How can I remove tea stains on clothes? My daughter started working at a local coffee house and I’m trying to keep her work uniform looking nice.
Cindy Smith, Washington, MD
Those dark brown tea stains on clothes can look intimidating and really spoil the look of your clothing. But, there’s no need to worry as long as you have white distilled vinegar at home. There are a couple of steps when using vinegar for removing tea stains from clothes.
These same remedies also work well for other types of stains, too. For example, use vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or rubbing alcohol as a way to get mildew stains out of clothes before washing in the machine.
First, saturate the stain with vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then rub at the spot and rinse in cold water. If the stain doesn’t release, pour salt onto it and massage with your fingers. If that’s still not successful, soak it in a mixture of three and a quarter cups of vinegar with one cup of water.
Later, wash the clothing as usual in the machine. Check the spot before you put it in the dryer. You might need to soak it with vinegar again.
While vinegar is ideal for tea stains, you may also find that it will get tie dye out of clothes that you accidentally spilled dye on while making your creation. Follow the same steps above. Repeat if needed for heavy or extensive staining.
You may have noticed that tea also discolors porcelain mugs and cups. But that’s easy to take care of when you have baking soda. Just as described on our clean a coffee maker tips, wet the marks with water, then apply baking soda and let it work for half an hour. Once you wipe with a sponge, the stain should be gone. The same trick with baking soda works on plastic cups, too.
Should you ever spill tea on the carpet or upholstery, you can remove it with vinegar and dishwashing soap. Mix one tablespoon each of white distilled vinegar and liquid detergent in two cups of water.
Use that to blot the stain with a clean cloth. Once the mark is gone, use a clean white cloth soaked in cold water to rinse. Then pat the area dry with a towel.
For more information on how to get rid of tea stains, see our tea stains removal tips here.
I hope these directions help you keep those work uniforms looking their best.