The Vinegar Hack That Breathes New Life Into Coffee And Tea-Stained Mugs

If you're an avid coffee or tea drinker, you may notice that it doesn't take long for ugly brown stains to bloom on your brand new mugs. That's because coffee and tea both contain tannins, a compound that gives your morning pick-me-up its dark color. Over time, tannins cause stains as a result of buildup and other factors like hard water. Thankfully, you can remove stubborn coffee stains from your favorite mugs with a kitchen staple you probably already have: white vinegar. By pouring a solution of white vinegar and hot water into your mug and allowing it to soak, you may be able to get rid of those unsightly stains once and for all.

It's no secret that vinegar is a versatile cleaning tool and it could get your coffee and tea mugs shining like new again without the need for commercial cleaning products. The acetic acid in vinegar makes it an effective stain-remover for substances that contain tannins. Yes, that means you can also use vinegar to remove coffee and tea stains from your clothing. Plus, white vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant for your mugs and dishes thanks to its antibacterial properties.

How to use vinegar to remove coffee and tea stains from mugs

To remove coffee and tea stains from your mug, begin by filling the mug halfway with boiling water, then fill the top half with white vinegar. Another option is to heat distilled white vinegar in the microwave until it's very hot and then safely pour it into the mug.

The most important step is to give the vinegar enough time to work its magic. Allow the solution to soak into the mug for at least 10 minutes. Depending on how stained your mug is, you may need to allow the solution to absorb for longer. You can even leave it soaking overnight. After this step, you can dump the mixture and scour the mug with a coarse sponge. Avoid scrubbing too vigorously as this may scratch your mug.

Not only does white vinegar keep your mugs coffee stain free, but it also acts as a sanitizer. Distilled white vinegar is a natural disinfectant. A 2007 study in the Journal of Food Protection found that vinegar can destroy food-borne pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella. Give your mugs the occasional scrub with equal parts water and white vinegar to keep them clean and safe to use.