How to remove tea, coffee stains from cups, mugs?

KOLKATA (India) -- Drinking a cup of tea or coffee can be very relaxing especially during cold weather, but that pesky stain in the cups could drain the fun. 

But if we love tea it’s also very important for us to know the ways to clean the cups and remove the brown stains which usually can be found at the bottom.

The brown stains at the bottom or around the rim of the cups are not unhygienic but they can be a cosmetic disaster and can be embarrassing as well.

They can spoil the look of the cups which is very disturbing, especially for the host to serve the drinks to the guests in stained cups.

Tea contains tannin or tannic acid which gives color to the tea. For instance, tannin is used for many dyes like in the making of ink. This is the reason why cups get stained after prolonged drinking of tea and coffee.

If we fail to wash it immediately then it’s difficult to remove the stain. It’s also very important to use a soft sponge in place of any hard ones or else it may destroy the look of the cup.

Let me share a personal incident.

Once we invited our new neighbor to our house in the evening for high tea and snacks which we thought to be a great way to introduce ourselves.

It was Sunday and was a holiday and so we were relaxed in serving them. My mother prepared tea and when I went to pour the tea into the cups.

To my utter embarrassment, I found the cups had brown stains. It definitely didn’t look nice to serve tea on those cups.

Immediately I went to scrub and wash them and it took a lot of effort for me to remove the stains. Still, there were a few stains left.

As there was a shortage of time so I had to leave it that way. Then I got a few tricks from my mother and later from other aunts too for getting rid of the stains. 

The embarrassment I got forced me to ponder on real and effective ways to remove tea, coffee stains from cups. 

If you're wondering how to remove tea, coffee stains from cups, mugs, here's some natural and effective ways to do that:

1. Baking Soda:

Baking soda is known as a wonderful cleaning product that can help to clean various things. It’s mild abrasive which means it has a great quality of cleaning the hard surfaces and so it’s very good at removing stains without damaging any materials.

To get rid of the stains from the cups, wet the inside of the cup with cold water. Then sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda into it covering the brown marks. Immediately it sticks to the cup.

Leave it for at least 30 minutes and then use a   sponge to wipe all around the brown marks. We need to scrub the scup for a while followed by washing the cups with the regular dishwashing liquid or bar.

2. Sugar Scrub:

Mix sugar with baking soda and form a paste. Scrub well and then wash the cup with dishwashing liquid or bar.

3. Salt and Vinegar:

This method is also very good for removing stains. All you need to do is to pour white vinegar (the simple, white acetic acid and water one) halfway into the cup and put table salt into it. Salt is also mild abrasive. The top the same as boiling water and let the mixture stay in the cup for at least 10 minutes before you scrub away. 

4. Toothpaste:

Toothpaste can be used and then use a hard brush for cleaning the stains from the cups. It might also help you do away with the persistent odor. 

5. Hydrogen Peroxide:

Mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to form a paste and then clean the areas of the stain as mentioned above. 

6. Try letting the dishwasher stay for long:

Dishwash you use regularly might actually help to remove tea and coffee stains from cups or mugs. Hence, why not try letting that stay in the cup for a longer time than usual and then followed by the usual scrubbing and cleaning process. Who can say, you might end up getting a clean cup bottom. 

Ceramics look beautiful but need a lot of care to look at their best, over time. (Image via Unsplash)

7. Bonus 1

Sometimes good and resilient glasswares like the martini glass or the juice glass lying in the closet can seem dull and bereft of the new-like sparkle.

The vinegar and hot-water trick (if your glass is heat-resistant) can work wonders to give it a thorough maintaining clean and new-like sparkle. Just make sure the glass is free from any cosmetic decoration before proceeding, to avoid any chances of damage. You may also try the baking soda paste trick as well.

8. Bonus 2

Try mixing a tablespoon of baking soda, dishwashing liquid, and vinegar and coat the inside of the stained cup for a few minutes. Use a scrubber to scrub and wash off. You might be up for a pleasant surprise. 

Do try and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

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