Clean Stains From Your Coffee Mug With Salt

Embarrassed in your workplace by your horrendously stained coffee mug? Get it sparkling again with a little salt and a paper towel.

Picture by admiller

Reader Kym wrote in to sing the praises of this approach:

Just a little tip I picked up in the staff kitchen when a colleague peered into the brown abyss of my coffee mug, stained by centuries of black, boiling beverages. She said I should sprinkle some salt in there, then scrub it with a paper towel. Simple, quick, unbelievably effective. The coarseness of the salt had it sparkling as new in less than a minute.

We've pointed out that you can get similar results using bicarb soda. I'm also inclined to agree with another commenter on that earlier post: provided you're using a decent scourer, you don't necessarily need any special ingredients to clean a cup. It just takes more than a cursory wipe to do it. That said, the salt plus paper towel combo can be useful when the office scourer has disappeared. Thanks Kym!


    I use a very small amount of washing powder - for laundry. Cleans anything.

      nothing like the after taste of detergent to make the brew taste just... yuk!! :)
      I've banned anyone from using soap on my brew cup, it's a household rule :)

      Last edited 05/12/12 11:44 am

    Well I do rinse.

    And could I also add that the cup, if we're not allowed to call it a mug, in the image is not stained. Try drinking black tea and you'll soon find out what a stained cup is. The cup in the image is months, if not years, away from requiring a clean.

    Last edited 05/12/12 2:51 pm

    I just use boiling water, swirl it around a bit, tip it out and scrape off the stains with a paper towel. Works on old stains too.

    Once a month I fill the sink with cups and mugs, fill it with water and then add a bit of bleach. No stain is too tough for good old WhiteKing.

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