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How to Clean Tea Stains on Bone China Mugs

How to Clean Tea Stains on Bone China Mugs

Fine Bone china is well known for its whiteness, strength and the glossy finish of its glazes.   The whiteness and strength are derived from the whiteness of the substrate.  The glossiness  is because the bone china glazes melt at the same temperature as the colours of the decals, meaning the colours fuse into the glaze producing a gorgeous glossy finish.   By comparison porcelain stood next to fine bone china will look less brilliant, however the beauty of bone china comes with a penalty; as they age the physically softer glazes used on bone china collect more micro scratches which makes them stain more easily.

There are some people who wash their cups immediately after finishing their cup of tea.  I am not like that.  I am really lazy and will leave mugs around the office full of tea that has gone cold.  Afterwards I rinse them lightly before making another cup, so my mugs get really badly stained.   For years we have been trying out all sorts of remedies to clean the tea stains that accumulate in our bone china mugs.  These remedies usually involved a lot of scrubbing and it has always been a bit of a chore to get the brilliance back.

Astonish Cup Clean

Recently a customer told me about a product called Astonish Cup Clean that restores the mugs to looking as good as new with almost no scrubbing.  The product can be bought online from Amazon 

This is how bad my mugs get after a few weeks of mistreatment around the office.

remove tea stain on bone china
Looking as good as new!

All you need to do is fill your mug with boiling water and add one teaspoon of the powder.  This is the same mug after being soaked for ten minutes in Astonish Cup Clean.  The brilliance of the colours and glazes are fully restored.

remove coffee stain on mugs

Other Ways to Clean Bone China

1. Denture tablets: Use in the same way as you use Astonish cup clean; fill the cup with hot water and add quarter of a denture tablet and leave. (Maybe it is the same chemical?)

2. Magic cleaners:  The brand we use is Doktor Power magic eraser.  You don’t need soap but you will need to rub the surfaces quite hard to remove the stains

3. Lemon juice:  Never tried this and I think it will not work for deeply engrained  stain:  Fill the mug with hot water and add a wedge of lime or lemon.  Leave to stand for an hour..  Some people scrub with salt and lemon rind

4.  Vinegar: Heat 1 cup of vinegar over medium heat until hot. Soak the mug in the hot vinegar for 4 hours or overnight.

5. Baking Soda: Make a thick paste of baking soda and a little bit of water. Apply this to the stains and then scrub with a scrub brush or sponge.  This may have to be done more than once

Wikihow – how to clean stains out of white mugs