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Question

If you get a turmeric (haldi) stain on your clothes while eating food, and try to wash it off with soap, the stain becomes red. Why? Find out how to remove haldi stains from clothes.


Solution

Turmeric is a natural acid-base indicator. It turns red in a basic solution and pale yellow in an acidic solution.
Therefore, the turmeric stain will turn red after coming in contact with the soap, indicating the basic nature of the soap (generally soaps are bases – containing sodium hydroxide).
Turmeric contains a type of yellow pigment which is responsible for the staining the clothes.
These stains can be removed using the following methods:
1. Fresh stains can be removed easily by immediately washing them with a soap. However, if there is a delay in washing, the stains will be hard to remove in a single wash. In this case, the stains need to be washed repeatedly using a soap.
2. By applying lemon juice or vinegar on these stains along with a dish soap can help remove the turmeric stains in a better way. 
3. By soaking the stained part in the soda water (baking soda + water) for half an hour, will help in removing the turmeric stains easily.

Science
Living Science (2020, 2021)
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