There’s nothing more off-putting than a tea-stained cup, especially to visitors, so how can we keep those teacups as clean and sparkly as possible? Before we start removing tea stains from cups let’s look at why they get stained in the first place!
There are usually two types of tea stains in your cups.
Surface tea stains
The first stains are just surface stains, which sit on the cup when the tea has been left to go cold, and the cup has not washed properly.
These stains are pretty easy to remove but are particularly off-putting to visitors as it’s clear that the cup hasn’t been washed properly.
Porous tea stains
The second type of tea stain looks worse than the other one but isn’t necessarily caused by poor dishwashing, and it can be particularly prevalent in china cups.
This type of tea stain is caused by the surface of the cup getting scratched, probably by a teaspoon over years of use. Once the surface of the china has been scratched, it becomes porous, and the tannin in the tea sticks to it over time and becomes difficult to remove.
The longer the stain stays on the cup, the bigger it gets and the grosser it looks!
Even the dishwasher fails to remove the tea stain from your best china most of the time. So what can we do to keep our cups visitor ready?
Removing tea stains from cups.
There are many different tried and tested ways to remove tea stains from cups, so here are just some of them!
Wash the cup as usual to remove coffee or tea remnants.
Before trying these tips, test on an inconspicuous place like the bottom of the mug or cup to ensure it will not cause any damage to the surface.
After removing the stains, always wash the cup thoroughly before using it for drinking.
Why not check out grandma’s favorite traditional cleaning products and how to use them in this post!
This post contains affiliate links, and The Organizer UK may earn commissions for purchases made through the links in this post. For more details, see here. Thank you so much for your support!
17 tips for removing tea stains from cups
- Baking soda.
Wet the cup on the inside with warm water.
Cover the brown tea or coffee stains with baking soda to form a paste.
Allow it to sit for a few minutes.
Using a damp cloth give the area a good scrub.
Wash as usual with soapy water.
The baking soda is a mild abrasive and scrubs the surface of the cup without causing any damage.
- Salt and vinegar.
Using the same method as above, form a paste with salt and vinegar, then scrub until the coffee mugs are clean. You could add a few drops of lemon juice if you can’t stand the smell!
- Hydrogen peroxide.
- Magic eraser.
Dampen the magic eraser and scrub at the stains until they are all gone.
- Sugar scrub.
Mix sugar with baking soda to form a paste and scrub well as directed above.
Use toothpaste and a hard brush to remove surface tea stains from cups.
- Denture tablets.
Drop one denture tablet into the cup with warm water and leave to stand until all the stains disappear.
- CIF cream/ Bon Ami / Barkeepers friend.
Sprinkle barkeepers friend into a wet cup and scrub until all the stains disappear.
- Oxi Clean.
Add a teaspoon of Oxi Clean to hot water and allow to stand. Gently rub with a cloth or paper towel until the stains disappear.
- Astonish cup cleaner.
Use as directed on the pack and watch your cups fizz clean!
- Kleeneze cup stain.
Use as directed on the label and watch these stains disappear.
- Washing up liquid.
Use strong soapy water with a stainless steel scrubber to remove the tea stain. Test before using the scrubber.
- Milton Fluid
Dilute as directed and leave until the stains disappear.
- Sterilising tablets
Drop one tablet into the cup with warm water and leave until all the stains disappear.
- Soaking overnight
You could try soaking your cups overnight in boiling water with a mixture of EITHER:
Leave overnight, then clean thoroughly.
WARNING: NEVER mix bleach and vinegar as the fumes can cause fatal toxic fumes. You can read more about it here.
Please note that Milton, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and most sterilizing tablets will only discolor the tea and coffee stains rather than remove them, so you will likely find that they will return as soon as you have your next cup of tea.
Cups with porus scratches will always be more prone to staining than newer cups and mugs.
If you’re not already a subscriber to my list, I’ve created this fantastic FREE STARTER PACK of printable loveliness! Included is:
- Twelve educational activities for kids to keep them occupied while you organize.
- A to-do list to help you prioritize your chores 3.
- A weekly meal planner and shopping list to help you organize your dinners for the week
- A weekly planner so you can organize your week ahead.
- A list of 6 things to do every single morning to supercharge your morning! What are you waiting for? Whether you’re at the start of your journey or just need a little boost, these FREE printables will make your week a little easier! Click here to subscribe to our weekly updates!
With winter upon us, we hit the time of the year when the sickness bug is everywhere. As a parent, it’s essential to know how to stop Norovirus spread in infants and kids. So, other than locking ourselves away all year, how can we prevent transmission as quickly as possible? In this post, we give […]
National cleaning week begins on the 22nd of March and this year it’s my mission to help you get your house so sparkly clean that you can take the week off! In this post, I will share all my fantastic tips and discuss how to become a speed cleaner and clean a house quickly and […]
Have you ever wondered which cleaning tools a professional cleaner carries in their cleaning kit? Now is your chance to take a peek into the mysterious world of professional cleaners to see what they use to tackle the most challenging deep cleaning jobs! I’ve created an ultimate list of materials for housekeeping that you need in […]
It’s not the most exciting topic in the world, but it’s a question I’m asked a lot! There are a vast amount of products on the market which promise to keep your loo smelling fresh and clean, however, without the correct tools and technique, your toilet can harbour up to 50 bacteria per square inch and three times […]
I’m one of those sad people who enjoy cleaning bathrooms, I think it’s one of the few jobs that makes a huge difference, for not too much effort! Knowing how to clean bathrooms quickly will speed up your cleaning time hugely. I’m sharing with you my bathroom cleaning checklist and a few bathroom cleaning hacks […]
We all need a little boost sometimes when it comes to housework and cleaning. So I’ve put together a little motivational post with some amazing quotes and proverbs on cleanliness to get you reaching for the feather duster! This post contains affiliate links that when clicked allow me to earn a small commission. Proverbs on […]
Remember when you used to visit your grandmother, the house was always clean, a freshly baked cake was on the table and crisp white sheets were blowing on the line? I want to strip everything back and revisit those excellent homemaking skills that our grandmothers found so easy. In this post, we will cover: vintage […]
I prefer not to use bleach to clean tea stains as it’s a toxic chemical. As you can see from above, there are many more effective ways of getting tea stains out of mugs than bleach.
The tannin in the tea is what stains your cup. People who live in hard water areas are more likely to have tea-stained cups than folks who come from locations with soft water.
Wash your mug in soapy water.
Put 1/4 cup of baking soda into the mug and add white distilled vinegar until it’s halfway, taking care to add it slowly in case it fizzes over.
Add hot water to the top.
Leave for 15 minutes then rinse and wash as usual.
Using any of the methods above should work just fine for coffee cup stain removal.
It would be best to use an abrasive cleaner and a scrubby to remove the stain. Follow any of the steps above.
Good question! I’ve never used a potato to remove tea stains. They contain starch which makes them pretty absorbent, so that they may be ok for wet tea stains. However, I’d prefer to use any methods above for dried tea stains.
- How To Reset Your Life In Just 1 Second A Day
- How To Get Rid Of Midges For Good:15 tips
- How To Get Bike Grease Out Of Clothes
- How To Fall Asleep After Drinking Coffee Before Bedtime
- How To Stop Bugs And Spiders From Triggering Motion Cameras