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Clean Coffee Cups with Baking Soda and Vinegar

April 13, 2024

Clean Coffee Cups with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Understanding Stained Coffee Cups

Have you ever noticed those unsightly stains on your coffee cups? They can be stubborn and challenging to remove, particularly if they’ve been accumulating over time. These stains are primarily caused by the tannins in coffee, which react with the proteins in milk or creamer, forming a yellowish-brown discoloration on the cup’s surface.

As a coffee enthusiast, I understand the frustration of having stained cups. Not only do they look unpleasant, but they can also affect the taste of your favorite beverage. Fortunately, there’s a simple and effective solution that utilizes two common household ingredients: baking soda and vinegar.

The Power of Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid) are a dynamic duo when it comes to cleaning. Their combination creates a chemical reaction that produces a mild abrasive and effervescent solution, perfect for tackling stubborn stains.

Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that helps scrub away built-up grime and discoloration. It’s also a natural deodorizer, making it an excellent choice for removing any lingering odors from your coffee cups.

Vinegar, on the other hand, is a powerful acidic agent that breaks down and dissolves tough stains. Its acidity helps cut through the tannins and proteins that cause those unsightly coffee cup stains.

Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to clean coffee cups with baking soda and vinegar:

Supplies Needed

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • A small bowl or container
  • A soft-bristled brush or sponge
  • Warm water

Step 1: Mix the Solution

In a small bowl or container, combine equal parts of baking soda and vinegar. For instance, you can start with 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of vinegar. The mixture will fizz and bubble – this is normal and indicates that the chemical reaction is taking place.

Step 2: Apply the Solution

Using a soft-bristled brush or sponge, apply the baking soda and vinegar solution to the stained areas of your coffee cups. Gently scrub the surface, allowing the abrasive action of the baking soda and the acidic properties of the vinegar to work their magic.

Step 3: Let it Sit

For stubborn stains, let the solution sit on the affected areas for 10-15 minutes. This will give the baking soda and vinegar more time to break down and dissolve the discoloration.

Step 4: Rinse and Repeat (if needed)

After letting the solution sit, rinse the cups thoroughly with warm water. If the stains persist, repeat the process, applying the baking soda and vinegar solution again and letting it sit for a longer period.

Step 5: Dry and Enjoy

Once the stains have been removed, dry your coffee cups with a clean cloth or let them air dry. You’ll be amazed at how clean and fresh they look, ready to be used for your next cup of coffee.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Here are a few additional tips and tricks to keep in mind when cleaning coffee cups with baking soda and vinegar:

  • Pre-soaking: For heavily stained cups, consider soaking them in a mixture of warm water and baking soda for 30 minutes to an hour before scrubbing. This can help loosen the stains and make them easier to remove.

  • Baking Soda Paste: If you prefer a thicker paste-like consistency, you can create a baking soda paste by mixing baking soda with just enough vinegar to form a spreadable paste. Apply this paste directly to the stained areas and let it sit before scrubbing.

  • Vinegar Rinse: After cleaning, you can give your coffee cups a final rinse with diluted vinegar (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) to help remove any lingering odors or residue.

  • Microwave Method: For a quick and convenient solution, you can also clean your coffee cups in the microwave. Simply mix baking soda and vinegar in the cup, let it fizz, and then microwave for 1-2 minutes. The heat will help loosen the stains, making them easier to wipe away.

Benefits of Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

Apart from their cleaning efficacy, using baking soda and vinegar to clean coffee cups offers several additional benefits:

  • Eco-Friendly: Both baking soda and vinegar are natural, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly alternatives to harsh chemical cleaners.

  • Cost-Effective: These ingredients are inexpensive and readily available, making this cleaning method budget-friendly.

  • Versatile: The baking soda and vinegar solution can be used to clean various household items beyond just coffee cups, such as pots, pans, and even kitchen surfaces.

  • No Residue: Unlike some commercial cleaners, baking soda and vinegar leave no harmful residues or strong odors behind, ensuring a fresh and clean drinking experience.

Preventative Measures

While cleaning stained coffee cups with baking soda and vinegar is effective, it’s also essential to take preventative measures to minimize future staining. Here are some tips:

  • Rinse Cups Promptly: Rinse your coffee cups immediately after use to prevent stains from setting in.

  • Use a Cleaning Brush: Keep a dedicated cleaning brush on hand to scrub the inside of your coffee cups regularly, preventing buildup.

  • Rotate Cups: If you have multiple coffee cups, rotate their use to avoid excessive staining on any one cup.

  • Avoid Leaving Coffee Dregs: Be sure to discard any leftover coffee dregs from your cups, as they can contribute to staining over time.

By following these preventative measures and utilizing the power of baking soda and vinegar, you can keep your coffee cups looking clean, fresh, and stain-free for years to come.


Cleaning coffee cups with baking soda and vinegar is a simple, effective, and eco-friendly solution to those unsightly stains. By harnessing the gentle abrasive power of baking soda and the acidic properties of vinegar, you can easily restore your cups to their pristine condition.

Give this method a try, and you’ll be amazed at how effortlessly it tackles even the most stubborn coffee stains. Not only will your cups look better, but your coffee-drinking experience will be enhanced, free from any lingering odors or discoloration.

Remember, a clean coffee cup is the first step towards enjoying a truly delightful cup of coffee. So why not start today and reclaim the beauty of your beloved cups with this tried-and-true cleaning technique? For professional cleaning services, consider visiting Adam Cleaning, a trusted company offering top-notch cleaning solutions.

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