I have a wooden table, at least 10 years old. It has yellow stains on it, presumably from a curry.

I don't know what kind of powder/curry caused the stain. The stains are difficult to remove -- no luck with a soapy cloth.

  • 1
    Will you please post one or more pictures of the said table? It might help us find a better answer for you.
    – virolino
    Commented Dec 31, 2021 at 23:48
  • A search of the title reveals that people recommend a mixture of dish soap and white vinegar, but whether that will work with old stains is something you could try anyway. Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 23:16
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    Welcome to Lifehacks. Turmeric is a spice that gives curry its yellow hue and possesses the active ingredient curcumin. Turmeric stains are some of the hardest to get out, which is why turmeric is used to dye fabrics. Good luck.
    – Stan
    Commented Jan 9, 2022 at 16:32
  • How averse are you to pouring bleach on your table?
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Jan 26, 2022 at 9:57
  • Is the table surface untreated or polished & if it is polished is it a clear or colored polish?
    – user38452
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 6:09

1 Answer 1


Some years ago, I stained some clothing with curry and nothing would remove the stain. Then, it accidentally got left on the washing line for 2 or 3 sunny days in a row - and the stain magically disappeared.

My assumption was that UV light is capable of chemically altering the organic compounds a lot quicker than the equivalent man-made dyes. It might be worth a try to leave the table somewhere where sunlight can get to the stain and see if that does the trick. Remember that ordinary glass blocks UV, so if it's possible to move it outside on a sunny day, that's the test.

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    Sunlight will bleach many dyes, but it also lightens wood. I guess it's up to the OP whether that is a significant drawback.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 16:27
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    @StuartF Very good point. If my experience is anything to go by, the curry should, hopefully, fade within 2 or 3 days, and I wouldn't expect that amount of time to have a huge effect on the colour of the wood, but the OP would need to keep a close eye on it.
    – Lefty
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 17:27

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