Have you ever come across tea stains? If so, you are aware of how frustrating it can be to get rid of them. You may even wonder how they come about. Well, it all comes down to a compound known as tannin.
It is present in tea but not coffee and is a brown dye. The funny thing is that this compound works as an agent in many dyes. You can thus imagine how strong it is.
That is why this beverage can stain your cups, teeth, carpets, and other such surfaces. The good news is that you can work on removing these stains in a few simple steps.
How to remove tea stains from carpet?
If you spill tea on your carpet by accident, you should act fast in cleaning up the mess. The longer you allow the tea to sit on the carpet, the harder it will be to remove the brown color.
Start by blotting as much of the tea as you can with a clean and dry cloth. You can then use cleaning solutions on the carpet before rinsing the affected area and drying the carpet.
Vinegar and baking soda
These ingredients come in handy when cleaning the home as they are effective and affordable. They work great as cleaning agents once you have blotted out as much tea as you can.
You will need equal parts of distilled white vinegar and cold water. In this case, you can use half a cup of each, based on how big an area you need to clean. You can adjust the amounts as needed as long as you stick to equal parts of these components.
A mistake that most people make when cleaning tea stains is they use hot water. You may think that the heat works in removing the stain. However, it has the opposite effect in that it sets it. Avoid this at all costs.
Next, use one part of vinegar with three parts of baking soda, thereby creating a paste. To do this, you will need a plastic or glass container in which you will add the baking soda.
Note that you should adjust the amounts based on the affected area. You may find that you do not need as much baking soda. Add the vinegar, which should be white and distilled. Continue stirring as you pour in the vinegar till you get a creamy paste.
The paste should be runny to some extent such that you can spread it over the affected area. However, it should not be so runny because it would end up sinking into the carpet. It would not be of much help to you. Feel free to adjust the ingredient amounts for you to get a creamy consistency.
You can now apply the mixture on the affected area using a spoon. As you do this, you should not rub the paste on the carpet.
Your goal should be to cover the area and let the paste sit for about two minutes.
You can then press onto the paste using a damp cloth with gentle pressure. Note that if you are excessive with your force, you can push the tea into the carpet fibers. It would become much harder to get rid of the stain.
Take a dry towel and use it in removing the extra paste after about five minutes. That allows the paste enough time to saturate the affected area.
You may be wondering what you were to do with the vinegar and cold water mixture you made in the first step. Well, it comes into play at this point. Pour some of it on the stain such that the vinegar reacts with the baking soda on the carpet.
Use a little at a time, as needed, to ensure that the reaction takes place. Get a clean cloth and dab the stain once the fizzing stops, in so doing soaking up the excess liquid.
Add more of the mixture and wait for the reaction to end before blotting the liquid again. If you do not get a fizz, you can add the paste before adding the mixture. That way, you create a pattern of fizzing and blotting.
Once the stain is no longer present, use cold water on the carpet before blotting away what is excess. Keep doing this until you get rid of any baking soda on the fibers. You can now place the carpet out to dry and vacuum it afterward.
Dish soap and vinegar also work as great ingredients for cleaning stained carpets.
How to remove tea stains from cups?
Regular tea drinkers are likely to have tea stains on their cups. Unfortunately, these do not come off even when you regularly wash the cups. The only way to get rid of them is by using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
Baking soda and water
At this point, it is safe to say that having baking soda can help you deal with many accidents in the house. First, you need to wet the inside of the affected cup using cold, not hot water.
You can do this by swishing some water inside the cup and pouring it out, leaving the cup wet. The problem with using hot water is that it can dissolve the baking soda, reducing its effectiveness.
Next, add about a quarter cup of baking soda to the cup before it dries. Sprinkle the powder in such that it touches most of the interior surface. If you find that the quarter cup amount is not enough, you can add more.
If you end up with too much, you can pour out what you do not need. The good thing is that it is a natural cleaner that will not affect anyone who drinks from the cup.
If you want even better results, you should add hydrogen peroxide to the cup. A teaspoon of this liquid will work great in creating a paste that you can spread in the inside of the cup.
Ensure that the baking soda covers all the surfaces. To do this, you can turn the cup on its side and work on rotating it. The powder will adhere to the water and create somewhat a paste in the cup.
Allow it to sit in the cup for about half an hour or more. During this time, you should not disturb it as it dries on the cup. Some of the powder may fall off, which should not be a problem.
However, if you notice that most of it has fallen off, you likely had too much water in the cup. You can thus rinse off the powder and start again using less water.
Waiting half an hour is recommendable. However, it is not necessary, and you can rinse off the powder even after five minutes. The problem with this is that the shorter you wait, the less desirable the effects will be.
Before rinsing off the powder, use a soft cloth to scrub it into the cup, covering all of the surface. That should get rid of any remaining and stubborn stains. The pressure should be firm but gentle such that you do not end up breaking the cup.
At this point, you can wash the cup as you usually would and leave it to dry. If the results are not as good as you expected, you can use this cleaning method again.
Vinegar and salt
Vinegar is another versatile ingredient that you should have in your house. When dealing with mug stains, you need two tablespoons of white vinegar.
As is the case with the baking soda, you will add this to the affected cup. Swish the vinegar around such that you cover all of the inside. Depending on the cup’s size, you may have some excess liquid which you should pour out.
Next, take half a teaspoon of salt and add it to the cup before tilting it and spreading the salt over the surface. The more you rotate the cup, the more surface you will cover, thus touching all the stained parts.
Another way to do this is to make a paste using vinegar and salt then spreading this inside the cup. If you do not have vinegar, you can use lemon juice as it will have a similar effect.
The mixture should sit in the cup for about five minutes, though you can wait for more if you would like. Note that vinegar is an acidic substance and will thus break down the stains in a short while.
Do not let the cup sit out long, though, as this could lead to the hardening of the salt. When this happens, you have to rinse off the salt before scrubbing it off.
Work on scrubbing the salt onto the cup using a sponge in a circular motion. Not only will this loosen the salt particles, but it also gets rid of the tea stains.
As you do this, mind your pressure and avoid damaging the cup. You can now wash the mug like you would have and rinse and dry it.
How to remove tea stains from fabric?
In this case, you have to be careful as the method chosen could remove the stain yet end up damaging the cloth. Start by reading the label to see what washing instructions are applicable.
For example, if the label states that the garment is subject to dry cleaning, it is the only option available. If stated otherwise, you can get crafty with the stain removal process.
First, you need to blot the tea stain using a clean cloth to remove what is in excess. Follow through with rinsing the stain with cold water as this gets rid of most of the color.
Blot the cloth again and keep doing this until you can no longer remove any more of the stain this way.
Secondly, place the cloth in cold water for at least half an hour. If the stain is big, you can let it soak for even longer than this, hours if need be. You can add detergent to the water or use bleach if the garment is white. This addition will speed up the stain removal process.
You can then wash the garment like you would have, using your usual cleaning products. Drying should follow. Note that you cannot use a dryer if the stain is present, as this will only set it. If the stain is still present, you can soak the cloth again and add more cleaning products.
Whitening tea-stained teeth
If you have stained your teeth with tea, there are many homemade remedies available. These include using mashed strawberries, activated charcoal, and hydrogen peroxide.
Before using these, you should consult your dentist and see if the stain is intrinsic or extrinsic. They can advise you accordingly.
Regardless of the nature of the stain, there is always a way out if you act fast. The sooner you get started on removing it, the more likely you are to succeed. Also, prevention is the best approach.