If you’re an avid drinker of tea or coffee, then you probably know just how irritating it can be to clean the cups and mugs you drink from, especially as they seem to get more and more stained over time no matter how often you clean them. That’s because tea and coffee contain staining agents known as tannins, which cling to the surfaces of cups and mugs and can make them look dirty – even after soap and water have killed any germs.
But cleaning your tea-stained china doesn’t have to be a chore, as fans of cleaning guru Mrs Hinch – real name Sophie Hinchliffe – have shared their top tips for removing stains with ease. And one tip will only cost you 3p each time you do it, and you won’t even need to scrub your cups afterwards.
Posting on the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips page on Facebook, one woman asked: “Stubborn tea stains in mugs, help, please? Not just ‘a little bit of elbow grease’ because I’ve tried that plenty, it makes no difference. Any easier ways? Spill the secrets.”
And commenters flocked to help her, with many suggesting she fill her mug with hot water and dissolve a denture tablet inside it, as this will help lift the stain and makes washing the mug far easier.
You can pick up a 30-pack of Steradent denture tablets for £1 from Tesco, meaning each tablet – which is all you need for one mug – costs you just 3p. The same deal is also available in Boots for their own-brand tablets.
One person said: “I use denture tablets and boiling water. Let it sit for a bit and then wash it as normal. Much safer than bleach and does the job perfectly. I prefer to buy the minty tablets as then I can smell if the tablet has lingered a bit and I need to wash the cup a bit more.”
While another added: “Denture tablets dissolved in hot water. An old trick I learned from my Nan several years ago – cleans teaspoons too!”
And a third wrote: “I wouldn’t suggest anything other than cheap denture tablets, it’s the only thing that works. Also, no scrubbing needed.”
The woman was warned against using bleach as this could “damage the glaze” on the cup and could make staining worse, although some other commenters did suggest alternatives to denture tablets – including salt.
Someone posted: “Make a paste with salt and water. Then scrub it on the marks and it should disappear.”
Bicarbonate of soda was also suggested by several users, which can be mixed with water to create a paste before putting it on the stains, and which costs 59p to buy from Tesco.
Stains in mugs and cups build up over time, but there are ways you can prevent the stains from ever being a nuisance in the first place – such as washing your mugs out straight after use.