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Peek into my cupboards and you’ll be able to tell I drink coffee. My mugs have the stubborn brown stains to prove it. Even worse is the bottom of my Chemex carafe, which builds up an ugly residue that no amount of scrubbing with soap has been able to remove.

Luckily, I found a cheap, quick way to clean away old coffee stains without using any harsh chemicals or having to buy special cleaners. You just need one thing, which you probably already have in your pantry.

All it takes is some baking soda. Sprinkle a little baking soda onto the bottom of your stained cup or carafe, add just enough water to form a paste, and scrub. The gentle abrasion of the baking soda will get rid of stains in a matter of minutes. Then, simply rinse and wash the way you usually would.

This method was especially successful for the stains in my Chemex carafe, which no amount of elbow grease or vinegar soaks seemed to budge. As you can see in the after photo above, there are a couple especially stubborn stains that even several minutes of scrubbing couldn’t remove, but the difference is still impressive.

If you’ve started to notice a brown residue on your coffee mugs and carafes, try adding an occasional baking soda scrub to your cleaning rotation. It’s easy and it works!

More on Cleaning Coffee Makers

Do you have any tips for cleaning coffee stains out of mugs and coffee carafes? Share them in the comments below!

Anjali Prasertong


Anjali is a former private chef who is currently a full-time nutrition student, with plans to become a registered dietitian. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and toddler. You can read more of her writing at Eat Your Greens.

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