Getting Rid Of Coffee And Tea Stain Rings In Mugs

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Here are tips for how to remove coffee and tea rings in mugs and cups.

10+ ways to remove coffee and tea stains and rings from cups {on Stain Removal 101} #StainRemoval #CleaningTips #CleaningHacksuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
If you love a daily cup of tea or coffee you have probably also experienced a tea or coffee ring in your favorite mug that just wouldn't come out with normal dish washing.

Those rings of coffee or tea stains can build up over time leaving your mugs looking dingy and dirty.

You want, if at all possible, to use natural products to remove this build up from your mug or cup because you use it to drink, so you don't want to be drinking chemical residue at the same time.

Some suggested products you can use include:
My two favorites of the suggested list include salt and baking soda.

The reason is that either salt or baking soda can be made into a slightly abrasive paste by adding a small amount of water, and then rubbing the paste onto the stains either with a rag, or a toothbrush if your hands can't fit inside the mug well.

The gentle abrasive action will help remove those rings without adding any chemical residues that might be harmful if consumed later with your next cup of coffee or tea.

Do you have a coffee or tea stain removal tip to share? If so, submit your coffee stain removal tip here, or your tea stain removal tip here.

You can also share your house cleaning tips here.

10+ ways to remove coffee and tea stains and rings from cups {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Top photo by odolphie, from Flickr CC

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Liquid Dishwasher Detergent Works For Me

by Michelle

Michelle says:

Put a drop of liquid dishwasher detergent in the stained cup and let it soak for a few minutes.

Then it will be good as new!

Taylor says:

Thanks Michelle.

There are actually lots of uses for dishwasher detergent besides just adding to your dishwasher.

I've collected quite a few uses here if you're interested in checking it out.

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Soak In Bleach Solution To Get Out The Stains

by Faye Erickson
(Woodbury, MN, USA)

Faye says:

I use a bleach and hot water solution.

Put the cups into the sink. Then put a few squirts of bleach into the bottom of the cup, then add hot water to the top of the cup.

Let it sit for a few minutes before dumping the solution down the drain.

If you don't want to do a lot of cups at one time pour the solution from the full cup into an empty stained cup. From one to the other, reusing the solution over and over again.

Taylor says:

Thanks for your recommendation Faye.

There are lots of uses of bleach for cleaning and stain removal. Check out the link for even more ideas for how to use this product in your home.

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I Use Baby Bottle Sterilising Solution For The Worst Stains

by Cath

Cath says:

I use baby bottle sterilising solution (like Milton's), since it takes the worst stains off.

I just assume if it's ok for baby bottles it has to be ok for adult things ...

Bottle Sterilizing Solution {Referral Links}

Taylor says:

Thanks for this tip Cath. I have to say I hadn't heard of any product for sterilizing baby bottles and other baby stuff before, beside the machine like sterilizers.

Does anyone else use this product for either their baby bottles or another cleaning use around your home? I'd love to hear about it if you do!

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I Just Use Dish Soap For These Rings

dish soap uses
Quite a few readers shared tips with me about how they just use dish soap to get rid of these marks.

Here are some of the comments I received:

Sandy says:

I keep sponge on near the sink and squirt of Dawn, ring all gone--whether it be coffee, tea, or whatever.

Angie says:

Regular dishwashing detergent works for me. I may just rub harder and repeat the process for stubborn stains.

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The Abrasive Action Of Bottle Brush Normally Works For Me


I usually use a bottle brush.

If necessary I'll add some baking soda and a few drops of Dawn, but the abrasive action of a bottle brush generally does the trick on its own.

Bottle Brush {Referral Links}

Similar Method: Use An Abrasive Scouring Pad

Another reader, Cherie, told me about a similar method that she uses for removing these stains.

Cherie said, "I've been drinking tea/coffee/coco for over 50 years now and the best way to clean the cup is to use a scotch green scrubber after every use. Then your cups never get stained.

If you have company and can't get right to cleaning your mugs and cups the scrubber will take care of it.

As for my china cups those get hand washed immediately after use -even if I have company so they never stain."

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Remove Tea Rings With Effervescent Denture Cleanser Tablets

by YeOldBat
(East Northport, NY)

YeOldBat says:

I'm a huge tea drinker and I have dentures.

While cleaning said dentures one morning I noticed the dreaded "tea ring" stain already beginning to form in my mug.

I pulled a used mug from my dishwasher, filled it with scalding hot tap water, and dropped in a Polident tablet.

When the water cooled, I rinsed the inside of the mug with a sponge making sure to get into the bottom corners, and voila! A sparkling clean mug!

My daughter now picks up denture cleaner (she has her own teeth thank goodness!) for her tea and coffee stains.

Quite frankly, bleach will do the same thing, and it's cheaper, but I HATE the smell! :)

Denture Cleanser Tablets {Referral Links}

Taylor says:

other uses for denture tablets
Thanks for this tip!

Denture cleansers that dissolve and effervesce in water can actually be used to clean lots of things in our home, and I'd love to hear if others have more denture cleanser uses. Click the link if you've got more ways to use this product, and I'll add them to the site!

A similar effervescing product that sometimes is used for cleaning is Alka Seltzer. Here's an article with uses for Alka Seltzer for cleaning items in your home.

