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How to Remove Tea Stains from Cups & Mugs

If you love tea but hate the stains it leaves behind, this is the guide for you. Discover how to remove stubborn tea stains from cups & mugs here!


Reading Time: 5 minutes

remove tea stain from mug

Brown stains inside tea and coffee mugs are a common complaint, and it’s something that many of us just accept as fact and put up with. However, we don’t need to be stuck drinking tea from what looks to be a dirty cup, and we don’t need to serve our guests hot drinks from stained vessels either. It’s actually quite simple to remove tea stains from cups when you know how.

When removing tea stains from cups, it’s best to use a good quality washing up liquid. Baking soda, salt, or a cleaning product like Jif Cream, can also help you scrub the stains away. Just be sure to test your cleaning solution on a small area of the mug before covering completely.

How to Clean Tea Stains From Cups in 4 Steps

After months, even years of drinking from your favourite mug every day, you may have started to notice that no matter how much you wash your cup, it never comes up as clean as when you bought it. Tea and coffee can stain quite badly, so it’s not surprising to find a dark line around the place where your hot drink has settled in the mug.

Once that stain has dried, it may seem impossible to remove, but it’s not. Are you tired of having dirty-looking mugs? Do you want to know how to remove stains from cups? Here are some easy methods for removing tea stains from cups without having to scrub away for hours:

  1. Rinse your mug with cold water to remove any loose dirt or particles.

  2. Add baking soda or salt directly to the stain or to your sponge. These products are mildly abrasive, so they will help break down the stain.

  3. You should be able to see a difference! If needed, then let the mug soak by filling it with hot water and a little dishwashing liquid. Empty the mug, and then repeat the baking soda process to help remove the tea or coffee stain.

  4. Rinse, and wash again with dishwashing bar or liquid if required.

Maintaining the fresh, new, hygienic look of your mugs and cups isn’t just about giving them a thorough cleaning every once in a while using the methods above. It’s also about keeping on top of stain management. The sooner you tackle a stain, the easier it will be to remove: stains are much more difficult to deal with once they have ‘set’, as they become part of the porcelain when they dry. It takes mere minutes to remove new stains – which is much better than regularly soaking mugs for hours to remove older, more stubborn marks.

It’s easy once you know how to clean tea stained cups – and it can transform their appearance; give it a go and see!

It’s easy once you know how to clean tea stained cups – and it can transform their appearance; give it a go and see!

  • As tempting as it is to leave your mug on the side after enjoying a relaxing hot beverage, it’s always best to give it a rinse as soon as possible.

  • Pay particular attention to any brown stains that have formed and give them a quick scrub, even if you’re not going to do the washing up straight away. Leave to soak and return to your washing up in an hour or so.

  • If tea stains do build up on your cups, have some baking soda or table salt on hand to help scrub away those brown marks.

Frequently asked questions on removing tea stains

What if the tea stains are stubborn?

If the tea stains are stubborn, you can try soaking the mug in a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water for an hour or more before washing. You can also try using a commercial descaling solution, which is specifically designed to remove stains and build-up from mugs and other kitchen surfaces.

Can I use bleach to remove tea stains from mugs?

Bleach can be effective for removing tea stains from mugs, but it can also damage certain types of mugs or cups. Be sure to read the care label on your mug and test the bleach on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on the entire mug.

How can I prevent tea stains from developing in my mugs?

To prevent tea stains from developing in your mugs, be sure to rinse them with hot water after each use and wash them thoroughly with soap and water. You can also try using a mug or cup that has a glazed or smooth surface, which is less likely to develop stains and build-up.

Originally published