How to Remove Tea Stain From Cup Without Damaging It

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How to clean a mug with tea stains? The easiest way to keep ceramic cups and mugs sparkling (removing tea or coffee stains) is to put them through the dishwasher. But the dishwasher can be harsh and it’s not the safest way to wash embellished mugs or cups. Safe options include salt, baking soda, and vinegar. Here’s what to know on how to remove tea stains…and coffee stains.

Removing tea stain from ceramic cup

As well as the dishwasher, you can remove coffee and tea stains from cups or mugs by soaking them in a large container of water with a dash of bleach. This was the approach used in a restaurant where I once worked. It worked a treat! But it’s harsh, not the most eco friendly way of removing tea stain, and especially not recommended for metal or stainless steel mugs. Read why I rate ceramic as ideal when it comes to tea drinking.

You might be like me and have customized mugs or DIY decorated ones that are too delicate to withstand the harsh dishwasher detergents.

Tea bags or coffee granules will stain your cup from tannin, a plant derivative and even green tea can stain your cup.

Below is how to clean cups and mugs the eco-friendly and non toxic way to get rid of tea or coffee stains on mugs /cups and avoid the wear and tear of special exteriors.

Cooking salt

Dampen a toothbrush and dip it in cooking salt. Then rub the inside of the mug or cup to remove the staining. Rinse and dry as usual.

Baking soda

Tea stain gone! And, it’s a great coffee cup stain remover. It’s how to clean tea stains from a stainless steel mug safely as well as from your china cup or a ceramic or porcelain one.

How to clean mug with baking soda

  1. Moisten a soft cloth.
  2. Wrap it around your index finger and dip it in baking soda. Then rub the inside of the mug or cup with your wrapped finger. Reapply more baking soda if needed to remove the stain.
  3. Rinse and dry as usual.

It’s also how to get tea stains out of travel mugs. Baking soda is also an excellent cleaning agent for cleaning burnt pans.


Vinegar is also a non toxic cleaner and can be used for cleaning tea stains from ceramic mugs. Ceramic does not react with acidic ingredients and so using vinegar on ceramic mugs is a fairly safe option.

How to clean coffee mug with vinegar

  1. Dampen a soft cloth with vinegar and rub.
  2. Rinse and dry.

My favorite for how to clean tea stains out of a mug

I like cleaning my mugs in the dishwasher because they sparkle afterward. But, what I found was that my customized mugs would lose their decoration after a few washes. I now hand-wash these to retain their ‘specialness’ and my favorite method to remove tea or coffee stains is to use baking soda. It’s a good all round cleaner and deodorizer and has many purposes around the kitchen.

ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda 8 oz (Pack of 6)
Pure Baking Soda
available at Amazon


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