How to Clean a Coffee Mug Using 7 Easy Methods

Although drinking coffee can bring you an unimaginable amount of pleasure, it leaves behind ugly stains in the mug. Hands can easily wash away some colors while others can’t be cleaned even in a dishwasher. What’s worse is the discoloration and the coffee residue that builds up gradually.

White coffee mugs make these stains stand out even more. To preserve the color of your mugs, I have put together a list of methods to clean them. You don’t need to go the extra mile and shop for particular materials. Chances are, your pantry contains all the products required to clean the coffee mug.

All the items used in the following methods are widely known for their deep-action properties. No matter how hard the stain is, these methods will surely provide you with guaranteed results. Before you know it, your stained coffee mug will be good as new.

Method # 1: Use Soapy Water

When you instantly wash the coffee mug after each drink, the stains vanish without a challenge. Typically, I use soap along with a few drops of water for this purpose. Pour the dish soap onto the stains of your coffee mug and add a few drops of water. Let the mixture sit for a while, then use a sponge to form a lather. Once well-scrubbed, wash away the soap with clean water. You now have a clean coffee mug.

Method # 2: Scrub Using Baking Soda Paste

In times when soap and water don’t do the trick, you need to bring the abrasive property of baking soda into use. Now you need to sprinkle some baking soda depending on the size of the mug. However, the amount should be enough to coat the stains completely. Then add a little water to turn it into a paste. 

Use a damp sponge or a soft brush to scrub away the stain. Now rinse the mug with water to get rid of the mixture. Dry it with a towel, and you’ll get excellent results. If the stain is hard and not entirely lifted away, you’ll need to repeat the process.

Method # 3: Soak in Vinegar

Instead of turning to bleach or other chemicals, try vinegar which has similar properties. This is a straightforward process that requires minimum effort. All you have to do is add distilled white vinegar until the mug is half-filled. Then fill to the top with boiling water.

Now, wait for about 10 minutes and let the mixture sit and do its job. After that, dispose of the solution and scrub using dish soap and a sponge. Rinse it off with clean water, and you’ll be surprised by the results. 

Tip: For even better results, soak the mug overnight in one cup of heated vinegar.

Method # 4: Use Salt

While the previous methods were relatively easy, this one requires some muscle movement. Add a pinch of salt to the mug and put in some ice cubes. Cover the mug with a plastic sheet (or a lid if you have it), and shake it vigorously. Rinse it off and you are done.

A simpler method is to add a tablespoon of salt to a wet mug and scrub. You can either use a sponge or a lemon peel for this purpose. However, lemon peel would be more effective due to its bleaching properties. Rinse the mug with clean water. And your coffee stains will be history. 

Method # 5: Scrub With a Melamine Foam Sponge

This is the fastest way to clean the disgusting stains from your favorite coffee mug. A melamine foam sponge is similar to a magic eraser. You can use both for cleaning purposes. In contrast to the regular sponges, these are denser and have tiny mores.

First, wet the sponge, then use it to scrub your dry mug. Follow a circular motion and don’t put a lot of pressure. Thoroughly rinse your mug immediately afterward to avoid consuming the harmful chemicals. And there you have it, a perfectly clean coffee mug as if you just bought it.

Method # 6: Add Denture Tablets

This is one of the most effortless methods to get a cleaned coffee mug. All you need to do is fill your dearest mug to the top with hot or warm water. Drop a denture tablet carefully into the water. The tablet should start to fizz and dissolve in no time, indicating the action has started.

When the fizzing stops, all the stains will be gone. Pour the water out and wash the mug using soap and water. Rinse it clean, and you’ll have a spotless coffee mug ready to use.

Method # 7: Make a Bleach-Water Mixture (Optional)

If none of the above-mentioned methods work for you (which is very rare), you can try this option. Regardless of how complex the stain is, it won’t compete with the power of bleach – a highly reactive chemical. You will need to add one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of warm water. This ratio is highly unbalanced due to the intense properties of the substance.

Place the mug in the solution and let it soak. You should not remove the mug until all the stains dissolve or disappear. For faster results, you can scrub the mug using a sponge until the stains come off. It is advisable to increase the strength of bleach if the stains are that stubborn. 


Coffee stains on your mugs don’t have to be a problem. In this article, I showed you seven methods to clean the stains to enjoy a flavorful coffee in a spotless mug. You must select one depending on the hardness of the stain and the availability of materials. Usually, baking soda and vinegar do a fine job, but the stains become almost permanent if the mug has not been cleaned for an extended period. In that case, going for denture tablets or bleaching would be best.