You Told Us That a Magic Eraser Can Clean Coffee-Stained Mugs — So We Tested It for Ourselves

published Dec 16, 2021
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I love coffee mugs just about as much as I love coffee (which is a lot). That not only means that I have four cupboard shelves’ worth of mugs in all different shapes and sizes, but also that all of them get used pretty frequently. I drink a few cups a day, and I happen to be the kind of coffee drinker who likes to use a new mug every time (because it makes each coffee feel more special). 

As you might imagine, cleaning my well-loved coffee mug collection has the potential to take up a considerable amount of time. Yes, they’re all dishwasher-safe, but sometimes they need a little extra TLC.

See, coffee oils can build up on the inside of ceramic mugs over time, leaving behind brown stains or rings that are unsightly at best, and can affect your coffee’s flavor at worst. Even if you clean your mugs carefully after every use, you may find that tougher stains stay behind — especially if you’re using vintage dishware or mugs that have seen a lot of spoons stirring around in them and scraping against their interior walls. Removing stains completely makes sure that your mugs are gleamingly clean, and your freshly brewed coffee isn’t being affected by stale old flavors that are lingering behind. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

To combat these tricky oil stains and spots, I recently tried a whole range of cleaning products and methods — including a wedge of lemon, baking soda, Bar Keepers Friend, and denture tablets. I found a clear winner and thought I was all set … until the reader letters started pouring in. Kitchn readers wrote in by the dozens to tell me about how much they love using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser scrub pads to remove coffee stains from mugs. Naturally, I had to try it for myself.

I picked out an old diner-style mug that I particularly love, knowing that scratched-up diner mugs are some of the worst offenders when it comes to holding on to coffee oils. On top of the pre-existing stains from overuse, I drank my morning coffee from it, and then left the remaining liquid in the bottom, where it eventually turned into a sticky coating. I read the Magic Eraser’s instructions and wet the cleaning pad with hot water and squeezed out the excess. Then, I tested its magic by wiping with moderate pressure inside the mug. 

Credit: Ever Meister

It worked like a charm! (See, this is why we love our readers!) With almost no effort at all, it removed pesky leftover coffee oils as well as the older, deeper discoloration inside the mug. My mug now looks and smells brand new!

Credit: Ever Meister

The Magic Eraser’s soft texture is pleasant to use — much like a regular sponge! I didn’t need to add any dish soap to remove the coffee scum, although the instructions do say to thoroughly rinse any surface that will touch food or beverages after cleaning. Another bonus? The pads are relatively inexpensive and easy to find in the cleaning aisle of my local grocery store. Note: I would recommend testing this first, maybe on the bottom of your mug, as Magic Erasers are pretty abrasive (yes, even though they feel so soft!) and could scratch a more fragile mug.

Related: What Gives the Magic Eraser Its Superpowers? at Apartment Therapy

Credit: Ever Meister

I’ll definitely be using these to keep my mugs as fresh as my coffee. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go brew another cup!

What else should we try to remove pesky coffee stains from mugs? Tell us in the comments below!