How to Remove Stains From Coffee Cups

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With repeated use, brown coffee stains build up inside your cup.
With repeated use, brown coffee stains build up inside your cup. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Coffee beans contain pigment and natural oils that, over time, cause brown stains to build up in your coffee cups. Left in the cups, these unsightly stains affect the taste of your coffee in addition to the appearance of your cups. While commercial products are available to remove coffee stains from cups, natural remedies accomplish the same task without the chemicals and expense. Once clean, regular maintenance will prevent the coffee stains from building up again.

Things You'll Need

  • Dishpan
  • 3 tbsp. baking soda
  • 3 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • Nylon mesh scrubber
  • Bowl
  • 1 tbsp. table salt
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • Kitchen towel

Fill your dishpan halfway with warm water. Stir in 3 tbsp. baking soda and 3 tbsp. cream of tartar. Place the stained coffee cups in the baking soda solution and allow them to soak for 20 minutes.

Dampen a nylon mesh scrubber in the baking soda solution. Use the mild abrasive solution to scrub out the stains inside your coffee cups.

The mesh on a nylon mesh scrubber adds a bit of stain-removing power.
The mesh on a nylon mesh scrubber adds a bit of stain-removing power. (Image: scrubber 3 image by Adkok from Fotolia.com)

Mix 1 tbsp. each of table salt and white vinegar in a bowl. Smear some of the paste onto your mesh scrubber and scrub persistent stains inside your coffee cups with the salty solution. Rinse with water to remove the salt solution.

Dry your clean coffee cups with a clean kitchen towel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rinse out coffee cups immediately after use. The longer coffee sits in the cups, the more time the pigment has to build up on the surface of your cups.
  • Add a few tablespoons of baking soda to a dishpan full of hot water and soak coffee-stained cups in the solution overnight to loosen the stains.
  • A mixture of lemon juice and salt helps scrub away coffee stains.
  • Coffee stains that have been allowed to build up for a long time may require several attempts to remove the stains.

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