It is rare to find a person who doesn’t enjoy at least one coffee throughout the day. With the busy lives, we lead, it is normal that our coffee is poured into a travel mug and taken out the door. It is quite common for us not to be able to wash our travel mugs up as soon as we have finished with our caffeine fix. Because it’s unavoidable, let’s see how to clean the coffee stain from a stainless steel mug.
One of the most popular materials for a travel mug is stainless steel. Despite its name, stainless steel will stain and especially with a culprit like coffee, which is known to stain a variety of materials. While many people are tempted to jump straight for the scrubbing brush, it is not advised.
The reason for this is because stainless steel has a minimum content of 10.5% chromium and it is this that provides the steel with its resistance. This layer that protects the steel will reform, however, using metal or brass-scrubbing brushes will scratch the protective layer.
Soaking a stainless steel coffee mug in hot soapy water for 10 minutes may remove some of the lighter stains. Nevertheless, there will be some occasions when we will need to use something stronger.
Table of Contents
- How To Clean Coffee Stains from a Stainless Steel Mug
- How to remove tea stains from a stainless steel mug
- Final thoughts
How To Clean Coffee Stains from a Stainless Steel Mug
Homemade remedies sometimes provide you with great solutions to small problems. And that’s where we are starting.
First, let’s take a look at some solutions on how to clean stainless steel coffee mugs, starting with some products that you can easily find in your kitchen cupboards.
It might be a simple case of needing a higher concentration of dishwasher detergent to remove stubborn stains. Try putting 2 tablespoons of dishwasher liquid (or one dishwasher detergent capsule) in your coffee mug and fill it with boiling water.
After 30 minutes, the stains should have disappeared.
Alternatively, you could try:
- 1/2 a cup of baking soda mixed with 1/8 cup of coarse salt;
- 1/2 a cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of baking soda.
Whichever solution you choose, add it to the coffee mug with boiling water and again wait for 30 minutes.
If none of those did it, try this!
In some cases, this might not be strong enough. The next step would be to add 4 denture cleaning tablets to the mug and once again, fill it with boiling water and wait for 30 minutes.
Denture cleaning tablets are specifically designed to dissolve food particles and stains.
Another option that is very successful is hydrogen peroxide. You will need 1/2 a cup of hydrogen peroxide mixed with 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
For the most stubborn coffee stains
Normally, after one of these options, and soaking for 30 minutes, your stainless steel mug will look shiny and new. If not, there are still a couple of tricks you can try.
What works particularly well is to shake the solution with the lid of your mug on. For this, we recommend the coarse salt solution or the vinegar solution.
The chemical reactions will be enhanced by shaking. Only fill the mug two-thirds full and double-check the lid is sealed correctly to prevent burns.
Once the coffee mug has soaked, you will notice the stainless steel will have gone back to its original color. But if you are like us, and notice particularly stubborn stains, it is time for a little elbow grease.
You can take the same ratio of vinegar to bake powder, dab a cloth in the solution and rub it directly onto the stain. Leave it for 5 minutes before washing it off with warm soapy water.
That will surely leave your stainless steel mug clean as new.
How to remove tea stains from a stainless steel mug
Ok, so you’re a tea lover. The most popular drink in the world (after water, of course) is also another reason for our stained travel mugs.
The good news is, that all of the solutions for cleaning a coffee stain from a stainless steel mug will also work if you’re looking to learn how to remove tea stains from stainless steel mug.
So before throwing out your favorite mug, try soaking it in baking powder and salt or baking powder and vinegar.
Now you know how to remove coffee stains from stainless steel mugs.
As tempted as you are to use bleach on tea and coffee stains, avoid this option. It will only corrode the metal.
Once you have cleaned the tea or coffee stains from your stainless steel mug, make sure you wash it properly to ensure there are no tastes from your homemade remedies.
If you’re looking to buy a new one, check out our travel mug buying guide.