Whether you're a coffee drinker or a tea drinker, chances are you have a problem with stained mugs. I know I do.
The dishwasher doesn't get my mugs clean. A swipe of the dishrag doesn't do it, either. There's always a dark film, a shadow of tea left behind.
My husband says I'm crazy, but I swear I can taste the shadow. It's unpleasant and spoils my cup of tea. I can't drink out of a stained mug.
It made me wonder how my grandma keeps her coffee and tea cups white. They're way older than me, and there are never any stains in her mugs.
So I asked.
The answer turned out to be the simplest of things, and it works like a charm every single time.
The answer is a slurry of salt and vinegar.
Line up all your stained mugs on the counter. Actually, it doesn't matter whether you line them up or not. Just get them all out.
A slurry is a thick liquid. To make this slurry, you'll pour a couple of tablespoons of salt into the first mug and follow it with a splash of white vinegar. Use a little more vinegar than is required to wet the salt; you want a little extra liquid for the salt to swish around in.
Stick your hand in the mug (or use a dishrag, but it will soak up some of your mixture), and rub the salt around the inside. It takes less than 30 seconds for the mug to become clean and sparkling.
Swish the slurry around, getting the salt moving, and dump it into the next cup. Eventually, the vinegar will turn brown from all the gunk it's picking up, but it will continue to clean the cups.
If you run out of salt or vinegar before all your cups are clean, just add a little more. There are no exact measurements.
Are you wondering why it works?
Salt is a mild abrasive, so it scrubs the dirt off. At the same time, vinegar is an acid and eats away at any mineral deposits left by hard water. The combination of the two plus a bit of friction from your fingers makes your mugs sparkle with minimal effort.
When you're done, rinse the mugs to get rid of any excess salt, and make yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea to celebrate.
This tip comes from the my ebook, Coffee Filters to Cheese Graters: Creative Ways to Use Just About Everything. In it, you will find lists of 10 or more new uses for 44 everyday household items. Including everything from using your bundt pan to roast a chicken to making mini meat loaves in your muffin tin to aluminum foil to clean your grill grates, this book is the answer to questions you didn't even know you had!