How To Properly Remove Tea Stains From Clothes
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How To Properly Remove Tea Stains From Clothes

Tea Can Cause Stains
Tea can cause stains that might be inevitable for tea lovers.

This article is all about how to remove tea stains from clothes, so keep scrolling if you are a fan of a breakfast cuppa. I know tea is fantastic because it can brighten your mood in the morning and calm your mind in the evening. What’s more, it smells and tastes so wonderful.

But tea spills on your clothes will be a nightmare. Due to chemical compounds called tannin, tea can leave brown marks on fabric, requiring some proper cleaning methods to tackle.

Below are several tried-and-true stain removal options you can refer to when you’re in this type of tea spill situation.

Let’s discover now!

Clever Ways To Get Rid Of Tea Stains From White Clothing

Time is of the essence when working with new tea spills. Choose one of my following washing methods to start right now. They’re all perfect for white items.

Denture Tablets

Using denture tablets seems to be more effective than you imagine. It does not only help you eradicate unpleasant stains and odors from the underarm-shirt areas, but also tackle the serious tea stains on your clothes.

What You’ll Need

  • Denture
  • Warm water
  • A clean rag

Step 1: Create A Cleaning Solution

Let’s mix ½ cup of warm water with 2 denture tablets. This will quickly form a wonderful cleaning concoction for tea stains.

Step 2: Apply The Mixture And Wash As Instructed

Gently blot the tea mark with this cleaning solution using a clean rag. Leave it there for 1 hour, then wash according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Use Denture Tablets To Lift Tea Stains
You can use denture tablets to lift tea stains from fabric.

Lemon Juice

The citric acid in lemon juice helps bleach your items successfully when applying it to the stain. The ability of this substance is so impressive. It is one of the essential ingredients helping you restore the original status of your clothes when having food stains. Moreover, sunlight is another element to enhance the bleaching effect.

Lemon Juice Is Excellent
Lemon juice is excellent for eliminating many types of stains, including tea stains.

What You’ll Need

  • Lemon juice

Step 1: Apply Lemon Juice

Pour some lemon juice onto the stain. Try to get the entire stain wet, leaving no part unsoaked in lemon juice.

Step 2: Bring Your Item Out

Lay your item flat under the sunlight. As I mentioned earlier, sunlight can support the bleaching process.

Step 3: Keep The Tea Spot Moist

To get the best result, keep adding lemon juice for up to 2 days if required.

Step 4: Wash As Usual

Toss your items in the washing machine and launder as you normally do.

Hot Water

If your garments allow you to wash them with hot water, you can instantly opt for this simple method. Be cautious when working with piping hot water.

What You’ll Need

  • Hot water
  • A rubber band
  • A bowl
  • A tea kettle

Step 1: Keep The Stained Area In A Place And Boil Water

Stretch the stained area of your item over a large bowl and fix it with a rubber band. Fill a tea kettle with water and bring it to a boil.

Step 3: Pour Water To The Brown Spot

Pour boiling water directly into the stain from 2 feet above. This way, you can push the brown ring out of the fabric.

Step 4: Wash With The Hottest Wash Cycle

Wash as usual with the hottest water temperature your garments can handle.

Hot Water Useful In Eliminating Tea
Hot water can be useful in eliminating tea marks on your garments.

Baking Soda With Boiling Water

Baking soda is often on the list of home remedies because it can act as both cleanser and deodorizer for different household stains.

Besides tea stains, I often use them to easily eliminate cooking and vegetable oil marks on your clothing items. However, do not attempt to use it on delicate fabrics.

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • A bucket

Step 1: Prepare Boiling Water

Fill half a bucket with boiling water. Submerge your item into the water for 5-10 minutes.

Step 2: Apply Baking Soda To The Stain

Take it out from the bucket and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the brown area. Rub it gently into the fabric to loosen the tea spill. Allow the baking soda to work for up to an hour.

Step 3: Rinse With Water

Rinse thoroughly with a lot of water to remove any remaining powder.

Boiling Water Loosen The Tea Stain
Boiling water can help loosen the tea stain.

Chlorine Bleach

If you’re dealing with white cotton or color-fast shirts, try chlorine bleach, for example, Clorox, to get the expected result.

