Recommend a brand of mugs that won't get tea stains?
October 27, 2007 4:00 PM   Subscribe

Recommend a brand of mugs that won't get tea stains?

I need to buy a new set of white mugs for tea and coffee and I'd like to get some that don't pick up tea stains. I don't have a dishwasher so recommendations for brands that stay white with handwashing would be especially appreciated! I've had some success with Maxwell Williams tea cups over the years but even they are starting to develop tea stains which don't come off... is there a brand with better anti-staining power?? Many thanks for any help you can give :)!
posted by katala to Shopping (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Scrubbing with baking soda is supposed to be great for removing coffee and tea stains. I've never seen a mug that particularly resists staining - IME, it's just the way the material is.
posted by bassjump at 4:09 PM on October 27, 2007

Best answer: Continuing the derail: salt gets rid of tea stains, too. Just get the mug wet, sprinkle salt on, rub it around, and rinse it off.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:13 PM on October 27, 2007

You might consider something made of glass. I think the reason porcelain stains so bad is because it's porous. You might be able to find white cloudy glass...

Personally I use stainless steel mugs and I love them. They are beautiful also.
posted by RustyBrooks at 4:18 PM on October 27, 2007

Heh, before I'd read your question it hadn't even occurred to me that there could be such things as stainless ceramic mugs ... I'll be interested in seeing what answers other folks can provide! For now, though, if it were me I'd either go with RustyBrooks' idea for glass mugs, or else find some "ceramic-outside-stainless-steel-inside mugs I actually liked - this "promotions-based" site seems to offer plain white ones like you'd mentioned (I'd imagine you could get them without a logo) - personally I'm not crazy about 'em but maybe it gives an idea of the type of things available?
posted by zeph at 5:08 PM on October 27, 2007

Best answer: I would suggest just wiping the inside with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It always gets any stains out of tea mugs or iced tea pitchers for me.
posted by Becko at 5:21 PM on October 27, 2007

Give the mug a quick rinse when you're done. Mostly works for me. The ones I've got with stains were usually precipitated by not rinsing and letting sit until completely dry.
posted by 6550 at 5:23 PM on October 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Clear glass beer mugs with make fantastic hot drink mugs (very nice to wrap your hand around while lingering over a cup of something), and they don't get stained.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:05 PM on October 27, 2007

The combination of a green plastic scrubby and a little elbow grease seems to work fine to remove stains from all my porcelain cups and mugs. An extra abrasive like salt can help for stubborn stains.

YMMV, but I can't stand drinking tea from glass or metal, or from anything with a thick rim. You can certainly try mugs or cups made of other materials, but your reaction may be similar to mine.
posted by maudlin at 6:09 PM on October 27, 2007

Best answer: As disturbing as it sounds, denture cleaner tablets get rid of coffee and tea stains lickety split. Just throw one in, add water, let it sit a bit and rinse. Mmmm. Minty fresh, too. (Seriously, it works.)
posted by dancinglamb at 7:19 PM on October 27, 2007

There are always these beautiful cups that are meant to be stained.
posted by Brittanie at 7:36 PM on October 27, 2007 [4 favorites]

i use bleach. no scrubbing necessary.
if my husband is watching, i use "gumption".
he has ISSUES with bleach.
posted by taff at 9:23 PM on October 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seconding the bleach. I have a couple of beautiful ceramic mugs that pick up tea stains faster than a black wool coat picks up lint, and standard handwashing wouldn't remove the stains. Fill the cups with warm water, add a few drops of bleach, and let sit until the stains disappear. Then rinse and wash, and they look new again. (I had issues too about bleach touching my tableware, but many restaurants use a small amount of bleach in the water to sanitize dishes.)

I love the denture tablets idea! I lived in an ancient house with rusty plumbing, and the denture tablets dissolved rust stains in the toilet and sink!
posted by mochapickle at 5:37 AM on October 28, 2007

Best answer: But to answer your question, I'd recommend glossy porcelain teacups with a ton of shine to them if you want to avoid stain removal. I tend to have staining problems more with matte-surfaced cups like stoneware and handcrafted matte glazes, but I've never have to bleach the basic, glazed white porcelain restaurant cups.
posted by mochapickle at 5:44 AM on October 28, 2007

I've used bleach solutions on my old cups, but found that I had to use it more and more frequently as time passed. I also didn't like fiddling with the bleach solution every day.

But I agree that a glossy finish is preferable to matte. Honestly, my cheap (thin-rimmed) ceramic mugs from the supermarket clean up beautifully with a plastic scrubby alone, and they all have a glossy finish. I drink several mugs of tea a day from the same cup -- sometime rinsing immediately between cups, sometimes letting it dry -- and I don't have permanent stains on any of them.
posted by maudlin at 6:53 AM on October 28, 2007

Yea, go with the bleach. You only need to add a little to the full cup of water, than just let it soak.
posted by Black_Umbrella at 11:07 AM on October 28, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you all very much for your great answers :)!! The glossy finish concept makes perfect sense, I'd never thought of that before but my mugs at home with a matte inside do indeed have stains on them, while the shiny porcelain cups very rarely stain.

The cleaning tips for my existing mugs are also awesome! Thank you again MeFiers, your help is once again VERY much appreciated!
posted by katala at 11:53 PM on October 30, 2007

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