How to remove tea stains from china cups

Hot tea from a dainty china tea cup conjures up images of relaxation and calm. That is until it's time to put the cups away and the stubborn tea stains won't come out of the china. Black tea is most likely to leave a stain, but even green and herbal teas often leave a ring around the bottom of china cups. Remove the tea stains with common household cleansers that don't damage or discolour the china.

Mix baking soda with just enough water to form a soft paste that is similar in consistency to toothpaste. Rub the paste onto the tea stain, and scrub it off with a cloth or dish sponge. Repeat a second time if the stain is still visible.

Combine 2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach with 1.14 litres (1 quart) of water if tea stains are still visible. Pour just enough of the bleach solution into the china cup to submerge the stain. Allow it to soak for 1 to 2 minutes.

Rinse the cup with water, removing the baking soda or chlorine bleach residue. Wipe the cup dry and inspect it for remaining stains. Treat the stains a second time with either the bleach or baking soda if staining is still visible.


Wash and remove tea stains after every use so they do not build up on the inside of the china, as old stains are more difficult to remove. Baking soda and bleach also remove coffee stains from china cups.


Do not use baking soda or other abrasive cleansers on the outside of the cup as it may rub away decorative elements and paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Cloth
  • Bleach
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About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.