Skip to Content

How To Get Curry Out Of Nails [Nail Stain Removal]

Are you among the countless individuals who struggle on how to get curry out of nails? If so, I’ll be sharing some helpful tips and tricks on how to get curry residue from your nails and ensure your nails look as clean as possible, especially when having acrylic nails, shellac nails or gel nails.

Woman trying to remove curry stains from her fingernails

Why Do Curry Stains Turn Nails Yellow?

Curry stains turn nails yellow due to the presence of turmeric, a common ingredient in many curries.

The spice is so potent that it easily transfers onto the surface of the nail and can gradually cause a discoloration over time.

This happens because when turmeric comes into contact with heat or moisture, its molecules tend to bind strongly with almost any material that it touches, including the keratin proteins in our nails.

As such, even food residues like curry sauces and roti on our fingers can unintentionally transfer onto our nails and leave unpleasant yellowish staining.

To protect your nails from becoming stained by food and other substances like ink, paint or dirt, use gloves while cooking or doing manual work.

You may also want to moisturize and nourish them regularly, using natural oils such as coconut oil or castor oil to keep them looking their best.

Are Curry Stains Permanent on Nails?

Curry stains can be permanent on nails, depending on a variety of factors. Non-porous surfaces such as nails are more likely to retain the traditional yellow and orange pigments of a spicy curry sauce, making them particularly difficult to remove.

Depending on how long the stain has been in place, it may be impossible to remove without damaging or discoloring the nail. If treated soon enough, however, the stain can be removed or fade significantly with a few simple remedies. 

Woman trying to remove stains from her nails with a cotton pad and acetone

How To Get Curry Out Of Nails

One of the best ways to remove food stains and curry stains off your hands and nails is by using a food-stain remover.

Curry stains are usually quite difficult to remove, but with the right ingredients, they can be taken out easily, and it’s recommended to lift the stain as soon as possible, so the spices like turmeric don’t cause lasting damage.

To get rid of turmeric stains from your nails, start by making a paste with baking soda and either lemon juice or vinegar.

Once you have made the paste, apply it on your nails and gently scrub it in. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

This should help to lighten the stain significantly and make them much easier to manage.

If you have been eating curry for some time now, be sure to use a bleaching agent after applying the baking soda paste to ensure that all traces of color are removed from your fingernails.

You could try bleach, which can be applied to an area covered with plastic wrap or old clothing item as a protective measure when dealing with strong cleaning solution like this one, as they can be very abrasive.

You could try scrubbing the nails with the toothbrush, and then rinse your nails with water, to remove the curry stainage.

Keep in mind that while this method may take care of most curry stains on your fingers and nails, some stubborn discoloration might still remain, so you may need to repeat this process several times before getting rid of all visible signs of coloration.

For extra stubborn curry stains on fingernails, consider investing in a quality stain remover product specially designed for cleaning delicate skin areas including fingernails and cuticles.

Use these products according to their instructions and never leave anything other than approved cleaners on delicate nail tissue, as they could potentially cause serious damage if left too long without rinsing off properly afterward.

What Home Remedies Can Be Used to Remove Curry Stains from Nails?

There are many home remedies that can help remove curry stains from nails, such as lemon juice, toothpaste, and hydrogen peroxide.

To use lemon juice, soak your fingers in lemon juice for 10–15 minutes, as lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent. Then scrub the stain off with a toothbrush. For toothpaste, apply the paste to the affected area, let it sit for 5–10 minutes, then scrub it off with a toothbrush.

For hydrogen peroxide, dip a cotton ball into hydrogen peroxide and apply it to the stained area. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse the area with warm water.

Woman showing her clean acrylic nails, after removing curry stains

How to Get Curry Stains Out Of Acrylic Nails?

Getting curry stains out of acrylic nails can be frustrating, but there are a few steps that can help make the process easier. First, remove all of the acrylic from your fingernails and keep it aside for later use.

 If you have clear nail tips, try using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove as much of the curry stain as possible.

If there is still some staining present, try using an old toothbrush lightly drenched in lemon juice and baking soda to scrub away any remaining stains.

Afterward, rinse your nails with lukewarm water and blot them dry with a paper towel before putting some acetone-based nail polish remover on a cotton ball or pad and gently wipe off any remaining residues from the surface of your nails.

Finally, once all the stained areas are removed, file down your nails and apply a fresh coat of colored or clear gel topcoat to give them back their original shine.

Can Bleach Be Used to Remove Curry Stains from Acrylic Nails?

Using bleach to remove curry stains from acrylic nails is not recommended, as it could potentially damage them.

Bleach is a powerful chemical that can weaken acrylic nails, causing them to become brittle and prone to breakage.

The strong smell of bleach may cause irritation to your skin and eyes and even interact with other products you use on your nails.

If you have any allergies or are sensitive to certain chemicals found in bleach, using it on your hands could cause an adverse reaction such as rashes or swelling.

If these issues are of concern for you, then it would be best to avoid using bleach altogether.

There are safer alternatives like hydrogen peroxide solutions or white vinegar that can be used for stain removal without damaging your nails and risking a potential allergic reaction.

Soap solutions along with lukewarm water can also help remove curry stains from your acrylics, but note that this process should be done cautiously as too much scrubbing will damage the product.

You should never soak, rub harshly or expose the acrylics directly to heat while cleaning them because this will undermine their durability over time.

Woman trying to scrub curry stains out of her nails with a nail brush

Can Lemon Juice Be Used to Remove Turmeric Stains from Acrylic Nails?

Yes, lemon juice can be used to remove turmeric stains from acrylic nails. Soak your nails in lemon juice for 10–15 minutes, then scrub the stain off with a toothbrush. Repeat the process until the stain is removed completely.

What Are Some Quick Tips to Prevent Yellowing of Nails Due to Curry?

To prevent yellowing of nails due to curry, try applying a clear coat of nail polish before cooking with curry.

The nail polish will create a barrier between your nails and the spice, preventing the stain from sticking. Additionally, wearing gloves while cooking with curry can also help prevent stains on your nails.

woman with beautiful gel nails worrying about how to remove curry stains from her nails

How to Eliminate the Smell of Curry from Nails?

When dealing with the smell of curry from nails, there are several ways to remove it. The first is to combine baking soda and water to form a paste.

Simply add about a teaspoonful of baking soda into a bowl with some warm water and mix together until it forms a paste.

This paste can be used to scrub away any remaining curry stains, as well as its smell. Once the paste has been applied, use a toothbrush or other brush – like tool to scrub away at the affected area for about 2–3 minutes.

Afterward, rinse thoroughly with warm water before drying off the area completely. The second method is by using table salt as an abrasive agent. 

Taking one teaspoon of table salt and create a small pile on your nail bed before brushing with a soft cloth in circular motions for 1–2 minutes (depending on how stained they are).

The abrasive nature of the salt helps eliminate both stubborn stains and smells. Lastly, you may also want to consider soaking your nails in white distilled vinegar for 10–15 minutes if neither approach works after multiple tries.

Vinegar’s natural acidity can help break down salts that cause strong odors and tougher stains in your nails.


Getting curry out of nails can be a tricky task, especially if you don’t know what to do. In this article, we shared some helpful tips and tricks on how to get curry residue from your nails and ensure your nails look as clean as possible.

We discussed home remedies such as baking soda paste with lemon juice or vinegar, a toothbrush to scrub, hydrogen peroxide solution, and white distilled vinegar bath for soaking.  We also shared that bleach should never be used on acrylics due to the potential damage it may cause. 

The best approach is to use gloves when handling curry or any other spices that may permanently stain the surface of your skin.

But if you do find yourself experiencing some lingering yellow stains from time-to-time, using one of the methods mentioned above could help eliminate them quickly – giving you beautiful-looking hands again in no time.