Remove Coffee Stains from Cups

How to remove coffee stains from cups? If you start every day with a cup of joe, then you've probably found yourself wondering on more than one occasion how to remove coffee stains from cups. 

Coffee stains are among the worst stain culprits for two reasons: oils and tannins. Coffee gets its dark, rich color from tannins, natural food dyes that can be stubborn to remove, especially once they've set on a surface for sometime.

Remove Coffee Stains from Cups

While coffee doesn't always come to mind when you think of oily substances, the fact is, coffee beans release oils during the roasting process. Most of these oils roast away, but enough remain behind to make coffee stain difficult to take out. The good news is, there are a number of cleaning supplies, most of them right in your cupboards, that will help you remove coffee stains from cups. 

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Cups Using Vinegar

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • White Vinegar
  • Clean Cloth
  • Nylon Scrubber Sponge

Vinegar alone is often enough to remove light coffee stains from cups. Mind you, simply filling a coffee cup with vinegar will not work if the coffee stains are thick or are set on, but for a coffee cup you simply neglected to rinse or wash this morning, white vinegar can do the trick.

What's more, white vinegar can deodorize cups, removing both the tell-tale stains and smells associated with coffee. That may be difficult to comprehend, considering the pungent odor vinegar is famous for, but when you rinse the vinegar away, no odor remains.

This is especially useful for plastic or acrylic cups, which can often become so imbued with the scent of coffee that it's impossible to enjoy any other beverage from the cups without also inhaling the smell of coffee.

Here's how to use vinegar to remove coffee stains from cups and deodorize them, too:

  1. Fill the coffee cup half full with hot water.
  2. Add enough white vinegar to fill the cup full.
  3. Let the water/vinegar mixture set in the cup until it cools slightly.
  4. Dump the water/vinegar mixture.
  5. Wipe the cup out.
  6. If any coffee stains remain behind, scrub using the nylon scrubber sponge.
  7. Rinse well, and wash as usual.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Cups Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Clean Cloth
  • Nylon Scrubber Sponge

If white vinegar alone is not enough to remove coffee stains from cups – and smells – from your coffee cup, then you need to add a little baking soda to the mix.

When baking soda and vinegar are combined, the result is a bubbling action that can literally foam away many stains, including tough coffee stains. What's more, this often means that stains will disappear without any help from you – you just stand back and watch the action! 

For plastic or acrylic cups that simply won't let go of a strong coffee stain or odor, there's nothing more effective than a baking soda and vinegar combination. Vinegar and baking soda are both natural deodorizers, and when combined, work even harder against tough odors, and coffee is well-known for it's aroma.

However, if you've neglected your cup so long that coffee has formed a thick crust inside (and if you have, shame on you!), then the foaming action may be enough to loosen the crust so that scrubbing and regular washing, either by hand or in a dishwasher, will remove the rest.

To use baking soda and vinegar together to remove coffee stains from your cup:

  1. Sit the cup in a sink, or, if you have a marble sink, in a dishpan.
  2. Add one teaspoon of baking soda to the cup.
  3. Pour a quarter cup of vinegar over the baking soda; for larger cups, use more.
  4. Allow the baking soda/vinegar mixture to bubble and foam, and let the foam set in the cup for several minutes.
  5. Pour the baking soda/vinegar mixture out of the cup.
  6. Wipe the cup out using a clean cloth.
  7. If any stain remains, use a nylon scrubber sponge to dislodge the remaining coffee stain.
  8. Rinse well.
  9. If any discoloration or coffee odor remains, repeat steps 2-8 until the discoloration and/or odor is removed.