How to Remove Tea Stains From Cotton

Updated April 17, 2017

Cotton is one of the oldest materials used to make textiles. Scientists discovered small pieces of cotton cloth in Mexican caves that were 7,000 years old. According to, "The world uses more cotton than any other fibre." The fabrics made from cotton are soft, long lasting and absorbent. Cotton's absorbency of perspiration makes garments cool and comfortable in hot weather. Because cotton absorbs liquid, it stains easily.

Purchase a bottle of white vinegar, which is an excellent natural cleaner. It is safe to use on white and coloured cotton fabrics.

Pour one cup white vinegar and one cup cold water into a spray bottle. Shake gently to mix the solution.

Remove tea stains from cotton by spraying the mixture onto the stain and saturating the cloth. Let the fabric sit for one hour.

Wash the cotton item in a washing machine in warm or cold water with your normal laundry detergent.


Drying your cotton item on low heat will make the fabric last longer.


Never use hot water with vinegar to remove tea or coffee stains from cotton. It will set the stain, and you won't be able to remove it later.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 bottle white vinegar
  • Cold water
  • Spray bottle
  • Washing machine
  • Laundry detergent
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About the Author

Ellie Kuykendall has been writing and editing professionally since 1997. Her travel and insurance articles have appeared in national magazines. She's contributed to four books and is currently writing her own book. She received a bachelor's degree from University of San Francisco.