Mold on basket infusers
SO I have been using the basket tea infusers, the plastic with the wire infusers. I guess the metal wire has been too tea barnacled for too long (so barnacled that sometimes the tea wouldn’t drain from the basket at all), because when I lifted the infuser after not using it for a few days, I could notice white mold growing on the bottom of the basket because with the infuser top on it, it certainly wasn’t getting any air. I definitely don’t usually look at the bottom of infusers so I have no idea how long this has been going on. I now wonder how much mold I have been ingesting and how bad that might be for my health. Possibly boiled water would have killed the mold? but if I’m brewing green tea, I doubt it. That infuser went into the garbage. It’s been about eight years anyway and was impossible to scrub the wire clean after daily use for eight years. I cleaned it with a toothbrush just for infusers and vinegar (not sure if I should be using anything else to clean them?) I will just have to scrub the wires clean more often from my other basket infusers I suppose. But I’m worried I will be ingesting mold that I can’t even see. It’s very annoying. I don’t want to be drinking mold with my tea.
I’d recommend using baking soda to get rid of the tea stains(I find it more effective at that than acids). It also helps against mold, though I don’t know how complete that would be with plastic.
You could also ask the manufacturer if your infusers can go in the dishwasher, that might also work to remove tea stains, too(the basket of my Mono Filio occassionally goes in the dishwasher and looks brand new afterwards, though that doesn’t have any plastic parts, also might depend on what kind of detergent you use in your dishwasher)
I use all metal ones, and occasionally just boil them in a pot of water on the stove.
I like to let my infusers dry completely at least a few times a week, at this point I have enough to rotate them out to be cleaned and dried.
Have you tried the Mandala tea cleaner to ungunk the wire?
Yeah, I guess it took the mold to realize the bottom of the infusers that were set down just weren’t drying. And then if the top is left on, the mold gets inside towards the bottom of the infuser too. I haven’t tried the Mandala cleaner yet.
So I had a new basket infuser just waiting to be used and WHOA has it been a while with an unclogged basket, because lifting that basket out of the mug, the water just runs out of it within a second. I forgot how fast the tea escapes a new filter! I’m kind of pissed at myself for using such clogged infusers on these teas that I must have been drinking for years. I will NOT let any infuser get that bad ever ever again. I can only imagine it doesn’t do the tea any good!
Do you have a Daiso near you? Japanese dollar store. They have wire mesh tea strainers for a dollar or two. If you need to give a strainer a good cleaning in the future, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide team up to make a powerful cleaning soak.