How to get stains out of your favorite coffee cup

We drink a lot of tea in our house. Coffee and hot chocolate, too. Mmmm mmmm.

stained coffee cups

My sad, stained coffee cups

But the downside is that our cups start to look pretty dingy and stained inside after a while. We normally just put the cups in the dishwasher after our tea or coffee. I’m not sure why, but our new dishwasher never seems to get the stains out, even though it works miracles on everything else. (Well, besides knives with peanut butter residue. But that’s another story.)

So, I went hunting for a simple way to get the stains out of our coffee cups. It had to be something easy, since I’m not really into scrubbing for hours and hours. (I’d rather buy new ones!) And the stains would have to come off with something that’s non-toxic.

Here are some of the solutions I came across:

  • Make a paste of baking soda and hot water and scrub with a toothbrush.
  • Scrub with vinegar and water.
  • Rub with vinegar and salt on a kitchen sponge.

I also saw these methods recommended, but I ruled them out, even though soaking sounds a whole lot easier than scrubbing. No bleach in my coffee cups, thank you very much!

  • Soak in bleach, CLR, or oxygen-based laundry detergent mixed with hot water.
Coffee cups cleaned with baking soda

My happy coffee cups after cleaning with baking soda!

I decided to try baking soda. At first I added too much water in the cup. I could see some of the water becoming colored with the tea and coffee stains, so I knew it was working. So I dumped out the water and just poured a little more baking soda in. It turned into sort of a wet grainy paste as I moved it around with a little brush. And it worked right away! My coffee cups are now almost like new!

If there are cracks in the cups, the stains may never come out. But then again, if there are cracks, you probably should get new ones, right?

Here’s what my son was doing while I was performing my experiment. He stays at home with me, so I’m always looking for ways to amuse him while I work.

Entertaining my son while I work in the kitchen

How my son stays entertained while I work in the kitchen


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Comments (1)

  1. Jessica Beard

    Thanks for the tips! I will try to use baking soda on my husband’s coffee cups (I am not a coffee drinker). Your son looks like he is having a blast while you are working!

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