The Easiest Way to Clean Stains From a China Teapot

How to Clean Stains From China Teapots and Cups

The Spruce / Alex Dos Diaz

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 1 - 12 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Tea is a wonderful beverage that has been enjoyed for centuries. While it's been shown to have myriad health benefits, there is one thing that does not benefit from long-term exposure to tea: your teapot. 

If you favor a traditional teapot made from China and have a love of the ancient beverage, you will eventually notice that the stains build up. It is inevitable and it won't be long before you also notice how hard they are to remove.

While tea stains can be stubborn—perhaps even nearly impossible to remove—there is a simple and quick solution. With this ingenious trick, you can ensure that your China continues to look its best through many afternoon teas to come.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Soft towel


  • Tea-stained cups or teapot
  • Denture cleaning tablets
  • Hot water
  • Dish soap


The process of removing tea stains is not difficult, though it does require patience. You need to allow ample time for the denture cleaning tablets to do their work and clean the surface of the china. At a minimum, it will take an hour, though you'll find that stubborn tea stains may require an overnight soak. Be sure to leave plenty of time.

materials for cleaning stained china
The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa
  1. Rinse the Pot or Cup

    Take the chill out of the pot or cup by rinsing it with warm water.

    rinsing the tea cup with warm water

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

  2. Add Hot Water

    Use very hot or boiling water to fill the teapot or cup enough to cover the stained area. Be sure that the hot water goes into the teapot's spout so it can be cleaned as well.

    filling up stained chine with boiling water

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

  3. Add the Denture Tablet(s)

    For a teacup, cut a denture tablet into quarters and drop one piece into each cup. For a teapot, drop one or two denture tablets into the pot. Allow the tablets to work their cleaning magic for one hour.

    denture tablet and teacups

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

  4. Check the Stain

    Check to see if the stains are gone. For very stubborn stains, leave the water and tablets overnight to give the solution longer to work.

    letting the china sit to let the denture tablets do their work

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

  5. Wash the Pot or Cup

    When the stains have disappeared, wash the teapot in hot soapy water. Rinse thoroughly with warm water to ensure all the cleaner is removed.

    was the tea cups in warm soapy water

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

  6. Dry the Pot or Cup

    Wipe the teapot or cups dry with a soft, absorbent towel.

    drying the teacups

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

Tips to Keep Your China Cleaner Longer

  • If you have a very valuable or collectible teapot or cup, consult an expert before using any corrosive cleaner on the piece.
  • Carefully wipe and air-dry the teapot before you replace the lid and store it. It's often best to let it set out overnight to ensure all the water evaporates.
  • If you have a particularly stubborn stain, try wiping it lightly with a soft damp rag dipped in baking soda. Rinse and dry.