Cleaning Tips for Sipware

Posted: 03/02/2017

Your sipware should be just as unique as you are (not to mention, just as unique as your favorite premium tea or herbal blend). From delicate porcelain to modern stoneware, The Republic of Tea offers a wide selection of teacups and mugs that are both functional and beautiful.

All of our sipware is durable and easy to clean, and proper care should afford you a lifetime of blissful sipping. However, tea’s natural dark, deep color can often lead to stains and rings left behind on mugs and cups. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to tackle these pesky stains.

Cleaning Ceramic & Porcelain Tea Cups

Regular tea drinkers may notice that their favorite tea cup or mug is looking a little more “well loved” than they would like. Over time, these delicate materials may become stained from heavy use, especially from black teas. Most of our ceramic and porcelain cups are dishwasher safe, but it’s a good idea to give your mugs a little extra TLC every now and then.

For a gentle fix, we recommend filling your mug with 1 tablespoon baking soda, ½ cup water, and ½ cup white distilled vinegar (the amounts can be changed as needed, just be sure to use equal parts water and vinegar). Allow this mixture to soak in your mug for 1-2 hours before scrubbing with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse out the mug with fresh warm water and admire how clean and refreshed it looks!

Avoid using abrasive steel sponges and scrubbers on your porcelain and ceramic cups, as well as heavy chemicals like bleach. These harsh materials may damage your mugs, especially those with intricate designs and special detailing.

You can also help prevent tea stains from forming in the first place by making sure to clean your mugs immediately after use. We know how tempting it may be to relax after enjoying a soothing cup of hot tea, but taking the time to properly rinse and clean your mug right away can keep it looking as good as new.

Cleaning Cast Iron Teapots

Proper care of a cast iron teapot will afford you a lifetime of use. After each use, allow teapot to cool completely before cleaning. Rinse and gently clean pot, cover and infuse thoroughly with warm water only. Do not use soaps or detergents. Wipe the outside dry with a clean cloth while the pot is still warm. Invert the pot to air dry before replacing infuser and lid. Avoid contact with salt and oils. Due to the iron content of the teapot, we recommend the use of a trivet to protect table linens and surfaces.

In the unlikely event of rust, the pot can still be used. Rust from the teapot is non-toxic and perfectly safe. In fact, many Japanese tea connoisseurs actually prefer the taste of tea from a rusted iron teapot!

If rust bothers you, clean the rusted area with a soft brush, then fill the pot with used tea leaves and boiling water. Allow to sit for 20 minutes, discard and rinse. Tannic acid in the tea reacts with the rust and forms a natural seal, helping to prevent the recurrence of rust.

There are many benefits to using a cast iron teapot since they are extremely durable and last for generations! Made of specially purified cast iron, they are a symbol of strength and unity, and also retain heat very well.

Please note, the iron teapot is not suitable for stovetop use. For stovetop use, a stainless steel tea kettle is best.

Cleaning Travel Mugs

Our travel mugs are perfect for taking your favorite blend on the go, as well as for keeping your hot teas hot and your cold teas cold. Because of the special materials used in these thermal mugs, they may or may not be dishwasher safe.

While most of our glass and stainless steel travel bottles are dishwasher safe, they may have separate parts that require hand washing. A good bottle brush is a great way to reach any tea stains before you pop it in the dishwasher. Here are care tips for some of our most popular travel mugs:

Note that while most of our double wall mugs are dishwasher safe, it can be a good idea to hand wash them without submerging them, to prevent water from entering the seams and becoming trapped between the two walls. Always check the care instructions for your specific travel mug before running it through the dishwasher or soaking it in water.

Which piece if sipware from The Republic of Tea is your favorite? What cleaning tips do you use to keep it sparkling clean and well cared for?

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