Related Pages You May Enjoy

House Cleaning Tips & Tricks For Busy Moms

Guide For How To Remove Coffee Stains

Tea Stain Removal Guide

How To Remove Coffee & Tea Rings From Mugs & Cups To Home Page

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Comments for Remove Tea Rings With Effervescent Denture Cleanser Tablets

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Magic eraser for removal of these stains
by: Cheryl Myer

Use a damp/wet magic eraser on the coffee stain. Gently rub the stain in a circular motion. Rinse well and wipe dry.

Dishwasher powder
by: Anonymous

Put dishwasher powder in cup. Not much, maybe 1/2 teaspoon. Add water. Let stand overnight.

Magic Eraser
by: Maureen

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Wipe across the stain and its gone, then wash by hand or in the dishwasher.

I use BKF
by: Anonymous

Put a little Bar Keepers Friend on a damp sponge or cloth and rub the stain once or twice, rinse. Done!

Quick scour
by: Rose

I use Bon-Ami or Barkeeper’s friend. A small sprinkle on the sponge & it scrubs off easily and it’s inexpensive.

by: Carol A.

OK, I understand natural. But if you just want quick? Wipe out the mug with a magic eraser type sponge. Clean in 2 seconds. Promise! Easiest thing you ever did. You won't believe it!

I use SOS
by: Gina

I just grab my SOS pad and give it a little scrub, then stick it in the dishwasher as usual or wash with dish soap.

Bottle brushes
by: Jackie

I used to save old toothbrushes for nooks and crannies. But baby bottle nipple brushes go EVERYWHERE!

Other uses for sterilising solution
by: Sprog

I use this for sterilising jars and lids before putting home made jam and lemon curd in them.

Dental Cleaners
by: Anonymous

I've tried all the suggested ways, but the thing that works the best for me is generic Polident.

by: Daz

We used to use fine sand for coffee and tea stains, and to clean plates with stubborn food residue we used a bigger course sand. Works great!!!

Milton for me too!
by: Clared

I use a few drops of Milton (baby sterilising solution) in my mugs too. Half a cap in the stained cup, simply leave for a few minutes and rinse out - simple!

magic eraser
by: Marie

I use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (original). I cut the pad in 4 pieces and use one piece at a time - it's easier to handle. Wet the piece just a bit and just go after those coffee rings. Of course the magic eraser will be coffee stained, so I just rinse it out, squeeze the water out and let it dry for the next job.

Milton baby bottle sterilizing solution
by: Annamarie

Used it on all my children's bottles as infants, it was fantastic.

Ya Still Need To Scrub
by: YeOldBat

I'm the one who suggested the Polident and possibly bleach.
No matter what you use, you've gotta use the scrubby side of those yellow & green "Scrunges".

Polident and Bleach only remove the stain (color). When the color is gone, the cup looks clean, but there's a residue left behind that can only be removed by scrubbing. Otherwise the residue grabs and holds the stains faster and usually makes them darker after your next "cuppa".

If you have fuzzy mold, say on outdoor plastic furniture, pour bleach on it & let it sit. The color will disappear but if you look closely, or rub your finger over it, you'll find that the "fuzz" is stiff there. You still need the scrub the stuff off otherwise it will continue to grow.

Same principle applies to cups & mugs. I use the Polident because my old hands just can't maneuver into the smaller places anymore and it shows. ;)

water only
by: Cherie

All you need is a Scotch Brite green scrubber pad and tap water- wet the mug, scrub it and poof!!! no more stains! No chemicals just water!

This also works on anything glass or similar items like bakeware, get the picture.

Works in the sink if you have a mechanic for a works in a million places. You don't need chemicals!

denture tablet for removing from mug or stainless steel thermos
by: Taylor

I have put very warm water into the mug or thermos and then dropped in a denture tablet and let it sit overnight. Then you just take a scrub brush to the mug or thermos and voila! stain is gone!!!

Baking soda!
by: Janelle

Baking soda all the way! Use it all the time!! :) :) :)

I use Alka-Seltzer
by: Crystal

Drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet in the bottom of a mug, and boom, the stains are gone!

The easy way - use Oxiclean
by: Steve

For coffee cups, mugs, thermos, etc., soak them in Oxiclean. Depending on severity 1 -6 hours should be plenty. Oxiclean also gets coffee out of carpets and I've used in on the carpets in cars.

sterilising fluid
by: Lin

I also use sterilising fluid. It's simple and it works; cups end up gleaming with no effort needed.

fizzy drinks - can't get easier
by: Anonymous

Just pour any fizzy drink/soda/Coke etc. in the mug for an hour!!!! Rinse and it will be clean! That simple. Makes me wonder what can these drinks do to our bodies after that! Coke is also a great WC cleaner :)

'No' on the bleach...
by: Anonymous

I found after using bleach to remove coffee stains on my cups early on that it removed the 'finish' on the inside of the cups making the stain attach sooner & sooner each time. :(

use salt
by: Narelle

My mum made me scrub tea stains out of cups with salt when I was little.

BKF works
by: Bev

Bar Keepers Friend gets the stains out.

I LOVE BKF. It removes the stains for coffee, tea, those gray streaks on plates or bowls caused by metal utensils. It is very versatile - I use it on glass top stove, stainless pans, sinks...

magic eraser
by: Janice

One swipe around the stain with a Mr. Clean eraser and it's gone.

Baking soda works best for me
by: Anonymous

I use a paste of baking soda to get rid of the rings. Simple, cheap and effective.

Coffee Stains in Coffee Mugs
by: Jack McGuire

Baking soda paste cleaned up my coffee mugs just so easy with very little elbow grease needed. Thanks a lot.

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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.