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denisend said

Tea Stains

My office tea mug has a white lining (the outside is the Japanese wave theme), and it’s slowly turning brown. Also, I dump my teabags in a green pot and it’s also turning brown. Do you know if anything can be done?

Thanks!

29 Replies
Cofftea said

Tea stains are wicked. I doubt it… To get them out of clothes the only thing I’ve found that works is IMMEDIATE and HEAVY usage of a tide to go stick.

gmathis said

Shout wipes are OK, but if you live in the U.S. anywhere near a Dollar General, they sell some stuff called M30—less than $2 a tub and it looks like white slime. Apply, let soak in, and wash—I’ve saved an amazing number of garments with that stuff.

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Angrboda said

IF we’re talking about ordinary glazed ceramics here, then your average baking powder will perform miracles. A teaspoon in the pot, add boiling water and let sit for a while. It’ll get all sizzling and stuff. Then pour it out and make sure to rinse very very thoroughly.

If your pots are made of something that will absorb flavour like unglazed clay and the like, then I think you’ll just have to live with the stains, because you wouldn’t want it to absorb the taste of the cleaning agents.

denisend said

Yep, I have just regular glazed ceramics. I’ll try the baking powder; thanks!

Angrboda said

I like doing it this way because I only use things that I would also use in food. It feels more natural to me. When I have teapot maintenance days I can use half a tub of baking powder in one go. That’s ten clean teapots. :)
I do it very rarely though. I like that they get brown inside. I think it gives them character. :D But that’s purely for the eye. :)

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Auggy said

I have to wipe my ceramic and class cups out with a paper towel or soft cloth (depending on the delicacy) every other day or so (well, on the teapot since I use it multiple times a day… less frequently on the cups) to get the stains off before they’ve had time to really set.

For harder to remove stains, I use diluted bleach. But like Angrboda said, don’t do that on unglazed clay since it will absorb stuff.

I’ve heard a good soaking in vinegar works, too.

Angrboda said

I’ve heard vinegar too. I’ve also heard rubbing the spots with salt. I’ve tried the salt, actually, but it didn’t look to me like it worked much. It wouldn’t work inside the pots anyway, because it would be difficult to impossible to reach.

Auggy said

Ooh, I haven’t tried the salt thing… I suppose that’s more for abrasiveness?

I like the idea of using baking powder (as you say above – natural is better) but I just don’t have the patience. And my baking powder is usually in my refrigerator and when I take it out it smells… well, odd.

On the plus side, cleaning my tea pots reminds me to change the baking soda in my fridge.

Angrboda said

Oh, it doesn’t take that long. I just let it sit for five-ten minutes and that’s it. If it’s really really bad, I’ll give it a second go.
Mind you with ten teapots to clean at once, it did take me a good chunk of an afternoon. Shouldn’t have done them all at once. :)

Auggy said

I think I probably let it build up too long. If I did an even semi-regular cleaning it’d probably be a lot easier. How often do you clean yours?

Angrboda said

Rarely. Very rarely. I like the patina and that you can see it’s being used, it gives the pot character. :) I did it recently and the last time before that must have been… sometime last year or something like that. Or before. I can’t actually remember.

Auggy said

Wow. Okay. Either I’m really impatient or my baking soda sucks. Or else I need fresh baking soda.

Angrboda said

Not baking soda. Baking powder. :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baking_powder

Auggy said

Hahah! Okay, THAT would be my problem then!

Angrboda said

I think I said baking soda when mentioning it before though. I thoguht I had the right word, I just realised today that it wasn’t the right word at all.

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Jack admin said

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers seem to work pretty well on my porcelain cups.

takgoti said

Those things ARE magic. I love them.

I haven’t tried a Mr. Clean on my teaware but I’ve used it when cleaning the stove and microwave and I concur…they are MAGIC! And now Swiffer is using them in their mop pads…magic anyone?

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With some unglazed pots, like Yixing pots you’re supposed to let the tea stains stay – the flavor of the tea permeates the pot, and increases the flavor of the next pot of tea. :)

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Cofftea said

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If you have hard water in your area, then you may find that you get tea-stained lime deposits on your tea things. Once you get them out, you may wish to try filtering your tea water and see if maybe you can keep the deposits from building up as fast.

Cofftea said

No matter how good you think your water is, preparing tea w/ purified water will always taste so much better. I’ve tried it w/ several water supplies. I love Adagio’s graviTEA

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Ah, why would you want to wash those away, though?
Tea stains in a mug are like wrinkles on an old man’s face – they’re a sign of character.

As for tea stains on clothing, most of my t-shirts and pants are black, so I’ve never had a worry about tea getting on my clothes.

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Lynxiebrat said

I like the tea patina, so would probably just let it stay. So far, I have only gotten tea accessories that are dish washer safe, so I do stick them in there roughly about once a week.

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I’m one who doesn’t like the tea stains on my white ceramics, but love it on my absorbent materials. I give them a good soaking and scrub them with baking powder if they need it.

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