does it really work? we find out!

Can you remove coffee stains in mugs with denture cleaners?


We’ve been noticing that our favorite mugs (We Are Happy to Serve You mugs, $12) were beginning to look a little worse for wear: they’ve become horribly tea stained! Then a colleague mentioned reading somewhere (Real Simple?) that you could use denture cleansers to remove tea and coffee stains from cups. Never ones to pass up clever how-to tip, we thought we’d give it a try. We picked up a box of Efferdent Plus (36 tablets for $3.50) and plopped one in. As you can see from the photos above, it worked! Fifteen minutes was all it took brighten up the mug. Chad wonders why this is better than soaking them in bleach? Could it be the minty freshness? Have you heard household tip that you’d like us test out? Let us know! — Angela M.

From our partners

Heh, actually, I mentioned the denture tablet thing in a comment on the post a few days ago about travel mugs. Maybe that’s where you saw the idea :)


Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work great for that, too.

Other solutions for tea (or coffee) stained ceramics that I’ve used succesfully include soaking with a baking soda mixture, and making a mild hydrogen peroxide solution to soak in the mug. With baking soda, it works best to soak over night and then wipe out, or to make a paste to scrub if the stains are especially stubborn. Peroxide (just a dash in some warm water) will soak many stains out overnight. (And they’re cheaper than denture tabs!)

Efferdent is better than bleach because it’s meant for use on things that go in your mouth. Bleach is toxic, so you need to make sure it’s completely gone before using the cups. For the same reason, be careful with Magic Erasers. Not such a worry with peroxide or Efferdent.

We usually use bleach around here, and I don’t think it’s very difficult to make sure that it’s completely gone before using the cups. I’d say that Efferdent’s main benefit is that it’s not as messy to use as bleach is… there’s little likelihood that you’ll spill it on yourself and ruin your clothes, which is always a possibility with bleach.

You shouldn’t be swallowing Efferdent, either, though it’s less toxic. :)


Put baking soda on your sponge when you are washing the mug and the stain will come right off.


hey that really works! I tried baking soda on my sponge and wiped my good tea cups and they came out nice and clean

thanks for the great tip!


if you write with a black sharpy on something and then want to get it of later like your bathroom tiles or kitchen tiles then wipe toothpaste on it and then rinse it


Denture cleansers also work to clean out the nasty yellow stuff below the water line in the toilet bowl. Just drop a couple in and let it sit for 15 min.


Cascade for dishwashers also gets rid of tea stains. I put it into my thermos with boiling water, and was amazed by what the Cascade was able to remove that regular dish soap left behind.