How to Remove Coffee and Tea Stains from Mugs

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No productive morning is complete without a cup of joe, and afternoon tea beats those sleepy moments to get you bustling through your day! However, the stains from these beverages can seep into your mugs, causing dark rings that are not only unsightly, but could be harboring germs as well.

In this article, we'll go through the ways you can clean a stained cup, and bring back the sparkling clean finish of your coffee mugs! You'll need a few household staples, and a bit of time to let the cleaning solution work.

What You'll Need

You'll need a food-safe acidic solution, like vinegar or lemon, to dissolve any mineral deposits and lift the stains from cups, while an abrasive like salt will help scrub out the discoloration. Baking soda creates a reaction with acids to remove tea stains, and deodorize at the same time!

  • Lemon juice or White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Rock salt
  • Paper towel or Kitchen towel

How to Remove Tea Stains from Cups and Mugs: A Step-by-Step Guide

This step-by-step guide is applicable for all types of mugs, from ceramic and glass, to stainless steel mugs! Don't worry about tossing out that old, stained coffee cup, and remove the stains instead without using any harsh chemicals!

Step 1: Rinse the Mug with Hot Water

First, rinse out any remaining coffee or tea from your mug. Use hot water to soften the tea and coffee stains from cups, and let the water swirl around the mug for 30 seconds. This will make it easier for the cleaning solution to penetrate through the stained cup. Do not let the cup dry as the moisture will help the cleaning solution stick to the walls of the mug.

Step 2: Sprinkle Baking Soda into the Mug

Sprinkle baking soda all over the coffee stains and tea stains. Pour a generous amount of baking soda all around the mug, including the mug walls, the bottom of the cup, and any other stained areas inside the mug. The mildly abrasive baking soda helps lift away stains, and will amplify the effectiveness of the cleaning solution to get those tough coffee stains out.

Step 3: Pour in Acidic Solution

Pour the acidic solution until halfway through the mug. Use vinegar or lemon juice, and place the solution in pure. Swirl the solution to wet the walls of the mug, and let the solution bubble as the acid creates a chemical reaction with the basic baking soda. This reaction works to lift stuck-on stains from your mug. After 30 seconds, pour in some hot water to fill the mug.

Step 4: Let it Sit

Let the solution sit for at least 20 minutes. As it sits, the baking soda and vinegar or lemon solution will clean tea stains from cups, and remove coffee stains left behind from your morning cup of joe. Cover the mug with a coaster to keep the solution warm. The warm water will help soften the stains for the cleaning solution to lift easier.

Step 5: Dump Out Liquid, and Sprinkle with Rock Salt

After 20-30 minutes, remove the excess liquid, and sprinkle rock salt inside the cup. You'll notice some of the stains have transferred into the liquid nstead, but there will be a tea stain or two that will need a bit of scrubbing to remove from your coffee mug. Rock salt will act as a gentle abrasive to remove these stains.

Step 6: Scrub Away the Stains from Cups

Take your paper towel or kitchen towel, and start scrubbing the cups with rock salt, cleaning coffee stains out of the inside of your mug. You'll need a bit of elbow grease here, as tea and coffee residue are notoriously difficult to scrub out. However, with the help of the cleaning solution and salt, even dark stains should lift easily without needing to exert pressure.

Step 7: Wash and Dry as Normal

Wash the cleaned mugs with soapy water as you normally would, or place it on the top rack of the dishwasher to clean. Dry the mug before storing it to keep mold and mildew from forming, and your mug should look as bright as new!

BONUS: Use Denture Tablets

Don't feel like using sodium bicarbonate or vinegar in your stained mugs? Use a denture tablet instead! Take a tablet, and place it in your mug. Dissolve it with hot or boiling water, and leave the mug to cool down. Once cooled, remove the liquid, and scrub clean with salt to get rid of remaining stains. Give the mug a quick rinse, and dry it before storing.

Keeping Your Mug Stain-Free

Now that you've cleaned your mug, you'd want to keep it that way for a long time. Keeping your mug stain-free does not mean you need to give up your black tea or iced coffee, but it simply means you need to know the proper care for your mugs. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Rinse your mug immediately after drinking your coffee or tea. Leaving these dark beverages in your mug allows them to dry up, and form stains around the inside of your cup. If you can't wash the mug immediately, give it a good rinse instead!
  • Store your mugs dry, including travel mugs. Wet mugs can cause mildew and mold stains in your mug, and hard water can form mineral deposits in your mugs as well. Always store dishes dry.
  • Avoid bleaching your mugs. While bleach is a good disinfectant that cleans, sanitizes, and removes stains at the same time, when not rinsed out properly, it may not be safe to drink from a bleached mug. Bleach may also dissolve the mug material or varnish.

Enjoy Your Tea!

It's difficult to enjoy your afternoon tea or morning coffee when you've got a thousand and one cleaning chores to tackle. Let us at Luce Home assist you in keeping your house sparkling clean! Our home cleaning services are here to make cleaning convenient and hassle-free for you, regardless of what you need to do around the house.

Contact us today, and let's schedule you for a cleaning session that will breathe life back into your home!

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