How to Clean the Inside of a Stainless Steel Teapot


Sue asked: How do I clean the inside of a stainless steel teapot? The inside of my pot is stained black. It looks disgusting, and I can’t seem to get rid of it.

Regular washings with soap and water will keep your pot clean enough to use, but does not remove the stubborn stains that tea leaves on the inside. For the best tasting tea, you want your tea to come from a clean pot. Here’s how to get your stainless steel pot clean and shining again.

Baking Soda Method

You Will Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Bottle scrubber (found in the baby section)
  • Soft cloths or Scrubbing pads

Steps to Clean the Teapot:

  1. Pour one cup of baking soda into the pot.
  2. Add water to fill the pot.
  3. Heat the water and baking soda to boiling.
  4. Remove the teapot from the heat and allow it to set for at least 10 minutes.
  5. With a scrub brush or other scrubber, gently scrub the inside of the pot. Be careful not to burn yourself.
  6. If stains remain, pour out most of the boiled water, leaving only a small amount on the bottom.
  7. Pour in additional baking soda.
  8. Mix the baking soda around with a scrubbing brush or pad. As the baking soda mixes with the water it will form a paste. If it dissolves in the water, you need to add more baking soda.
  9. Continue scrubbing the inside of the pot. The baking soda will act as a mild abrasive and “scrub” away the stains.
  10. Once the stains removed, wash as normal.
  11. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  12. Dry with a soft cloth.

Vinegar Method

You Will Need:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Soft cloths or Scrubbing pads

Steps to Clean the Teapot:

  1. Fill the teapot with one part water and one part vinegar.
  2. Place the pot on the stove and bring the liquids to a boil.
  3. Allow them to boil for a few minutes, then turn off the heat.
  4. When the water cools down to a warm temperature, dispose of the water.
  5. Use a soft cloth or scrubbing pad to wipe the stains away from the insides of the teapot.
  6. Wash as normal, and rinse completely with clean water.
  7. Dry with a soft cloth.
  8. Diluted vinegar can also be used on a soft cloth to polish the exterior of the teapot.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Scouring powders such as Bar Keepers Friend have also been used to effectively remove stains from teapots. Be sure to rinse the teapot well after cleaning.
  • Avoid using abrasive scrubbing pads as they may scratch the surface. Nylon or plastic scrubbers are best.
  • Watch the pot carefully when boiling. Never let your teapot boil dry or it will create scorch marks, and you’ll be left with a new stain on your hands.



  1. Try denture cleaning tablets. I happened by accident to use this idea to clean the inside of my stainless coffee pot, as well as the coffee maker. I’ve used the vinegar and baking soda methods, and they work. I have tried cream of tartar with boiling water, and it works on stainless steel; the stains just wash away. However, I wear a mouth guard at night that can get very cruddy. My dentist said to soak it is denture cleaner. I watched it work and applied the same concept to my coffee maker. Once a week, I fill the reservoir with hot water, drop in two tabs of denture cleaner, put two tabs in my empty coffee pot and turn it on. Rinse with another pot of fresh water. Voila! No stains and my coffee maker is clean too. The calcium residue and rancid coffee buildup are rinsed away. No after-taste like with a vinegar/baking soda wash either!

  2. I have a teapot that is closed with just a pour spout. HELP PLEASE.

  3. Greg,
    There are scrub brushes made for glassware that you could use. Here are some by Wine Enthusiast.
    There are also scrub brushes made for pipes that could work in your situation. Here are some examples.
    Alternatively, you could just get a packet of craft pipe cleaners, bend the end of each one into a wad and put them into the teapot one at a time until you have a sufficient amount for scrubbing.

  4. This works for a KETTLE, not a teapot. You cant put a teapot on the stove.

  5. I’m a little teapot short and stout. How do I wash myself?

  6. For sure these instructions are for a tea KETTLE, not a teapot. There is a big difference since tea kettles do NOT get tea stains inside, as they just boil the water, and we don’t put teapots on the stove to boil – so the instructions are amiss. I will try filling my teapot with boiling water after adding the baking soda and just let it sit before scrubbing. I will let you know how it turns to out.

  7. If you want to remove the build-up of dark material in your teaPOT, not kettle, just put in a spoonful of ordinary household washing powder, fill with boiling water and leave overnight, rinse it out and, if necessary, scrub with a non-metal brush. If the coating is heavy, you may need to do this a couple of times; works a treat.

  8. Rosalie says:

    I Agree with Richard; this is a tea pot, NOT a kettle, which I cannot put on the stove or in the microwave to heat water in. It is an old favourite metal pot that I have use of every day. I need to clean it.

  9. I agree withbwhat ECT says – I use one tablet of Steradent only every two months. The best thing is no scrubbing. Put one tablet in the teapot and fill it with boiling water, leave for about two hours, rinse and repeat if necessary. When finished, fill it with boiling water, rinse and pour it away. AND REPEAT. This is brilliant, but didn’t clean inside the spout, so I broke a tablet up and put half a tablet down the spout and half-filled the teapot until foam started to come out of the spout; so not to waste it, I put my finger over the end of the spout & held it until the foaming stopped. I suppose if I did it more frequently I could make do with ONE tablet. Must try next time.

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