How to remove turmeric stains from gel nails

For those who love to cook especially curries with spices such as turmeric, it can often result in gel nails that are discolored. Having gel nails that are discolored does not look appealing in any way. Luckily, there are several ways you can remove food stains easily.

Read further to learn ways on how to remove turmeric stains from gel nails.

Different methods one how to remove turmeric stains from gel nails

When your gel nails are discolored by working with turmeric, you should take a look at these methods on how to remove turmeric stains from gel nails.

Sugar scrub

  • Add a tablespoon of sugar scrub in a small basin or bowl.
  • Add a tablespoon of water.
  • Combine the two ingredients thoroughly.
  • Dab the scrub to your stained nails.
  • Rub the stains until they come off. 

Coconut or castor oil

  • Soak a cotton ball in coconut or castor oil.
  • Dab it over the gel nails stained with turmeric until fully clean.

Shaving cream

Shaving cream generally contains hydrogen peroxide which works as a bleaching agent to counteract dark stains.

  • Saturate a cotton ball with shaving cream.
  • Wipe the cotton ball over the stained nail.
  • Continue wiping until the stain disappears. 

Baking soda and lemon juice

Baking soda works as an absorbent, mildly abrasive bleaching agent. When combined with lemon juice, it can effectively deal with stains.

  • In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with a tablespoon of water and a few drops of lemon juice.
  • Combine the ingredients thoroughly until a paste-like mixture is achieved.
  • Dip a cotton pad into this mixture and rub it on your stained gel nails.
  • Continue rubbing until the stain is lifted.

But DON’T use baking soda on your skin. Read tip number 7 in this article.

Apple cider vinegar

  • Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of water in a small bowl.
  • Combine the ingredients thoroughly. 
  • Dip a cotton ball into this mixture. 
  • Rub it over your nails until the stains vanish.


How to brighten gel nails

After removing the unsightly turmeric stains on your gel nails, you might want to brighten them. Simply follow these steps.

  • Prepare a soaking solution by mixing a cup of water with juice from half a lemon and a tablespoon of baking soda. Stir the solution to thoroughly mix the ingredients. Soak your nails for 15-20 minutes and rinse with fresh water. 
  • Buff the top layer of the gel manicure to get rid of the discolored layer. Utilize a high-grit buffer. Gently rub the buffer over the surface of the gel until the grimy layer disappears. At this point, you will see the original color of your gel nails return. 
  • Apply a layer of top coat over the gel nails after buffing. This will protect the manicure and prevent it from turning dingy again. After applying the topcoat, let it dry completely. 

Does lemon juice remove turmeric stains?

Just like with most stains, hot water can set the stain which must be avoided. The best approach is using cool water along with soap or your preferred laundry detergent. Tap on the stain instead of rubbing it. 

In case you are in a restaurant or location without access to laundry detergent, ask if lemon or lemon juice is available and dab it on the stained area for 15 minutes and rinse. Another option is to apply an ice cube on the stain if you cannot pour water on it. 

Can you use a Magic Eraser to get rid of turmeric stains on gel nails?

Depending on the color of your gel nails, using a Magic Eraser might help get rid of turmeric stains. 

If you have white gel tips that end up with turmeric stains, you can brush a Magic Eraser gently until the stain vanishes. 

Sadly, if you use it on other colors, it might cause a scratched appearance on your gel nails. 

How to remove turmeric stains from clothes?

When dealing with turmeric stains on clothes, simply follow the steps below.

  • Combine baking soda and water to create a paste. 
  • Scrub the paste into the stains thoroughly before washing it in the washer with hot water. 
  • An alternative is blotting the stains with a mixture of warm water, white vinegar, and dish soap until the stain fades. 

Final thoughts

If you recently got gel nails from the salon, you should maintain its clean and pristine appearance. Sadly, when you are working with turmeric while cooking, your gel nails can end up stained. Luckily with the methods on how to remove turmeric stains from gel nails, you can keep your gel nails free from this unsightly stain.


Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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