Removing old tea and coffee stains from your favorite mugs is easier than you think! You can clean stained coffee cups in just a couple minutes with a little bit of baking soda. Baking soda is a super inexpensive alternative to cleaning products, and –another plus– it doesn't contain any harsh chemicals or toxins.
I got an awesome cat coffee cup for Christmas and used it a few times a week at work for a year or so. One morning I made black tea instead of coffee, drank a couple sips and then forgot about it. The next morning when I went to clean my mug, I discovered (much to my dismay) that the tea had stained my formerly white coffee cup's interior to a sad yellow-brown.
I ran this stained mug through the dishwasher numerous times. I scrubbed at it by hand with bristle brushes and sponges. I tried hot, hot water on its seemingly permanently dyed surface, but the pure white that used to be there never returned.
A coworker asked me if I had tried baking soda yet. I hadn't. He said he had a novelty mug he had used as a cigarette ashtray for months on his patio, and that baking soda did the trick on cleaning all the ashy blotches and blemishes out of it. I figured if he could get those cigarette stains out, I could get the interior of my coffee cup to look good as new– afterall, I had only made tea in it once!
We keep a container of baking soda in our fridge to keep odors neutralized (baking soda is basic, most food odors are acidic). I got a bit of baking soda out and decided to try this stain removal method out on a couple cups and our coffee pot. It worked; and was ridiculously easy! Just rinse out the inside of the cup, carafe or coffee pot you are cleaning with water, add in a tablespoon of baking powder to the wet interior if it is a cup, use 2-3 tablespoons if the vessel is large like a tea or coffee pot, and scrub the dampened baking soda around the inside surface using your fingers or a paper towel. It should be a paste consistency, add more baking soda if it is too runny, or add more water if it is not damp enough.
Next I tried to get coffee residue off glass, rather than ceramic. I have put a pot on elbow grease into our coffee pot and cafe-style mugs, but could never get them crystal clear. The dishwasher couldn't either. Baking soda did the trick though, and the dingy, dirty surfaces are totally clear again! Check them out!
These cleaning photos are super satisfying. I cannot believe I had tea and coffee tinted cups and mugs for so long when the solution to making them look great again is this simple and cheap!
Why does baking soda work?
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a salt. It is somewhat abrasive, and like most soaps is a base, not an acid. However, unlike soaps, baking soda does not contain oils or fats, it cleans surfaces thanks to its slight abrasive quality which allows baking soda to dislocate and remove seemingly stuck on particles and grime from surfaces.
Do you have any tea-tinted or coffee stained mugs? Baking soda can help you clean them in a matter or minutes!