How to Remove Stubborn Stains from Dishware. Learn how to get vegetable stains, coffee stains, and hard water stains out of dishes.

Having kids means there will be stains and messes frequently.  Over the years, I have learned quiet a few tricks on getting stains out of clothing and furniture.  One of the worst stains I have ever had to deal with it has been on dishes.  My husband has a tendency to reheat chili in random containers. Nothing like a red stained dish! So I had to learn just how to remove stubborn stains from dishware!

Just in time, our friend Sury has come up with a great post to teach us how to do it.  Whether it is coffee, vegetables, or even hard water, this post will show you how!


How to Remove Stubborn Stains from Dishware

There’s no escaping it; at some point, washing your dishes isn’t going to be enough to get out those stubborn stains. Particularly with dishes that you use on a daily basis or certain types of curries and deep colored vegetables, the stains can become fairly difficult to get out with regular washing.

While you may give up on older dishware that has been completely stained with food or hot beverages, there may be some utensils that you’re too fond of to leave with those ugly stains. Fortunately, we’ve got some very effective and natural methods to remove stains from plastic, ceramic, steel and glass dishware. So let’s get right to it and tell you how it’s done!

Removing Coffee/Tea Stains

These hot beverages can stain your ceramic pots, stainless steel utensils and plastic mugs pretty bad. While they may not be visible on dark-colored dishware, the stains are evident and unsightly on stainless steel and light-colored mugs. Fortunately, they can be removed without the use of bleach or harsh chemicals. With these natural solutions, you should have no trouble removing hot beverage stains from your dishware. Here are three different methods:

  • For stubborn stains, mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a basin and submerge the dishware in it. Leave it overnight and wash it with regular dish soap and warm water the next day. The vinegar will break or eat into the stains, making is much easier to scrub and wash after.
  • Pour lemon juice over the stains and allow it to collect at the bottom of the dish. Dip a damp scrubber into a plate of salt and begin scrubbing at the stains, tilting the dish so that the lemon juice soaks the area you are cleaning.
  • Add one tablespoon each of salt and sugar into the stained dish, dampen a clean cloth in warm-hot water and use the adhesiveness of these ingredients to remove stains. The advantage here is that they will not scratch surfaces, but are abrasive enough to remove stains.

Removing Colored Vegetable/Curry Stains

There are a couple of deep colored vegetables such as beetroot and tomatoes that leave orangey stains on your stainless steel, plastic and even ceramic dishware. The same happens with curries/gravies or meals with extra turmeric that are stored in plastic containers overnight or longer. These (colored veggies and curries) are the most difficult types of stains to take out when washing dishes by hand. Try out one of these effective, natural stain removal methods:

  • Submerge the dish in a solution of water and vinegar (equal parts) and leave it overnight. The next morning, rinse out the dish (most of the stains should have been dissolved by now) and sprinkle salt in it. Take a slightly abrasive cloth soaked in lemon juice and scrub the leftover stains away.
  • Cover the base with a generous amount of baking soda and pour some white vinegar over it to make a slightly runny paste. You’ll see the ingredients start to react by bubbling; leave it alone for about 10 minutes. Then, scrub the stained areas with the paste using a slightly abrasive scrubber to remove them. Repeat the process if needed.

Removing Hard Water Stains/Spots

Caroline from Simply Maid says “Hard water stains can be found in your bathrooms, on faucets and yes, even your dishes and glassware! They are not only disgusting to look at, but double your work because you need to re-wash clean items before you use them.”  Here’s the best way to remove hard water stains and make your dishware shine again:

  • Squeeze lemon juice over the hard water stains and allow it to drip down the sides and into the base. Leave it for a couple of minutes before using a sponge to wipe the stains away. You can wet the sponge, pressing it against the base of the dish or glass to soak up the juice before wiping the rest of the item.
  • Again, soaking dishware or items with hard water stains in equal parts of water and vinegar is a great way to remove these spots. Simply rinse and wash the items after they’ve soaked in the water and vinegar solution for a few hours.
  • You can avoid hard water stains on your dishware by adding a cup of vinegar to each dishwasher cycle.

Do you have any other types on how to get stubborn stains out of dishware?  Let us know in the comments below!

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