8 Ways to Remove Coffee Stains from Cups!

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 26th, 2023

A cup of Joe doesn’t feel right in the morning unless you’re drinking it from your favorite mug. A coffee mug can reveal a lot about you, and the stains on the inside of it can easily reveal whether you are a true coffee lover. So rather than throwing it out, let us show you how to eliminate coffee stains from cups.

Here’s a quick and simple way to do it:

coffee cup stains
  1. First, fill the cup halfway with baking soda.
  2. Add a few drops of lemon or vinegar. Alternatively, put a spoon of coarse salt and a few crushed ice cubes inside.
  3. Leave whatever mixture you’ve chosen to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse the cup with clean water.

Remember that brown coffee stains are resistant to soap and warm water, rendering them useless.

You need something more powerful to combat the discoloration issues caused by coffee stains.

What causes coffee to turn brown?

More to it than meets the eye when your coffee stains your household items. We already know that coffee is made by imbuing hot water with the coffee grounds’ flavor. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the optimal cup of coffee is approximately 55 g per liter of water, resulting in a ratio of approximately 1 part coffee to 18 parts water.

As a result, one gram of coffee grinds, which is further diluted in brewing when the most solid matter is left behind, is densely packed with pigment, which can easily stain household objects.

Tannins are dark-colored acids with an astringent quality that wards off bacteria and are found in coffee plant matter. Tannins contribute to the color and flavor of the coffee. Tannic acid can also be found in tea and wine. In addition, tannins are used to color materials such as leather. Coffee’s pigment is so potent that it can be used as a natural dye.

In addition to tannins, the color of coffee is caused by caramels and melanoidins, which are pigment molecules generated during the Maillard reaction. When food sugars and proteins are heated, the Maillard reaction occurs.

Therefore, Melanoidins, like tannins, influence not only the color but also the flavor of coffee, imparting it a roasted flavor. Melanoidins can also be found in roasted foods such as onions, steak, and potatoes.

When the Maillard reaction’s browning effect occurs, heat and moisture cause complex sugars in food to break down and form new bonds with other proteins and sugars, imparting a new flavor.

Whether these coffee pigments leave a permanent stain or not will be determined largely by the surface they come into contact with.

The 6 best ways to remove coffee stains from mugs!

You’ll find six fantastic tricks to help you get rid of those pesky stains below!

1. Lemon and salt

  • Squeeze a quart of lemon juice into your coffee cup.
  • Completely cover the stained area.
  • Optional step: Add a teaspoon of salt (optional but advisable for tougher stains)
  • Set aside the mixture for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse with clean water.

2. White vinegar

  1. Warm-up some vinegar in the microwave.
  2. Pour this into your cup.
  3. Let it stay overnight (if the staining is widespread) or for about an hour.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

3. Baking soda

baking soda
  1. Cover stained areas with two teaspoons of baking soda or more.
  2. Make a paste with it by adding some water.
  3. Rub the paste into the inside of the cup with a microfiber cloth.
  4. Scrub until the stains are not visible, then rinse with water.

4. Denture tablets

  1. Fill the cup halfway with warm water.
  2. Add a denture tablet.
  3. This will cause a fizzy reaction which should last for a few minutes.
  4. When the fizzing stops, empty the cup.
  5. Fill it with some warm water and a drop of soap.
  6. Using a brush, scrub the inside of the cup.
  7. Rinse it with clean water.

5. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

  1. Pour ½ of your coffee mug with hydrogen peroxide
  2. Mix in two tablespoons of baking soda.
  3. Use a spoon to stir
  4. Wait 30 minutes to an hour for the liquid to turn brown.
  5. Empty the liquid into the sink.
  6. Scrub the cup with dish soap and warm water.
  7. Rinse the cup with water and pat it dry with a cloth.

6. Melamine sponge

  1. Dry the inside of the cup with a melamine sponge.
  2. Scrub the inside of the bottle for a few minutes.
  3. Fill it halfway with warm water and add a drop of dish soap.
  4. Rinse with clean water.

