View Poll Results: What is the best way to clean tea stains from a plastic tumbler?
Salt solution, applied with cloth on wet surface. 0 0%
Baking soda solution, applied with cloth on wet surface. 0 0%
Vinegar (white or cider), fill tumbler and soak 2 16.67%
Bleach, laundry detergent, or other commercial chemical means (please explain) 5 41.67%
Nuke it from space, it's the only way to be sure. 1 8.33%
Or, there is a better solution which I will explain below 4 33.33%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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#1
Old 10-03-2014, 01:21 PM
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Best way to clean tea stains from plastic

Dear Heloise: I have been drinking hot black tea at work from an insulated plastic tumbler with lid (something like this but not exactly) and not surprisingly it is now stained from the tea. Searching online reveals three preferred methods for cleaning. Please share your expertise and experience. Please don't recommend another drinking cup, I like this one because it's bigger than any of the metal ones.

If it makes any difference, the plastic is clear.
#2
Old 10-03-2014, 01:23 PM
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Warm water, with or without dish soap, and a bit of bleach, like a spoonful. Soak. Rinse well.
#3
Old 10-03-2014, 02:10 PM
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Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
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I've found a good brush or scouring pad with a little soapy water works wonders. Given the shape of the tumbler, the brush would be better.
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#4
Old 10-03-2014, 03:01 PM
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Magic erasers - any brand will do - grocery stores have them. Dampen the sponge - wipe the cup - rinse the cup - use the cup - repeat as needed.
#5
Old 10-03-2014, 05:27 PM
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Location: San Francisco area
Posts: 16,182
Commercial pot cleaners like "Clean That Pot" or "Squeak-n-Clean" can work small miracles as they have the chemistry to handle the oils and tannins that make up the stain.
#6
Old 10-03-2014, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinary View Post
Magic erasers - any brand will do - grocery stores have them. Dampen the sponge - wipe the cup - rinse the cup - use the cup - repeat as needed.
Ooh, I already have one of those!
#7
Old 10-03-2014, 07:22 PM
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Why do the stains need to be eradicated? It's just tannins. Not dirty or unhygienic.
I did vote bleach or other commercial cleaner, though.
#8
Old 10-03-2014, 07:46 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinary View Post
Magic erasers - any brand will do - grocery stores have them. Dampen the sponge - wipe the cup - rinse the cup - use the cup - repeat as needed.
A magic eraser is basically very fine sandpaper. That might scratch the plastic tumbler more than the OP wants.
#9
Old 10-03-2014, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
I've found a good brush or scouring pad with a little soapy water works wonders. Given the shape of the tumbler, the brush would be better.
Yeah, this. I'm a big tea drinker and one of my favorite cups is clear plastic. I wouldn't use a scouring pad lest it scratched the surface.

However, you can also tell people what my husband does when they comment on his badly stained coffee cup: Its great, and if I run out of coffee all I have to do is fill it with hot water and scrape the sides...INSTANT COFFEE!
#10
Old 10-05-2014, 08:06 PM
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Location: Tysons Corner, VA, USA
Posts: 12,000
I checked bleach, etc., but I have found that Soft Scrub With Bleach is great for this kind of thing. It has a mild abrasive that won't scratch hard surfaces, although I'm not sure about plastic.
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Last edited by CookingWithGas; 10-05-2014 at 08:07 PM.
#11
Old 10-06-2014, 08:27 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 694
toothpaste

denture tablets
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