Do you have any tea/coffee stained mugs laying around your house? How about scruffed up plates from too many fork or spoon scrapes? I had both – and I was getting annoyed. I was just about ready to ditch my favorite place setting set that I got as a wedding gift, and buy a whole new set. That is until I found out about this little trick.
Supplies needed to clean your stained mugs and scruffed plates:
Do you have nasty scrape marks in the middle of your plates or bowls like I do?
I’ve had this set for over 10 years now and I really love it and don’t want a new set. Even if I wanted the exact replacement set, it is no longer available. Just getting one plate to add to the set would cost me $25 on Ebay. The entire original set didn’t cost over $50! Since replacing this set is going to be too expensive, I need to find a way to get rid of the scrape marks and bring back the original beautiful white!
Here’s another plate – most of the dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls look like this or worse on the white part of the dishware.
Then there’s the mugs. Now coffee doesn’t stain as bad as tea – but both can leave a mark on the inside of the mugs. The mug pictured above is from a brewed cup of tea. This was pulled out of the dishwasher looking like this – supposedly clean! I hand washed it – and still couldn’t get rid of that tea stain.
So then I found this little trick. If you use powder cleanser called Bar Keepers Friend, the scrape marks and stains disappear!
Seriously! My plates and mugs look almost new!
To clean your marks, I recommend using rubber gloves. The active ingredient in Bar Keepers Friend is oxalic acid.
Now oxalic acid is naturally found plants like carrots and spinach. But it’s the reason that rhubarb leaves are considered poisonous—too much can cause nausea, kidney stones/failure, and even be fatal. The strength of oxalic acid in Bar Keepers Friend is relatively mild, but is stronger than acetic acid (vinegar.) Here is a quote from the Bar Keepers Friend Website: “BKF is not harmful to the skin during casual use. However, sensitive skin or prolonged use may benefit from using gloves. The oxalic acid in BKF is mild, but it may irritate sensitive skin and will sting in any open wound (similar to lemon juice on a cut).”
There are warnings on the side of the container to wear gloves and to avoid breathing in the powder. Oxalic acid can be absorbed through the skin. There are also stories online of users with peeling skin with long exposure. When used correctly, I do not see a problem using this cleaning agent. But this is not something you want the kids to help you out with!
To avoid breathing in the powder, you should spray your plates first with water, then sprinkle the powder on the wet plates. The water will create a paste on contact and less of the powder will be airborne and available to inhale.
After a gentle scrubbing with the wet Bar Keepers Friend paste, the plates look almost new!
No, Bar Keepers Friend did not get rid of the cracks in my mug – but it did get rid of the tea stains without even scrubbing!!
If you are looking for a way to give your plates, bowls, and mugs a second life after scrape marks and tea stains, then give this a try!!
Looking for more kitchen and cleaning hacks like this one? Check out these ideas: