Clean Cups in a Jiffy: How to Remove Coffee Stains

coffee cup close up

Coffee stains on cups can be unsightly and difficult to remove. However, with a few basic materials and a bit of patience, you can easily remove coffee stains from your cups.

In this article, we will be discussing how to effectively remove coffee stains from cups using a combination of vinegar and baking soda.

Let’s begin.

What You’ll Need:

  • Bowl
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Sponge or brush
  • Dish soap


  1. In a bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to create a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the stains on the cup and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Scrub the stains using a sponge or brush and circular motions.
  4. Rinse the cup under running water to remove any remaining paste.
  5. If the stains are still visible, use a small amount of dish soap to clean the cup, then rinse it again to remove the soap.
  6. Dry the cup with a clean towel or let it air dry.


  • If the stains are particularly stubborn, you may need to repeat steps 3-6 several times before the stains are completely removed.
  • Be sure to avoid using abrasive materials like steel wool or scouring pads, as these can scratch the surface of the cup.

What Causes Coffee to Stain Cups?

Coffee stains on cups are caused by tannins, which are naturally occurring compounds found in coffee. Tannins are responsible for the bitter taste of coffee, and they can also leave stains on surfaces when they come into contact with them. 

The tannins in coffee react with the surface of the cup, staining it and making it difficult to remove. Additionally, the heat of the coffee can cause the stains to set, making them even more difficult to remove.

Another factor that can contribute to coffee stains on cups is the acidity level of the coffee. Acids in the coffee can react with the surface of the cup, causing discoloration and stains. 

Additionally, certain types of cups, such as ceramic or porcelain, may be more prone to staining than others, such as stainless steel or glass.

It’s worth mentioning that the longer the coffee is left on the cup without being cleaned, the more difficult it will be to remove the stains. That’s why it’s recommended to clean the cup as soon as possible after finishing your coffee and to use cups that are less prone to staining.

Why Baking Soda and Vinegar Clean Coffee Stains

Baking soda and vinegar are two common household items that can be used to remove coffee stains from cups. The combination of baking soda and vinegar creates a powerful cleaning agent that can effectively remove coffee stains.

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can scrub away stains and dirt. It also has a slightly alkaline pH, which helps to neutralize the acidity of the coffee stains. The abrasive properties of baking soda make it an effective scrubber for removing tough stains from the cup.

Vinegar, on the other hand, is acidic in nature which helps to break down the stains caused by the acidity of the coffee. It also helps to dissolve any buildup of minerals or other substances that may have accumulated on the cup. 

Together, baking soda and vinegar work to lift, remove and neutralize coffee stains. The abrasive action of the baking soda helps to scrub away the stains, while the acidity of the vinegar helps to break down and dissolve the stains. 

Additionally, the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar helps to lift away the stains, making it easier to clean the cup.

It’s worth noting that this method should be tested on a small inconspicuous area of the cup first to ensure it does not harm the surface.


Removing coffee stains from cups may seem daunting, but with the right technique and materials, it’s a breeze. 

Remember to avoid abrasive materials, be patient and persistent with the process and you will get your cups looking as good as new in no time.

If you’re looking for more kitchen cleaning tips, see 10 Surprising Natural Cleaning Products You Can Find in Your Kitchen.

Thanks for reading.

-Baking Soda Guy

Photo by mohamed abdelghaffar from Pexels