How To Remove Tea Stains From Plastic

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If you’re someone who drinks a lot of tea, you’re no stranger to tea stains on your plastic kitchenware. While it doesn’t bother everyone, seeing these stains can start to be irritating, but how on Earth are you supposed to remove those stubborn tea stains?

After trying to hand scrub the stains off or constantly running it through the dishwasher, it might seem like all hope is lost. The good news is that you don’t need to throw away your plasticware with tea stains, but you’ll have to put in a little elbow grease to get the stains out. 

There are a lot of methods out there to remove tea stains from plastic. Some involve chemicals, and others are all natural. We’ve rounded up the top techniques for removing tea stains from plastic that you can try. 

1. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is an odd choice when it comes to cleaners since you typically only use it on your hands, but this product can be handy in getting tea stains off of plastic. You’ll want to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to ensure it’s strong enough to combat stains. 

All you need to do is squirt some of the hand sanitizers into the plastic with stains and let it soak for at least ten minutes. You’ll rub it clean with a sponge or cloth before cleaning it. The stains should be gone, and all the hand sanitizer should be gone. 

2. Rubbing Alcohol

This technique is similar to hand sanitizer since they have the same main ingredient. Rubbing alcohol is a lifesaver when it comes to cleaning a variety of things in your house, so using it to remove tea stains from plastic is worth a shot. It’s known for eliminating tomato sauce and other pigmented food stains from plastic, so it works well with tea stains. 

You’ll take some rubbing alcohol and fill the plastic container with the stains so that the rubbing alcohol covers all surfaces of the stain. Let it sit for a little bit, and then dump it out, scrub the stain and clean thoroughly before using the container again. 

3. Bleach 

There are not many problems that bleach can’t solve, and tea stains will not match traditional bleach. When you’re dealing with stubborn tea stains, bleach might be the best solution for you. The brand doesn’t matter; make sure you choose chlorine bleach, though. 

You’ll need to combine chlorine bleach and water. You’ll use only one tablespoon of bleach for every cup of water. Fill the container and let the bleach work its magic for about an hour or two. Once the stains are gone, wash the plastic thoroughly, and you’re good to go. 

4. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is not only delicious in your tea, but you can also use it to clean stains from your beloved tea off plastic. Fresh lemons are the best option, but if you have a container of lemon juice in your fridge, you can still try to use this to clean your stains. 

All you need to do if you’re using a fresh lemon is cut it in half and then rub the tea stains with the lemon juice. If you’re using a container of lemon juice, you can pour it into the container so it soaks or uses a paper towel to rub it into the stains. Regardless of your choice, leave the plastic in the sun for two days, and the stain should be gone! 

5. Baking Soda

Another household item that most people have lying around is baking soda. You can use baking soda to remove a variety of stains, including tea stains from plastic. Like our other methods to remove stains, using baking soda to do so is easy. 

You’ll need to make a paste by combining one or two tablespoons of baking soda and water. From here, you’ll put it on the tea stains and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Wipe the paste away with a cloth and then clean it like normal. 

6. White Vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent option if you want a cleaning agent that works well, like bleach but doesn’t want to use a chemical. They’re similar enough that you can even use the same ratio of white vinegar and water as you would water and bleach to clean tea stains. 

What you’ll do is combine one tablespoon of white vinegar per cup of water and then apply it to the tea stains in a container. You can let it sit for a little bit before dumping it and then cleaning it to ensure all the stains are gone. 

7. Denture Tablets

Something you might not think about that can clean tea stains out of plastic is denture tablets. Denture tablets are used to clean dentures and are surprisingly effective in removing stains. There are several brands available, but you’ll want to make sure you choose one with an active baking soda or peroxide ingredient. 

Some bleaching agents work well too, but you can judge how well they remove stains. Place two denture tablets into a cup of hot water and dissolve them completely. Pour the mix into the stained container and wait until the stains are gone before removing and cleaning the plastic. 

8. Hydrogen Peroxide 

Hydrogen peroxide is excellent for tea stains. You can spray it onto the stains or soak them in the solution. You’ll need to use a 3% solution and spray it onto the stains before leaving it in the sun until the stains fade away. 

9. Salt

Salt is easy to use and abrasive enough to remove stains. You’ll grab salt, a cloth, and warm water before rubbing the stains with a salt and water solution. 

10. Alka-Seltzer

As with denture tablets, you can use Alka-seltzer to remove tea stains! You’ll follow the same steps as you would with the denture tablets and should have a stain-free plastic container. 


Tea stains are frustrating, but they aren’t the end of the world. Next time you deal with tea stains on the plastic, use any of the ten methods to remove them efficiently.