How to super clean a coffee mug


Once you start cleaning a coffee mug this way, you'll do it for life.

This is the only thing anybody wants to see after cleaning their coffee mug:


A nice, clear sparkling white mug interior that you can see your reflection in. That's the goal.

If you're like me, you have a favorite mug that you use a lot, possibly every day. Over time, coffee stains will happen and that's just the way it is. You clean your mug regularly, but no matter how much or how often you scrub, those stains absolutely will not come out.

The secret to super cleaning a coffee mug is:


Toilet bowl cleaner...

...if you use the right type.

The two types that work best are Lysol 10x and The Works! blue label (the green label is terrible).

The process of how to super clean a mug

Step 1. Clean the mug with hot water to take away the easier stains and warm up the mug interior. Leave the mug wet.

Step 2. Put on kitchen gloves. I'll explain why in a minute.

Step 3. Add a few centimeters of toilet bowl cleaner into the mug.

Step 4. Slowly fill the mug with warm or hot water all the way to the top.

Step 5. Gently mix the solution with a spoon for about 10 seconds. (Be sure to rinse and clean the spoon thoroughly afterward.)

Step 6. Let the mug sit with this solution in it for about 15 minutes. You can take off your kitchen gloves now.

Step 8. After 15 minutes, put your kitchen gloves back on.

Step 9. Take a bottle brush and scrub the mug interior. Some water will splash out and there's no avoiding that. This is OK.

Step 10. Rinse out the mug with warm water. You can take off your kitchen gloves now.

Step 11. At this point you wash again to remove any residue left behind from the toilet bowl cleaner. Put in a squirt of regular dish detergent such as Dawn Ultra into the mug.

Step 12. Take your bottle brush and wash out the mug interior again.

Step 13. Empty the mug and thoroughly dry with a towel.

Step 14. Smell the inside of the mug. If you smell toilet bowl cleaner, wash it out with Dawn again and dry. You know you're done when you no longer smell any toilet bowl cleaner.

Warnings, and what this doesn't clean

Toilet bowl cleaner is strong stuff that will irritate your skin, so it's strongly suggested you wear kitchen gloves while using it because you don't want it landing on your skin.

This kind of cleaning only works for porcelain mugs and not glass, plastic or other material. Additionally, this is for all-porcelain mugs and not for the types that have a decorative steel band at the top or other such decoration that isn't porcelain.

This should go without saying, but if the inside of the coffee mug is painted, toilet bowl cleaner may and probably will remove the paint... although I've no idea why anybody would drink hot coffee out of a mug where the interior has painted artwork.

The reason you let the mug sit with the toilet bowl cleaner solution in it is because the cleaner is literally dissolving stains during this process. Regular dish detergent doesn't do this all that well and can't because if it were as strong as toilet bowl cleaner, it would be unsafe for your skin (hence the reason I say to wear kitchen gloves).

If you hadn't guessed by now, the reason this method of cleaning works so well is because a coffee mug is made of the same material as your toilet, porcelain.

What this method of cleaning will NOT clean is any damage you've caused to your coffee mug from scrubbing it too much in the past. If you see gray scrub marks (such as from scrubbing the mug interior with steel wool), toilet bowl cleaner won't clean that.

Do you have to wash your mug like this EVERY time you clean?

No. You only clean this way when you start seeing stains. The rest of the time you can wash your mug normally.

Published 2023 May 25