What You’ll Need

  • Chlorine bleach (Clorox)
  • Water
  • A bucket

Step 1: Soak Your Stained Clothes

Mix ½ cup of Clorox bleach with 5 cups of water in a bucket. Use a spoon to stir gently to blend the bleaching solution. Submerge your items into the bucket.

Step 2: Check The Stain Frequently And Wash As Usual

Take it out from the bucket every 15-30 minutes and check the stain to see if it’s still visible and there’s any color fading. Soak more if necessary.

Chlorine Bleach Performs Well
Chlorine bleach performs well when coping with tea spots on white cotton garments.

Citric Acid

Citric acid can be used in a place of vinegar if you don’t have any of it in your house.

What You’ll Need

  • 10% citric acid solution

Step 1: Apply Citric Acid To The Stained Area

Dab a good amount of 10% citric acid solution to the need-to-treat spot on your clothes.

Step 2: Rub To Loosen The Stain

Rub gently to lift the tea mark from the fabric.

Citric Acid Extracted From Citrus Fruits
Citric acid can be extracted from citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and more.

Club Soda

Not only tastes good, but club soda can also be added to various cleaning formulas. Here’s how to use this bubbling water to remove tea stains.

What You’ll Need

  • Cool water
  • Club soda
  • A clean cloth

Step 1: Blot Up The Stain

Use an absorbent and soft cloth to absorb as much excess tea as possible. This step is essential because it makes the cleaning process quicker and easier.

Step 2: Dab Cool Water To The Stain And Saturate It With Club Soda

Dampen the tea mark with another clean cloth until there’s no sight of tea on the cloth. Pour a generous amount of club soda into the brown area to dissolve it.

Step 4: Rinse And Wash

Rinse your items, especially the tea spot, well with water, then toss in the washing machine, and wash as instructed.

Club Soda Is Cleaning Ingredient
Club soda is a familiar and versatile cleaning ingredient.

Vinegar And Club Soda

This bubbling water can come in handy all around the home. It’s said to be a terrific stain remover (1).

What You’ll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Club soda

Step 1: Soak Your Garment

Dip the stained area into ½ cup of vinegar.

Step 2: Rinse With Club Soda

Rinse thoroughly with ½ cup of soda. This way, club soda can saturate the tea mark and lift it.

Step 3: Wash As Normal

Put the garment in the washing machine and choose the setting as recommended on the care label.

Vinegar And Club Soda
Club soda can remove messy spots on your clothes caused by various foods and drinks.

Effective Ways To Eliminate Tea Residues From Colored Items

If you find tea spots on colored items, you will find them a bit tricky to remove without affecting the color. Don’t worry; it’s still possible to save your garments by applying one of the following cleaning options.


Glycerin is a by-product of the soap-making process and is known as a home use solvent that can help get rid of tea stains from light or colored clothes with durable fabric.

What You’ll Need

  • Glycerin
  • Borax
  • Hot water
  • A large bowl

Step 1: Rub Glycerin On The Tea Stain

Apply glycerin to both sides of the stain and allow it to sit for up to 10 hours.

Step 2: Use Borax To Cover The Affected Area

Stretch the impacted area over a large bowl, sprinkle a generous amount of borax to cover the stain.

Step 3: Flush The Spot With Boiled Water

Pour boiled water directly to the brown spot, starting from the edge towards the center of the stain. Repeat if need

Step 4: Wash The Garment

Let it stand for an extra half an hour and wash as per the care label.

Glycerin Is A Natural Solvent
Glycerin is a natural solvent that is good for cleaning stains.


Salt is both an affordable and powerful cleaning option. You could feel free to store it in your house because sooner or later, you will need it.

What You’ll Need

  • Cool water
  • Salt
  • A clean white cloth

Step 1: Dampen A Cloth And Sprinkle Salt On It

You might want to dip the cloth in water to wet it, then sprinkle a generous amount of salt on the damp cloth.

Step 2: Sponge The Affected Area

Now it’s time to gently mop the stain until the tea mark is lifted as much as possible. Be patient, and you can soon get the result you want.

Step 3: Wash As Usual

Try to keep the stain wet until you can toss your garments into the washing machine.

Salt Helps Clean As Well
Besides cooking, salt helps clean as well.

