How to clean coffee stains from stainless steel mugs

Using a stainless steel coffee cup is one of the best ways to reduce your single-use plastic consumption. Stainless steel is one of the best materials to use in a coffee cup due to how durable, long-lasting, and recyclable it is. 


They’re the perfect way to keep your hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for a long period of time but if you’re a fan of coffee and tea, you’ve probably noticed that your stainless steel coffee mug ends up looking a bit stained and grubby.  These stains, if left long enough, can start to affect how your drinks start to taste and can harbour bacteria so it’s best to get them cleaned off as soon as possible. 

However, we understand that they can be tough to get out. Read on for our top tips and tricks on how to clean coffee stains from stainless steel mugs. 



1. Vinegar and baking soda

The dynamic duo of elementary school science experiments and household cleaning, vinegar and baking soda, are some of the best ingredients in your arsenal.  Unscrew the lid from your reusable cup and rinse it out with water if you still have some coffee in there. 


Add in one to two teaspoons for baking soda and top it off with a generous amount of vinegar. Just like in your school science classes, the mixture will fizz, bubble, and expand so make sure you’re doing this in the sink to catch any overflows. Let the fizzing subside before putting the top on and giving your cup a good shake to help dislodge any stains and grime on the lid.  

 Use a sponge or brush to give your mug a good scrub before tipping out the mixture and giving it another rinse. The stains should be gone but if not simply rinse and repeat the process.

2. Dishwasher detergent and boiling water

If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you can do this method as you’re running errands as it needs to be left to soak. Put a regular dishwasher detergent tablet into your empty mug and top it off with boiling water.  


Wait for 30 minutes for the tablet to dissolve completely and loosen the stains before putting the lid back on and giving it a good shake. Scrub the whole thing with a bottle brush and rinse your cup out well with clean water.

3.Denture tablets

Probably not one you’d have thought to turn to, denture tablets are great for using to clean stains off your reusable cups. Their purpose is to lift stains caused by tobacco, food, and coffee from false teeth and the effervescent cleaning action works really well on your stainless steel cups too. 


Simply follow the instructions on the box, filling your cup with water and dropping a tablet inside to let it do it’s thing. After soaking for the recommended amount of time, use a bottle brush to scrub the cup and lid and rinse out well before using for more coffee.

4. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda

Hydrogen peroxide sounds a little scary but is actually a really useful staple to have around your home. You can use it for helping heal cuts and scrapes, soothe canker sores, and remove household stains. It’s a great cleaner for the inside of your stainless steel coffee mug too. 

 To get rid of tough coffee stains, add ½ a cup of hydrogen peroxide to your cup and add 2 tbs. of baking soda. Swish to coat the inside of your cup with the mixture and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Scrub thoroughly with a brush and wash as normal and your cup will be ready for more coffee or tea! 

At first, figuring out how to clean coffee stains can seem like a daunting task. But with a few of these tips and tricks and a couple of easy-to-find ingredients, your stainless steel coffee mug will look good as new in no time. If your reusable coffee cup is beyond the cleaning methods we’ve suggested, or is looking a little worse for wear, it might be time to simply replace it. Put it in the recycling and check out our range of stainless steel coffee cups instead. For more cleaning tips, don’t forget to check out our blogs on how to clean coffee smells from a thermos

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