granite, the quartz still has microscopic crevices that absorb the curcumin. Staining also depends on the finish of the quartz. A more matte finish has a rougher texture that can grab onto turmeric.

Remove Stains Immediately

It is always best to address turmeric spills right away before the curcumin has time to set into the quartz. Immediately wipe up any wet turmeric powder or liquid. Avoid abrasively scrubbing the spot, as this can drive the stain deeper. Gently blot lifting straight up.

For dried turmeric stains that have set in, try lightly scraping off any excess powder with a plastic scraper or old credit card. Take care not to scratch the quartz surface.

Clean with Baking Soda and Water Paste

For fresh or dried stains, make a paste of baking soda and water. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help lift the turmeric without damaging the quartz. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste.

Apply the paste directly on the stained area and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The baking soda paste helps draw out the curcumin. Gently scrub the area in circular motions with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse clean with warm water and dry thoroughly.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective stain remover thanks to its whitening and disinfectant properties. For light stains, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and blot the stain. Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.

For more stubborn stains, use undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide. Pour a small amount directly on the stain and let it bubble for 5-10 minutes. Scrub gently and rinse. Avoid getting hydrogen peroxide on areas outside of the stain, as it can lighten quartz.

Make a Bleach Cleaner

For older, deeper set stains, make a diluted bleach cleaner. Mix 1 cup warm water, 1⁄4 cup bleach, and 1 tsp dish soap. Apply it directly on the stain with a soft sponge or cloth. Let it sit for up to 5 minutes.

Bleach can be harsh, so take care not to leave it on too long. Thoroughly rinse the area and avoid getting the bleach solution on surrounding areas of the countertop. This can lead to light spots forming on the quartz.

Use a Poultice

For extremely stubborn turmeric stains, a poultice can help draw out the deep-set curcumin. A poultice is a paste made with an absorbent material that pulls out a stain. Mix 1 part flour, hydrogen peroxide, and water to form a thick paste.

Spread an even layer over the stain at least 1⁄4 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours. Scrape off the poultice and rinse clean. Reapply and let sit if needed. The prolonged contact helps lift even aged stains.

Prevention Tips

  • Wipe up spills immediately
  • Use a turmeric stain remover like Bar Keepers Friend
  • Seal quartz regularly with a stain resistant sealer
  • Avoid abrasive scrubbers and cleaners
  • Place a towel under bowls when mixing dishes with turmeric

Can Turmeric Stains Come Back?

It is possible for faint turmeric stains to return even after cleaning, especially if the spill was significant. The curcumin can remain embedded in the microscopic pores of the quartz. Using a high-quality quartz sealer after deep cleaning can help prevent this recurrence. Reapply the sealer regularly per manufacturer instructions.

With the proper cleaning techniques, supplies, and a little elbow grease, even the most stubborn turmeric stains can be removed from quartz countertops. Pay attention to prevention and address any spills immediately for best results. Quartz can be restored to its previous unstained appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best commercial cleaners for removing turmeric stains?

Some good commercial cleaners to try are Bar Keeper’s Friend Cleanser, Zep Instant Stain Remover, or Weiman Granite Cleaner. Always check that the product is safe for use on quartz.

Can I use chlorine bleach to remove turmeric stains?

Yes, chlorine bleach can help remove turmeric stains from quartz. Make a diluted solution of 1⁄4 cup bleach, 1 cup warm water, and 1 tsp dish soap. Spot test first and do not leave it on for more than 5 minutes before rinsing.

How can I prevent turmeric staining on my quartz countertop?

Prevent stains by immediately wiping up spills, using a towel under cooking prep bowls, and sealing the quartz regularly with a stain resistant sealer. Products like Granite Gold Sealer can help protect quartz.

Why is it hard to get turmeric stains out of quartz?

Turmeric contains the compound curcumin which deeply penetrates into the microscopic pores of quartz. This makes it difficult to fully lift out the staining. Using abrasives can make it worse by driving the stain deeper.

Can I use lemon juice to remove turmeric stains?

Yes, lemon juice can help lighten turmeric staining due its acidic and bleaching properties. Mix lemon juice with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Apply and let sit before scrubbing and rinsing.


Turmeric stains can be frustrating, but with diligence and the proper techniques they can be removed from quartz countertops. Act quickly when spills happen to prevent setting. Make pastes with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or flour and allow them to draw out the stain. For tough stains, use diluted bleach or commercial cleaners formulated for quartz. Paying attention to prevention and addressing stains promptly will keep quartz surfaces looking bright and stain-free.