Easy Methods To Clean Tea Spots From All Types Of Clothes

To my surprise, there are various cleaning methods that appear helpful in removing tea stains from all types of your clothes. The best part? They’re mostly made from easy-to-find ingredients.


Vinegar is my favorite ingredient of various cleaning home remedies. You might have been familiar with using it to easily wipe out tide pod streaks on garments. In a nutshell, it’s natural, skin-friendly, and highly effective.

Vinegar Contains Acetic Acid
Vinegar contains acetic acid, which can combat tea stains effectively.

What You’ll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Water

Step 1: Fill The Spray Bottle With Vinegar And Water And Let It Work

Pour ½ cup of water and ½ cup of vinegar into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray a generous amount of the cleaning solution on the tea stain. Let the solution stay for 5-7 minutes so that it can take effect.

Step 2: Repeat Step 1 And Soak The Fabric In Water

Apply the mixture again and submerge your items, especially the stained area, in water. This way, you can see the tea mark gradually lift from the fabric.

No need to worry about tea rings on clothes anymore. Here’s how!

Watch this video: Remove tea stains from clothes

Warm Water For Small Stains

Fresh tea stains can be removed quite easily just with warm water. Believe it or not, these methods really work. Try and tell me your thoughts.

Warm Water For Small Stains
Let’s start with small tea stains and leave several drops of detergent on the stains.

What You’ll Need

  • Warm water
  • A sink
  • Laundry detergent

Step 1: Secure The Stained Fabric Over The Sink

At this first step, it’s recommended that you stretch the fabric over a sink and find a way to keep it tight so that your hands are free.

Step 2: Apply Laundry

Fill the kettle with a fair amount of water and turn on the heat until it becomes warm, not piping hot.

Step 3: Pour Warm Water To The Need-to-treat Area

Pour warm water directly into the stain so that water can run through the fabric. Keep flushing the stain with the warm flowing water in 15 seconds.

Step 4: Apply Laundry Detergent And Rub The Tea Ring

Dab a few drops of laundry detergent to both sides of the stain. Rub the brown mark until it starts fading. Keep rubbing for extra cleaning effect, then rinse thoroughly with water.

Warm Water For Larger Stains

If the tea stain on your clothes appears larger than the sink, you might refer to the following method:

What You’ll Need

  • Warm water
  • A sink
  • Laundry detergent

Step 1: Soak The Stained Fabric

Dip your item in a sink filled with warm water and laundry detergent. The amount of laundry detergent can be decided based on the instructions on the label. Let the garment sit for several hours.

Step 2: Wash As Usual

Launder your clothing items as you normally do with warm water.

You Soak Your Stained Clothes
You can soak your stained clothes in the soapy solution for better cleaning results.

Mild Detergent

A mild detergent can break down the tea streak and save your items from getting stained permanently.

Laundry Soap Is Also Convenient
Laundry soap is also convenient for applying to small stains.

What You’ll Need

  • Cold water
  • Water
  • A bucket
  • Liquid dish soap or laundry soap

Step 1: Flush With Cold Water

First, turn the garment inside out, then flush the fabric under cold running water. This might help push some of the tea out of the material properly.

Step 2: Dab Detergent To The Stain And Scrub

Squirt a few drops of liquid dishwashing or laundry soap to the stain. Scrub it with an old toothbrush to lift the tea sticking to the surface of the garment.

Step 3: Rinse With Cold Water

Keep scrubbing for at least 1 minute and rinse the garment under cold water from both sides of your item.

Let’s see how liquid laundry detergent lifts tea marks in an impressive way!

Watch this video: How to Remove Tea


You might know about borax as the main ingredient for making slime (2). But this powdery white mineral can also be used to clean tea stains.

Borax Is Great Purpose Cleaner
Borax is a great all-purpose cleaner around your house.

What You’ll Need

  • Borax
  • Water
  • Enzyme detergent

Step 1: Make A Paste Of Water And Borax And Allow It To Sit

Create a paste of 3 parts of borax and 1 part of water. Smear this paste to the stain. Let it stand for 30 minutes, which is enough for the mixture to work on the tea mark.

Step 2: Scrape Away The Dried Paste And Wash With Enzyme Detergent

Brush the paste away and repeat several times until the stain fades. Launder as normal with enzyme detergent.

