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How to Clean Tea Stains from Plastic

Updated February 21, 2017

Tea contains tannins that leave stains in containers and dishes. Combine this property with the porosity of some plastics, and the results are a dark and well-absorbed blemish. If all of your plastic mugs, pitchers and cups are tea-stained, you can use some items from around the house to clean them. Use non-abrasive scrubbers, such as rags or sponges, to avoid scratching the plastic surfaces.

Fill the plastic mug or pitcher with hot water.

Add one tbsp of baking soda to a mug-sized dish and two tbsp to a pitcher-sized container.

Let sit for 15 minutes and then rinse the dishes well with hot water.

Wet a sponge and sprinkle baking soda on one of the sponge's sides if the tea stains are still apparent.

Scrub the stain with the sponge. Be careful not to rub too hard if the plastic container is fragile.

Rinse the container after scrubbing with hot water.

Put on rubber gloves and pour a drop of bleach on top of the stain if the other methods were not successful.

Scrub the stain with a rag until it is removed.

Rinse the dish or container with hot soapy water and then hot water immediately after scrubbing with bleach.

Things You'll Need

  • Dishwasher detergent (powder form)
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge
  • Bleach
  • Gloves
  • Rag
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About the Author

Michelle Brunet has published articles in newspapers and magazines such as "The Coast," "Our Children," "Arts East," "Halifax Magazine" and "Atlantic Books Today." She earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from Saint Mary's University and a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University.