There is nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes with holding a weighty cup of hot coffee in a gorgeous enamel mug. Your hands warm as your coffee cools, but after a while you may notice small flecks of tannin to appear on your otherwise flawless mug. This is no cause for alarm, and a natural part of the process of drinking from an enamel mug. While the owners rarely seem to care, and in fact look at this as an reminder of the hand-made origin of the product, it can be a bit disconcerting for guests who may assume that the crockery is just dirty.
Cleaning an Enamel Mug requires a degree of care and finesse. Particularly when dealing with a special vintage piece, or a favourite in one’s collection, it is important to take extra care and do a little research first. While the enamel glazed surface is incredibly durable, it is vulnerable to certain chemicals eating away at the surface and doing more harm than good. For this reason, not just any harsh chemical can be splashed on, and it is always better to err on the side of caution.
So if you want to avoid harsh chemicals, the first place to search for a solution is with humble household ingredients. Using a household remedy is a great first choice, as you do not need to go out and purchase expensive ingredients that risk not working to your satisfaction. As the free first resort, you do no harm in trying this out before moving on to option number two if there is no result.
Baking soda seems to pop up a lot in home remedies, for anything from health ailments to cleaning. This ingredient is common in any pantry, and is a popular choice for environmentally conscious cleaners. It is a great alternative to a number of bathroom and kitchen cleaning products which contain harsh chemicals. Mums in particular often worry about the impact that residue from these toxic chemicals could have on their children and family, especially when used on food preparation areas.
So why is baking soda so effective? Essentially, sodium bicarbonate has a handy ability to neutralise pH levels. This means it keeps things from getting either too acidic or too alkaline. When it comes into contact with something at one end of the spectrum, it immediately begins to bring it back toward 7. In cleaning, this means neutralising acidic odours, or keeping laundry water neutral so that your detergent cleanses better. Tannin is a naturally acidic build up, and so using baking soda to clean your enamel first neutralises the substance which makes it easier to lift. Perhaps the best part about cleaning using bicarbonate soda is that it has an additional property known as buffering. Essentailly, this means that future pH imbalances are slowed down. All your hard scrubbing and cleaning work is rewarded with a surface that stays clean for longer.
To thoroughly yet carefully clean your enamelware, wet a cloth until it is damp but no soaking. Dip this in a good amount of baking soda and rub the surface of your mug in circular motions. As well as the reaction mentioned earlier, the granules will act as a gentle exfoliant which will speed up the cleaning process. Once this process it complete, those dark brown markings will be completely gone, and your mug will look as good as new. While this process is ideal for mugs used for tea and coffee that are notorious for staining, it can also be applied to other enamel crockery that needs a good clean.
Please do not hesitate to chat to the team at Ardena Imports if you are looking for further helpful enamel mug tips.