The other day I was at my Aunt’s house and I grabbed a coffee mug out of her cupboard. I could see a clear difference in where coffee and tea had sat in the mug. I knew it wasn’t a big deal. I knew it wasn’t unsanitary.

But something about seeing the stain colored insides waiting for me in the bottom of that mug didn’t sit well with me. The discoloration triggered something primitive in my brain that shouted “noooo, get awayy! Ewwwww!” Dramatic, I know.

Coffee Mug

If you’re like me, you can’t wait for your next cup of coffee. Make your mug as welcoming as coffee’s sweet aroma.

I didn’t act on these impulses and reach in her cupboards for the tools to fix the stains. But I do think mug staining is a prevalent enough (and very important) problem to merit teaching good people like yourself how to stop this embarrassing episode from happening inside your own home.

Your Mugs Have Stains Already And You Need To Kill Them Dead

Use Baking Soda – Baking soda is one of the most universal cleaning products in the world. To use baking soda to remove coffee and tea stains from mugs, just wet the inside of the mug with cold water, and sprinkle in some baking soda. Make sure it covers all brown stains. Leave it alone for a couple minutes. Take a cloth or sponge and scrub. It may take some work depending on your stain. Once you’ve scrubbed the stain away toss the mug in the dishwasher.

Salt and White Vinegar – No baking soda? Maybe you have salt and vinegar in your home. This is super easy and basically the same method as baking soda with a slight twist.

Instead of water, use white vinegar. Instead of baking soda, use table salt. Follow the same steps as outlined for baking soda. Presto. All set. Make sure you wash your mug thoroughly regardless of what cleaning tactic you use. Vinegar flavored coffee doesn’t sound that awesome.

Moving Forward – Prevention and Regular Upkeep

Let’s say your mugs aren’t in terrible shape yet. You can actually take a few very basic steps to prevent severe staining and discoloration from occurring.

Rinse! I know, this is some crazy space-aged, top-secret wisdom I’m doling out here. But seriously, if you are done with your tea or coffee, don’t just set it to the side. Dump the drink out and rinse out your mug with hot water. It seems so simple but if you pay attention you might be more surprised how often you just leave a little bit of coffee or tea standing in the bottom of your mugs. Even if you set the mug in the sink (I’m guilty of this sometimes).

Scrub. If there is a little bit of staining already forming in the bottom of your mugs, you can scrub the bottoms with warm water (you don’t have to go crazy, you can add some soap if you want) before you place them in the dishwasher.

Wrap Up

Stains don’t mean a mug is unsanitary, but they are still unsightly. As you can see, keeping stains out of your mugs isn’t that challenging, and existing mug stains can be treated with basic household goods. Don’t let your guests peer into your mugs and see stomach churning stains.