7. Making use of commercial cleaners

  1. Dip the mug in bleach water for a few minutes. and pour one gallon of warm water and one tablespoon of bleach into a large mixing bowl
  2. Soak the mug until the stains disappear, anywhere from an hour to overnight.
  3. Make use of a magic eraser sponge.
  4. After cleaning, thoroughly rinse the mug. You don’t want to consume the eraser cleaner.

8. Use egg yolk to remove coffee stains

  1. This method takes a little longer to prepare, but the result is a foolproof solution for any stubborn coffee stain.
  2. Start by getting an egg, warm water, some rubbing alcohol, and a washcloth.
  3. Put the yolk in a bowl with a spoonful or two of warm water and a splash of rubbing alcohol.
  4. Stir with a fork until well combined, then plunge the washcloth into the mixture.
  5. Wipe the stain with the mixture for about a minute before rinsing it with warm water.

While at it, use some of the remaining protein-packed eggs to make yourself a light breakfast to go with your coffee (or whatever is left of it).

Dos and don’ts for coffee stains

When dealing with coffee stains, there are several factors to consider, so read carefully!

Starting with:


Wash your cups with dish soap within 30 minutes of finishing your coffee.

The longer the coffee residue stays in the mug, the more likely it will discolor.

If you notice multiple cracks and stains on the inside of your cup, there’s no point in putting forth any effort or time to remove the stains.

Recycle it and replace it with a new favorite mug, but remember to take better care of it!


Avoid using abrasive materials when removing stains from your coffee mug.

Why is this so? Because this can further deteriorate the surface.

Instead, use the cleaning agents we suggested above and only dishwashing sponges and brushes.

How do you remove coffee stains from a stainless steel travel mug?

This is an excellent and incredibly simple method for removing coffee stains from your stainless steel travel mug:

  1. First, fill your stainless steel mug halfway with baking soda.
  2. Then, finish with a splash of white vinegar.

When using this mixture to de-stain your mug, never close the lid!

This is because the combination of baking soda and vinegar can create pressure within the mug, causing it to crack from the inside when the lid is closed.

After the reaction has died down, brush the mug’s walls with a brush and rinse it with water to give it a nice, crisp finish.

How can you remove coffee stains from ceramic cups?

Here’s our top recommendation for removing coffee stains from your precious ceramic cups:

  1. First, get some water and baking soda.
  2. Next, make a paste inside the mug and spread it with a brush all over the inside of the mug.
  3. Leave for a few minutes for it to work before rinsing with water.

So how do you remove coffee stains from plastic cups?

Plastic may appear to be an unusual material to have coffee stains on, but plastic cups are frequently the go-to for morning coffee with our on-the-go lifestyle. This method does not only eliminate coffee stains from plastic but also removes tea stains.

  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • Dish soap

Fill the plastic cup halfway with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and set it aside for about 30 minutes. Then, pour the brown-stained liquid into the kitchen sink and fill the cup with dish soap.

Clean up any remaining coffee residue with a sponge. Next, rinse the mug with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

How do you remove coffee stains from porcelain cups?

Porcelain is used to make many teacups. This recipe, fortunately, will also remove tea stains from cups. This method employs salt as a gentle abrasive and lemon juice as a mild bleaching agent to remove stubborn stains.

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • Dish soap

A word of caution: If you have minor cuts on your hands, you should use this recipe while wearing a glove. Salt, lemon juice, and a paper cut do not get along!

Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the base of the cup, followed by the table salt. To remove stains, spread the mixture around the inside of the mug with a damp cloth.

After rinsing the mug with warm water, clean it with small dish soap. Next, rinse the cup with cold water and pat dry with a towel.


With our incredibly helpful methods and tips for removing coffee stains from cups, you can overcome those nasty stains.

There is no doubt that these stains are difficult to remove, especially since soap and water are ineffective.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links. Remember to support us by purchasing through the Amazon/Walmart/Impact Radius links provided. Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.