Besides removing stains, borax also comes with various advantages.

Watch this video: Borax for Cleaning

Enzyme Detergent

Enzyme cleaners are made to break down organic debris effectively, so no wonder when they can be used for brown tea marks on your items.

What You’ll Need

  • Enzyme detergent
  • A bucket of cold water
  • A bucket of warm water

Step 1: Apply Detergent, Soak In Cold Water, And Wash As Usual

Pour enzyme detergent over the tea stain, then soak your item into a bucket of cold water for more than half an hour. Launder as you normally do.

Step 3: Soak In Warm Water

If the stain is still noticeable, dab it with enzyme detergent one more time and submerge your clothes into a bucket of warm water in 15 minutes.

Step 4: Wash Again

Rinse thoroughly with water and launder as usual

Baking Soda And Cool Water

You can use a baking soda and water solution to assist the stain in loosening up. Follow these steps to achieve the expected outcome:

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Cold water

Step 1: Create A Stain Removal Paste

Mix baking soda with a couple of drops of water to form a thick paste and smear it all over the stain. Or you can sprinkle this powder directly into the wet tea ring.

Step 2: Rinse With Cold Water

Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing the stain under cold water, or you can wait overnight and scrape the powder off.

Step 3: Wash As Normal

If the stain has gone, wash as usual. If not, you can try another option.

Baking Soda Is A Must Have Ingredient
Baking soda is a must-have ingredient for home remedies.

Stain Remover

Commercial stain removal products are easily found in supermarkets and designed to break down and lift out even hard-to-remove stains. Here’s how you can remove tea spills using a stain remover.

What You’ll Need

  • Stain remover of your choice
  • A bucket of water

Step 1: Dip Your Items In The Bucket

Let’s start by boiling half a bucket with water. Add 2 tablespoons of stain remover into the bucket and submerge your clothes in this solution.

Step 2: Allow It To Sit And Wash As Usual

Leave your items there for about 5-10 minutes. Toss your garments into the washing machine and wash as you normally do.

Soak Tea Spots In Water
Stain remover performs well in getting rid of tea spots, and don’t forget to soak them in water for a while.

How To Treat Tea Stains Based On Materials

Each type of material has a different property that impacts how you clean it. Therefore, categorizing fabrics into different groups with the same durability and quality can be helpful.

For Delicate Materials Like Silk, Wool, And Lace

Tea stains on silk, wool, and lace can be removed easily with vinegar and mild detergent. Both of them are mild enough not to harm these delicate materials, so feel free to follow the below steps:

What You’ll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • A bucket
  • Mild detergent
  • An old toothbrush
  • A dry, absorbent towel

Step 1: Spray And Blot The Stain

Mix water and 1 teaspoon of vinegar in a spray bottle. Close the lid tightly and shake well. Spritz the cleaning concoction all over the tea mark and gently blot the fabric to lift the stain.

Step 2: Soak The Garment In The Bucket

Stir 1 tablespoon of mild detergent in a bucket of warm water. Put the stained garment in the mixture for about 10 minutes. Don’t leave it there for more than recommended time, especially for silk.

Step 3: Scrub The Affected Area And Rinse

Start scrubbing the affected area gently with a toothbrush in the cleaning solution. Take your item out and rinse well under running water to finally remove the tea stain.

Step 4: Dry With A Towel

Place the garment on a dry and absorbent towel and roll the towel with your item inside. This way, you can get excess water out of the fabric quickly, then lay it flat and air-dry in a well-ventilated area.

Lace Is Beautiful
Lace is beautiful and requires proper care to last long.

For Cotton, Polyester and Chiffon Fabrics

With these fabrics, you might need to use a different cleaning combination to tackle tea stains effectively. Here’s how:

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • A bucket
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Soft-bristled brush

Step 1: Rub The Stain With Baking Soda

Wet the stained spot with warm water. Cover the brown area with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and gently work it into the garment. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare A Bucket Of Warm Water And Detergent

Prepare a mixture of warm water and 1 tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent in a bucket. You can refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your detergent product to know how to use it properly.

Step 3: Soak The Items, Scrub, Wring, And Hang It Dry

Dip your clothing into the mixture for about 10 minutes. Hold your items in the soapy solution and scrub the stained area to lift tea marks from the fabric with a soft-bristled brush.

