How to remove tea stains from clothes


A cup of chai latte, black tea, or spicy tea first thing on a cold, chilly morning is very satisfying, but that can change very quickly if a spill happens. Tea stains are very tricky and hard to remove but, with the right ingredients, you can remove the tea stains from your clothes and leave them looking as good as new. We have tried everything but the following proved the best to do the job:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Borax
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Combination of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda

Use of Borax powder to remove fresh tea stains

Tea is acidic, so it’s good to clean the stain using an alkaline product like Borax. Borax works very well just make sure it’s not a stain that has stayed for long and set in. Immediately after the spill happens, soak your stained clothing in warm water with Borax.

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of Borax
  • A gallon of hot water

Follow the procedure:

  1. Run the outfit through water first as you try to remove the stain by scrubbing with your hands
  2. Mix the Borax and hot water to make a solution.
  3. Then soak the outfit overnight.
  4. Alternatively you can make a thick paste of Borax and water and apply it on the stained area, leaving it for a few hours.
  5. In the morning or after a few hours, rinse out the solution and launder as you normally would.

Borax only works for fresh tea stains so if the stain is old, soak some glycerin on the stain first and then follow the procedure above.

Hydrogen peroxide removes tea stains on colored clothing

Hydrogen peroxide is water mixed with molecules of oxygen and is usually used for first aid purposes at home, but it also has amazing stain removal benefits. It’s considered as a color-safe bleach and will work effectively on tea stains.

Prefer videos? Check out the How2RemoveStains channel.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 cup of water
  • A toothbrush

Follow the procedure:

  1. Mix the hydrogen peroxide with water in the measurements given.
  2. Dip the tea-stained area of the cloth in the hydrogen peroxide solution.
  3. Take it out and give a gentle scrub using a toothbrush then return it to the solution and let it soak for a few hours.
  4. After a few hours, rinse the hydrogen peroxide solution off.
  5. Then wash your cloth in the washing machine as you normally would.

Your garment will come out stain-free and looking as good as new.

Using white vinegar and liquid dish soap

Distilled white vinegar is a versatile cleaning product that has acetic acid and is excellent for removing tea stains.

You will need the following:

  • 3 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 4 teaspoons liquid dish soap
  • A dry microfiber cloth
  • A toothbrush

Follow the procedure:

  1. Mix the water and vinegar to form a solution.
  2. Soak the tea-stained area in the vinegar solution and let it soak for a few minutes.
  3. Take the toothbrush and start working on the stain, scrub until the stain comes completely off.
  4. Rinse with clean cold water to remove the soapy solution.
  5. Wash in the washing machine as you would normally.

Hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda paste

The combination of these three ingredients makes the paste very effective, much more effective than bleach. The three ingredients are natural, inexpensive, and safe to use.

You’ll need:

  • ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 cups of white distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • A soft brush

Follow the procedure:

  1. Mix the three ingredients to form a thick runny paste.
  2. Apply the paste on the tea-stains and begin to scrub, at this point you do not have to scrub until the stain comes off just to ensure the solution sets on the stain well.
  3. Next, leave the paste to work on the stains for a few minutes or hours.
  4. After the said few minutes, scrub again this time making sure all the stains disappear.
  5. Rinse with clean water.
  6. Then put in the washing machine to launder as you normally would.

Pointers when handling tea stains

  • A tea stain is acidic, so it is advisable to use alkaline solutions to get rid of the stain.
  • Work on tea stains when they are fresh, because of their acidic nature, the stains tend to be corrosive and can damage your clothing.
  • Avoid using soap on the stain as soap can make the stain set in more, making it more difficult to remove.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use any of these methods to get rid of coffee stains on clothing?

Yes, the methods above are suitable to remove coffee stains from clothing as well. Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda have long been used as cleaning and stain removal agents to fight coffee stains.

Can you use color-safe bleach to get rid of tea stains on clothes?

No, the work of bleach is to whiten and disinfect, but not remove stains. For stain removal, other household products do the job better.

Bleach also has many toxic chemicals and is not very safe to use. The more we use these bleaching agents, the more harm we expose to our environment.

What is the best way of getting rid of tea stains on carpet and upholstery?

To remove tea stains from a carpet or upholstery:

  1. First, make sure to work on the stain as soon as the spill happens. Take a dry microfiber cloth and dab the excess liquid away.
  2. Then soak the stained area with the solution of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda and leave for a few minutes.
  3. Take a brush and scrub until the stain comes off.
  4. Take a wet microfiber cloth, squeeze excess water then rinse the stained area.
  5. You can let it air dry or blow dry the area for fast results and to prevent water stains and dampness.

Wrapping up

Removing stains on laundry is a task we all have to do now and then as we cannot completely avoid stains. Tea is a favorite of many for breakfast and can lead to frequent stains. Bleaching agents might seem the best for doing the job, but bleach only whitens the tea-stain and does not remove it.

Fortunately, there are effective alternatives that are harmless and work perfectly. Next time tea spills on your favorite outfit, do not be so quick to write the outfit off. Try the cleaning ingredients, and let us know which one works best for you! Good luck!

How to remove tea stains from clothes
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