Tips On Removing Tea Stains
How To Remove Tea Stains
The old saying goes, “There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.” Mrs. Clean can’t help but add, “Here are a few tips when your lips slip and your tea drips!”
Today’s gourmet teas are a far cry from yesteryear when few varieties of teas were available.
Choices were usually limited to black tea, oolong or green tea. Now teas come in many flavors with many ingredients. If it can be steeped in water and safely consumed by humans, it can be consumed as a tea. Teas are normally brewed from leaves but we’ve had tea from cinnamon and ginger as well.
The most common variety of tea that we are familiar with comes from a shrub that is cultivated in China, Japan and the East Indies. The botanical name of the tea plant is “Camellia sinensis,” from the Theaceae family. But tea can be made from the leaves of various plants including mints and other herbs. And tea comes from all over the world – from Russia to India.
Interestingly, some experts have given up on removing tea stains. Not Mrs. Clean! We firmly believe that almost every staining agent can be either “removed entirely or lightened considerably by acting quickly.” Stains that are water-soluble in the first place, should react favorably to being immediately flushed with cold water.
Organic-based stains are often successfully removed by using organic or natural stain removers, i.e. lemon juice, salt, sunlight.
Removing Tea Stains From China Cups:
Your favorite China teacup may acquire a long history of tea stains that really discolors the inside. Don’t despair! Rinse the inside of the cup with water and while it is still wet, moisten a clean dishcloth with warm water and dip it in baking soda. Scrub the inside of the cup with the rag and baking soda. You may need to apply a little elbow grease as well, but this should effectively remove the tea stains. Be sure to wash the cup well as the baking soda will alter the next cup of brew if it is not thoroughly washed away.
Keep The Beer Near
One good brew deserves another! One adventurous soul swears by this method of removing tea stains from fabrics and carpeting.
- Pour beer onto the stain and rub it lightly.
- Rinse with cold water and examine for remaining stains.
- When the stain is gone from the fabric, launder as usual.
- On carpeting, you will have to blot up the liquids with paper towels or a clean white, absorbent towel or rag, until the stain disappears.
Be sure to make sure the beer is completely rinsed away.
Use Salt To Remove Tea Stains
The salt of the earth is also one of the best stain removers on earth! Sprinkle salt on the stain and rub with a soft cloth moistened with water. The salt is gently abrasive as it dissolves and will not scratch metal or porcelain surfaces. If the surface has a brushed finish, be sure to rub with the grain to be double sure at avoiding any accidental rubbing marks.
If any of the stain remains, mix equal amounts of white vinegar and salt and apply to the stain. If it’s on fabric, rub between your fingers. On hard surfaces, use a soft rag or household sponge and rub lightly. Rinse well.
Tea Stains On Cotton Fabrics
Cotton fabrics are magnets for tea stains. Fortunately, cold water, vinegar and solutions of water, vinegar and salt are compatible with cotton. To remove tea stains, dip a clean cloth or sponge in white vinegar and apply liberally to the stain. Toss the garment into the wash and launder as normal. Mix a solution of three cups of white vinegar and one cup of water in a glass bowl. Add the tea-stained garment and allow to soak. Rub the stain lightly and rinse well in cold water. If the stain remains, pour salt granules in a little heap on the stain and rub between your fingers. Rinse well and launder. When possible, line dry your cotton fabrics in full sun instead of tossing into the dryer. If there is any stain remaining, the heat from the dryer will cause it to set. The sun draws stains out and fresh air is a great deodorizer.
Exceptions To The Rules
We “never say never” try things even though it’s not an application that we would normally use to remove stains. Some people say NEVER use chlorine bleach on tea stains. We say, if the stain is on white fabric and it will not be hurt by harsh chlorine bleach, give it a try. Be sure to dilute the bleach, though, and rinse the article well when you are done.
A rule of thumb dilution of chlorine bleach and water is 1/2 cup of bleach to five cups of water. Test on an inconspicuous place on the fabric first to be sure it does not remove color or damage the fabric. Then dab on the stain until you see that the stain is removed or lightened. If it is not completely removed, thoroughly rinse out the chlorine solution and allow the garment to air dry – in the sun, if possible.
If the stain is gone, rinse well and run through a wash cycle according to manufacturer’s recommendation for the fabric or item.
Dishwasher Detergent For Removing Tea Stains
To remove tea stains from dishes, cups, bowls, teakettles, etc., try this method.
- Use 1 teaspoon of dishwasher detergent to a cup of very hot water.
- Dissolve and soak the stained item for a couple of hours, even overnight.
- Then wash as usual. The stains should be gone.
Commercial Tea Stain Removers For Laundry
We’ve had good luck with a number of commercial products to remove organic tea stains from fabric and laundry. You may find one of these that you like.
- Dip-It (good for coffee makers, too)
- Spray and Wash
- Tide Stain Brush
- Bi-O-Kleen's Bac Out Stain and Odor Eliminator
Mrs. Clean’s Cleaning Forum
You’ll find other helpful suggestions on Mrs. Clean’s Cleaning Tips Forum; you can ask questions and also leave your own comments about methods or products that work well or that don’t work.