How to Remove Tea Stains From Plastic Cups

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning rag

  • Baking soda


Rinse cups as soon as you are finished with them to prevent deep staining.

Tea is a hot beverage that over time can leave unsightly brown stains on your favorite plastic cups. Usual methods of cleaning, such as warm water and dish soap, are not enough to remove this tough stain, and scrubbing with steel wool may leave deep scratch marks. Chlorine bleach is effective, but will fade colors and degrade plastic over time. Baking soda is a safer, more environmental friendly substance that effectively removes most tea stains from plastic cups without any risk of damage.


Step 1

Dampen a cleaning rag with warm water and sprinkle 2 tbsp. of baking soda onto the rag.

Step 2

Wash the cup with the cloth, paying special attention to stained areas. Rinse well and wipe dry if all stains have been removed.

Step 3

Fill the cup with warm water and 2 tbsp. of baking soda if washing the cup was not effective.

Step 4

Allow the solution to remain in the cup for half an hour to an hour.


Step 5

Examine the cup and repeat the process if necessary.

Step 6

Rinse clean and wipe dry when all stains are gone.



Annita Lawson

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various Web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.