Reader question… “My husband and I are both heavy tea drinkers. Many of our teacups and mugs are badly stained and the stains don’t come off no matter how hard I scrub them. Do you know of a natural non chemical way of removing the brown stain from the cups?” –Annette

Baking soda!

Just dampen a cloth, dab it in a bit of baking soda, and scrub at the brown stain. You will be AMAZED at how quickly and easily the stain disappears. This will also work on coffee stains.

Salt on a dampened cloth will also remove stains, but I think the baking soda does a much better job.

Try the baking soda… I think you’ll be very surprised!

Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

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I remember as a kid we all used baking soda to clean our teeth. Salty but effective. Now, as an old woman, I use baking soda to clean my dentures. Works wicked good!

Annie L

It’s good to find a natural remedy that works. I heard one recently about making a flytrap with a bowl of water and lemon scented dish detergent. It was supposed to attract the flies in scores and then they would drown. I had 4 small flies buzzing around in my kitchen and I put out a bowl of water and lemon scented detergent and left it for 2 days. The flies didn’t go near it.


I was skeptical but I had a favorite coffee mug that was stained brown so I gave it a try. I was amazed because the baking soda completely removed the stain! It didn’t even take much scrubbing. Thank you for a great tip. You saved my favorite mug.


@ Annie L:

For the flies, I have a very simple solution. I’ve been using this for years. Take a tall, medium-width drinking glass and put in around 1/2 inch of apple cider vinegar. Drop in just a couple of drops of dish soap and stir together. Finish by making a paper funnel and tape it to the top of the glass. The hole in the small end of the funnel should be no larger than the size of the fly. I get fruit flies alot, so I do less than 1/4 inch. The idea is the flies go down the funnel, attracted to the vinegar, and once in, can’t find their way back out again. A couple notes: obviously, the narrow end goes inside the cup, not sticking up… and make sure to tape the funnel securely so there isn’t any gaps between the paper and the rim of the glass.