Cleaning Coffee-Stained Mugs {Tiny Tip Tuesday}

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how to clean coffee and tea stains from mugs

Before we moved into our new house this past February, most of our “stuff” had been sitting in storage for almost 2 years! As we began unpacking our boxes, so many thoughts, feelings, and memories were returning to us – it’s amazing how old things can all of a sudden seem new again when you haven’t seen them for a long time. Old photo albums, keepsakes, knick-knacks and such…

how to clean coffee and tea stains from mugs

Well, except for coffee mugs. Our coffee mugs did NOT seem new again! In fact, they seemed older, dingier, and dirtier than we remember leaving them. Whatever residual stains were left on them only seemed to multiply as they sat in that little 5′ X 10′ storage unit for 2 years. I washed and washed and washed them, and even though the stains got a little lighter, they never really went away. Eventually, I’d forgotten about them and decided that the stains just added character – some flair, if you may!

how to clean coffee and tea stains from mugs

Ughh, who am I kidding? I hated them…a lot! So this weekend, I finally decided I was not going to look at those nasty coffee/tea stained mugs for one more day! So I got to work. I researched, tried a few ideas, and settled on the one I liked best – of course I should’ve known the winning product would be my all-time favorite scouring agent ever – baking soda!

how to clean coffee and tea stains from mugs

So I put some baking soda into a shallow dish, wet a wash cloth with very warm water (I tried with cold water, it didn’t work as well), dipped it into the baking soda to make a paste, and got to scrubbing. Just a couple of quick scrubs, and I was already seeing those stains magically disappear! This of course got me super excited, which made me work even more diligently, and I had those mugs cleaned up in no time – seriously, it was less than 5 minutes!

I gave them a quick rinse, and voila! Look at those before and after pics! I was so happy, I made a special pot of coffee just to celebrate my accomplishment :)

Note: For extra whitening power, a little peroxide added to your solution would work wonders! Thanks to reader, Sandy, for this great tip!

how to clean coffee and tea stains from mugs


Have you dealt with stubborn coffe and tea stains on your mugs? How have you tackled this problem? Leave a comment with your solution!

Cleaning Coffee/Tea Stained Mugs
Author: Sarah @ Nature’s Nurture
Baking soda and warm water are used to scrub away stubborn coffee and tea-stained mugs.
  • Baking Soda
  • Warm Water
  • Wash cloth
  1. Place some baking soda in a shallow dish.
  2. Wet your wash cloth with warm water.
  3. Dip wash cloth in baking soda to form a paste.
  4. Scrub mugs until clean.
  5. Rinse under running water.


ATTENTION: Tiny Tip Tuesday readers!! Some of my blogger friends have shown interest in possibly turning our Tiny Tip Tuesdays into a Blog Hop/Carnival – allowing other bloggers to share their tips right here on Nature’s Nurture every week! I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I think we could totally get a carnival going to bring you even more helpful tips from other like-minded blogs :) Leave a comment letting me know if you’d be interested in this idea! Also, if you’re a blogger and would like to participate in Tiny Tip Tuesdays, let me know and we can get it started as early as next week! Thanks :)


This post was shared here: Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday Tip – Learning the Frugal Life, Frugal Tuesday Tip – Getting Ahead Blog, Works For Me Wednesday, Simple Living Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Penny Pinching Party,


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Sarah UmmYusuf is a former school teacher turned stay-at-home wife and mama with a passion for all things simple, natural, and homemade. She loves the natural world, and believes the solutions to many of the world’s ailments lie in nature. Her blog, , began as a way to document her family’s journey to a greener home, but has since become a thriving community and resource for those wishing to take small steps towards a more eco-friendly, natural and sustainable lifestyle. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Latest posts by Sarah (see all)


  1. says

    Yes yes yes! I think its a great idea for a carnival because its different- a short, quick tip for better living. I like! Sign me up, Id join right away next week, it will help give me some aim for an early-week post.

    And thanks for this tip, those mugs look great! yay for baking soda and a little elbow grease!

  2. says

    Ahh, I keep meaning to look online to find the best natural way to get rid of those pesky coffee stains, but the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways blog hop delivered it to me :) Thanks for the tip!

    • Sarah says

      Hi, thanks for stopping by! I agree, baking soda is one of my favs – that and vinegar :)

      Your blog looks absolutely scrumptious – going to check it out some more!

  3. Penny Hannah says

    I usually use good old cooking salt, but have been known to succumb to the Magic Eraser – a microfibre sponge – that removes stains on absolutely any hard surface magically!

    • Sarah says

      I love using salt for a lot of cleaning too! I used to be a huge magic eraser user as well, but finally decided it just wasn’t environmentally friendly or sustainable. Plus, it’s not something I want my toddler getting into, so after my last one was finished, I never bought anymore. But I did try to stretch that last one as far as I could LOL, because they really are magical!

  4. Sandy says

    Just FYI…add a little peroxide to make a paste with the baking soda and it will help to “bleach” them white again! Safe and non toxic!

  5. Kimberly says

    I put a tablespoon of bleach and with water in the cup and let it soak overnight. No need to scrub!!

  6. Gracie says

    Salt, ice, and about a tablespoon of water. Swish it around in the cup. Works better and faster. No scrubbing at all. No peroxide for extra whitening power.

  7. Faye says

    Great idea!!! Here;s another solution and perhaps without the scrubbing. Put a denture tablet or 2 in a bucket (I use an ice cream pail) with warm water– add cups and walk away for a few hours. You will be amazed at how clean they have become.
    Denture tablets also work well on pots with burnt on food.
    I also use them in the toilet bowl every couple of week for a sparkling white shiney clean toilet…I just drop 3-4 (depending on how soiled it has become from the rust in the water) last thing at night.

  8. Rina says

    I use Domestos or Bleach. Little bit in cup with boiling water and the cup is white again. When I do my dishes I also put Domestos in the water. Keeps your dishcloth clean at the same time.

  9. Suzy Dix says

    I have used 1/2 tspn. dishwasher detergent in the cups and fill with hot water…. do the other dishes and by the time you finish your cups are ready for rinsing and will be nice and clean.

  10. debbi s. says

    Just a squirt of vinegar (I keep a picnic ketchup/mustard bottle full of vinegar right by the faucet) and a quick swipe with a nylon scrubber covered sponge will have the cup looking brand new in under 10 seconds.

  11. Dianne says

    I always use bleach and water to clean my coffee cups and then wash them good in dawn and water.

  12. O says

    All I use is plain white vinegar, which works for me. I use it straight. The best thing I’ve tried is never let my cops or mugs get stained in the first place.

  13. Linda says

    I use a spoon of vinegar and hot water to clean the stains. After sitting a minute wipe with a cloth and the cups are clean!

  14. Rallene Almendarez says

    I remember seeing an article on FB how you can clean your skillets and pots and pans that have build up of stain on the outside and also baking cookie sheets. Would you know what it was? If so would you post it or send to me.
    Thank You so much.


  1. […] Nature’s Nurture. Sarah lives simply. And she genuinely and passionately wants us to, as well. She has great tips and recipes for  cleaning, eating and  living in an environmentally friendly way. I hate that term, we need to find another one. How about environmentally loving or world loving or just plain SENSIBLE.   Sarah has great tips for running a sensible sustainable home. […]

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