There is nothing like sitting down with a cup of Tea when you need a break. Regardless of the specific type of Tea you choose - and there are many we stock - it will, undoubtedly, relax you in no time at all.

But it comes with a downside: The need to remove Tea stains from cups after you’ve finished. It is less of a messy business and more of a pain. And sometimes it doesn’t even work.

We’ve decided to write an article on how to clean Tea stains from cups. It will talk you through, “Why does Tea stain mugs?” in the first place before showing you how to get Tea stains out of mugs.

You can then buy Loose Tea and even Fresh Coffee without the anxiety of the aftermath. We take pride in packing our products fresh to order - our way of ensuring both quality and consistency.

Why Does Tea Stain Mugs?

Why Does Tea Stain Mugs?

Tea stains in cups frustrate anyone on washing-up duty. If you’ve been in this position, muttering under your breath and asking yourself, “Why does Tea stain your cup?”, then we have the answers. The reason, for the most, is Tannins in Tea. These are a class of astringent polyphenols also known as tannoids or tannic acid. They exist in a variety of naturally occurring substances, including wood and, of course, Tea.

But we’re talking about Black Tea, right? Why does Green Tea stain mugs - the same way that White Tea and Oolong do? All types of so-called “real” Tea - including those mentioned here - come from the same Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant. The difference between each one is the processing of the leaves. That means, in other words, that they all have Tannins in Tea - hence why they leave a stain.

Why Does My Dishwasher Not Clean the Stains

Why Does My Dishwasher Not Clean Tea Stains?

That’s unfortunate for people who don’t have a dishwasher machine, who will likely have to put the extra work in to remove Tea stains from mugs. But you have a dishwasher, so there’s no problem - or so you thought.

It turns at that even those who’re lucky enough to own such items still experience problems after finishing their brew. Why does this happen?

It could be several factors. Poor-quality detergent might play a significant role, especially when the bleach level is too low. Detergent without phosphate would likewise reduce efficiency for getting rid of Tea stains in cups.

Another possibility is that you’re using short and/or low-temperature washes. Even hard water in the dishwasher might affect it. (We stock a Heritage Hard Water Tea for before cleaning).

How to Get Tea Stains Out of Cups

How to Get Tea Stains Out of Cups

A quick recap: We now know the answer to, “Why Does Tea Stain Mugs?”, as well as why using a dishwasher might not be enough to “fix” it.

All that’s left is to move onto how to remove Tea stains from cups. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for - and we’re about to offer you step-by-step instructions. This is the best and most efficient way to rid your favourite drinking vessel of unwelcome marks:  

1. Soak the Tea-Stained Cup or Mug in Soap

Specially-designed dish soap is formulated to lift stains and can act as your first line of defence. Simply squirt some into the mug, add enough warm water to cover the stain, and swish the mixture around.

You should then leave it for a few minutes, particularly if the stain in question is a stubborn one. This will allow the soap to penetrate the stain before scrubbing it with a sponge.

2. Move on to Baking Soda

Should the stain persist, then your next stop should be baking soda. Start by sprinkling about one tablespoon of baking soda into the mug, concentrating on the marked area.

The next step is to add a little warm water to create a paste. Bring your sponge back to the cup and scrub. Once you’ve finished, be sure to rinse it out thoroughly to remove any remaining baking soda.

3. Vinegar Will Get the Job Done

Many people will already be familiar with vinegar’s effectiveness at cleaning. It is a tried-and-true method, one that indeed works well for removing Tea stains in cups.

You’ll want to fill your cup halfway with distilled white vinegar and then fill the rest with hot water. Allow it to soak for 10 minutes before scrubbing away with more dish soap. Finally, rinse it out.


There you have it! Your cup or mug should be clean as a whistle - hopefully. We have shown you how to remove Tea stains from cups, as well as explained why it happens in the first place.

We have given you step-by-step instructions, accompanied by recommended cleaning products. You’ve earned yourself a treat: Feel free to find one here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.