I removed stubborn brown mug stains in two minutes – here’s how

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Over long periods of time, mugs and tea cups can become stained with tea and coffee if they are not cleaned or soaked straight after use. The marks, which are caused by tannins, are the staining agents placed in several different beverages to give them their colour. If extremely stubborn, they may not even come off in the dishwasher, which is what had happened to a few of my favourite mugs.

Although mug stains are completely harmless for the body, they can leave mugs looking dirty which is less than ideal when you have guests round.

To try and remove the stains from my mugs, I decided to research a few different methods online. There were a few options I thought I could try but settled with using a dishwasher tablet as I already had them in the home.

To begin with, I put my kettle on to boil and placed a hard dishwasher tablet in the bottom of the mug, making sure to take off the plastic covering.

I used the Tesco All-In-One Dishwasher Tablets in the lemon scent which cost me £3.65 for 40. I also use these tablets when running my dishwasher, with each tablet working out just 9p.

Once the kettle had boiled, I poured the water into the stained mug, making sure to fill it up as much as possible to help target the stains near the top.

I left the mug for around two minutes before emptying the liquid. I thought I would have to scrub the mug to get rid of the remaining marks but to my surprise, the dishwasher tablet had done all the work for me.

Dishwasher tablets are designed to tackle hard water, remove stains and dissolve grease, so were the perfect product to use in my situation.

The hack required no scrubbing whatsoever, although I did decide to thoroughly clean the mug with hot soapy water before using it again.

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Using a dishwasher tablet rather than bleach, which is often suggested, is much safer for the environment as well as the home, especially if there are pets or children around.

As well as using dishwasher tablets, Mrs Hinch fans also recommend using denture tablets which help to dissolve stains.

Sharing advice on the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips forum, Sophie Jackson said: “Denture tablets are amazing. Don’t use bleach as it will damage the glaze and will stain worse.”

Sonia Alden wrote: “I use denture tablets and boiling water. Let it sit for a bit and then wash as normal. It is much safer than bleach and does the job perfectly.

“I prefer to buy the minty denture tablets as then I can smell if the tablet has lingered a bit and I need to wash the cup a bit more.”

Harriet Young commented: “My nan recommended using denture tablets as she uses them for her teeth but also around the house for literally everything. They work so well and are just so cheap.”

Joanne Westwood also recommended using denture tablets dissolved in hot water. The Mrs Hinch fan added: “Old trick I learned from my Nan many years ago. Cleans teaspoons up a treat too.”

When placed in a mug with hot water, the tablet will begin to fizz and work to remove the brown stains on the cup. It is advised to leave it soak for at least 10 minutes, and repeat if necessary. 

Denture tablets can be purchased from most supermarkets as well as shops such as Boots and Superdrug. 

Bosch recommends adding some rinse aid into the dishwasher if your appliance isn’t removing mug stains. The experts added: “Sometimes a cool wash just won’t do.

“By increasing the temperature of the wash cycle, stains and detergents dissolve better. This can lead to improved cleaning results as well as more hygienic washes.”

To target stains, such as those from tea or sauce, the experts recommended using an eco wash of 50C. Sometimes the spray arms of the dishwasher can also get blocked, which would interrupt the water flow, resulting in dirty cups, mugs and dishes.

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