Take your garment out from the bucket and rinse thoroughly until the water is clean. Wring to remove water and hang it dry in the shade.

Chiffon Is A Sheer
Chiffon is a sheer and extremely lightweight fabric that is popularly used to make women’s dresses.

Useful Tips When Working With Tea Stains

Below are some universal tips you should keep in mind to effectively save your clothes from tea spills.

  • Time is the number 1 factor when dealing with tea stains. After noticing a spill, find a handy cleaning method to deal with it.
  • For fresh tannin-based stains, the best cleaning trick is to flush them with cold water first.
  • A convenient and straightforward way you can use it is to rub the stain with waterless hand sanitizer, then rinse thoroughly with a lot of cold water.
  • If your clothes are washable, it’s good news because they will be easier and simpler to work with than dry-clean-only items.
  • Consult the care label so that you don’t damage the fabric with the wrong cleaning option.
  • Do a fabric test to ensure the cleaning option you choose doesn’t harm your items.
  • You might need to move from one solution to another for stubborn stains until you find a suitable product. In this case, rinse your garment well with water to remove all remaining solutions before using the next one.
  • Stay away from ammonia, and heat drying because these can easily set the stain permanently on your clothes.


Let’s find out more about cleaning tea stains through some popularly-asked questions. Comment your own problems if you have them so that you and I can discuss more.

Are Tea Stains Permanent?

As I said before, wrong cleaning solutions and heat drying can permanently set the tea stain on your items. However, if you know how to tackle them properly, they can be removed easily.

How Do You Eliminate Dried Tea Marks From Your Garments?

It’s suggested that you combine 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, water, and powdered laundry detergent to form a paste.

Smear the paste all over the stain and use a soft-bristled brush to work the cleaning solution deep into the affected spot gently. For delicate garments, use a soft cloth or your fingers instead. Next, rinse well and repeat if needed.

How Do You Remove Tea Stains From Clothes After Washing?

Pour white vinegar directly into the damp stain and allow it to stay for about half an hour so that vinegar has enough time to take effect, rinse well, and wash as usual.

How Do You Eradicate Tea Stains From White Cotton?

Oxalic acid is a well-known acid for removing tannin-based stains and is easily found in your nearest chemical store. Let’s make a solution by combining 1 part of oxalic acid with 2 parts of citric acid, then pouring it into a cup of water.

How To Remove Tea Spills From Bed Sheets?

First, blot up as much excess tea as possible using an absorbent cloth, then spray a generous amount of vinegar to the stain and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Rub the impacted area with a cloth to remove the vinegar.

Continue to cover the stain with baking soda and squirt a few drops of liquid laundry detergent onto the need-to-treat area. Use a toothbrush to scrub and lift the stained mark. Soak bed sheets in vinegar solution for 15 to 30 minutes, then wash as usual.

Can I Tackle Tea Stains From Fabric Sofa?

Yes, you can. Let’s dab the stained area with a cleaning solution made from dishwashing liquid and water. Keep blotting until there’s no sight of brown spots on your clothes.

Is Vanish Useful For Tea Spills?

Yes, it is. Mix Vanish detergent in cold or warm water, soak colored clothes in 1 hour and 6 hours for white items, and then wash as usual.

How Long Does It Take To Tea Stain Fabric?

It might take at least 15 minutes to dye the cloth using tea. The longer your item stays in the tea, the bolder its color becomes.

What’s Your Favorite Tea Stain Remover?

Brown rings on clothes are definitely not my cup of tea despite the fact that I love tea so much. Luckily, there are straightforward yet effective ways to remove these pesky stains, including DIY and store-bought cleaning ingredients.

So, whether you’re a fan of natural solutions or a person who only trusts commercial products, rest assured that I’ve got you all covered.

From my point of view, I’d like to divide them into different types of fabrics and use environment-friendly solutions to tackle tea marks. I don’t mind repeating the process a few times before restoring my items to their original state.

If you want faster cleaning results, you can try store-bought products. What’s your thought? I’d like to hear from you so that you and I can discuss further.

How To Properly Remove Tea Stains From Clothes


[1] 2021. Club soda – Wikipedia.
[2] 2021. Borax – Wikipedia.

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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