How to Remove Coffee Stains From Tervis Tumbler

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Tervis Tumbler

It’s been 75 years since the Tervis tumbler entered the market. All through this time, they have been a household staple.

The popularity stems from the consistency of their quality, designs, and lifetime warranties.

Tervis tumblers can keep hot and cold drinks at the desired temperatures for a sufficient time.

The appeal for the Tervis tumbler also stems from its versatility. You can use it in a microwave, freezer, and dishwasher.

If you use the mug for your daily dose of coffee, stubborn stains may build up over time.

There are ways to eliminate unsightly stains and restore your tumbler to its former glory. In this article, we’ll share how to remove coffee stains from your Tervis tumbler!

How to Remove Stains From Your Favorite Tumbler

Picture this: every morning, you drink coffee in your favorite Tervis tumbler, and sometimes you even carry the drink to run your errands.

We do not always drink the beverage immediately, or we may even leave the tumbler unwashed.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Tervis Tumbler

Over time, coffee stains stick to the surface, and the tumbler gets an unappealing coating.

Fortunately, there are several methods that you can use to clean the Tervis tumbler. In the following sections, we’ll provide a few ways to remove stains from your tumbler.

Remove Coffee Stains From a Tumbler With Baking Soda

Baking soda is an effective whitening agent prescribed for most homemade cleaning remedies. It can undoubtedly remove annoying coffee stains from a Tervis Tumbler.

The procedure for using baking soda to remove those stubborn coffee stains is as follows:

  • Two tablespoons of baking soda
  • Water (for washing)
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1: Place the two tablespoons of baking soda at the bottom of the tumbler

Step 2: Add a few drops of water to the baking soda to create a paste

Step 3: Using your microfiber cloth, rub the stained spots using the paste

Step 4: Rinse the tumbler

Step 5: Repeat the process if you are not satisfied with the results from the first step

When you use baking soda, be patient, the results usually appear on the second or third try.

Remove Coffee Stains From a Tumbler Using Lemon

The acidic properties of lemon have several household applications. Removing tough stains is one of them.

To remove coffee stains from a Tervis tumbler, you’ll need to gather the following items:

  • Lemon cut into quarters
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1: Take one quartered lemon and squeeze it into the tumbler. Direct the juices onto the stained areas of the tumbler.

Step 2: Leave the lemon juice to rest on the stains for ten or fifteen minutes

Step 3: Take the cloth and rub it firmly on the dirtied spots

Step 4: Rinse the entire inside the tumbler using clean water

Step 5: Repeat the process using each of the lemon quarters until you are happy with the results

Remove Coffee Stains From a Tumbler Using Vinegar

Vinegar is another kitchen item with several cleaning applications due to its acidic properties.

You will need the following items to clean the stains in your tumbler:

  • A cup of white vinegar
  • Oven-safe bowl
  • Oven mitts

Step 1: Pour the cup of vinegar into the oven-safe bowl. Then place it in a preheated oven at 350F

Step 2: Keep the bowl of vinegar in the oven for 90 seconds to 2 minutes

Step 3: Take it out while wearing your oven mitts when the bowl heats up. The bowl will burn your hands if you don’t

Step 4: Pour the hot mixture into the tumbler and let it sit for three or four hours. You can also leave the vinegar overnight in the tumbler

Step 5: The stains should be gone after the vinegar soak. Pour the solution and wash the tumbler

Repeat the procedure if the tumbler isn’t shiny to your preference

If you do not own an oven, try the alternate method listed below:

  • Heat the vinegar in a pan for two minutes
  • Pour hot vinegar into the tumbler for 3 to 4 hours or even oven overnight
  • Pour out the vinegar and wash the cup
  • Repeat the process if there is still any trace of the stain

Remove Coffee Stains Using Salt

Salt is handy if you do not have baking soda, lemon, or vinegar. Salt is relatively common in most kitchen spaces.

This is how to use salt to clean a stained tumbler:

  • One tablespoon of salt
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1: Submerge the mug in clean water to wet every part of it

Step 2: Sprinkle a generous amount of salt onto the areas affected by stains

Step 3: Scrub the stained areas with the microfiber cloth

Step 4: Let the mug sit un-rinsed like that for a while

Rinse the cup later with clean water. Repeat until all the stains dissolve.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Tervis Tumbler

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Tervis Tumbler Using Bleach

Home remedies sometimes fail to do the job. When that happens, a commercial solution is worth trying out. In this case, we use bleach.

Bleach is readily available at local shops and supermarkets. It is also more substantial than homemade stain removal solutions.

Use the following procedure to remove coffee stains from a Tervis tumbler using bleach:

  • One tablespoon of bleach
  • Warm water
  • Sponge

Step 1: Place one gallon of warm water in a bowl and then add one tablespoon of bleach and mix

Step 2: Soak the tumbler in lukewarm bleach water. Make sure that it is completely submerged.

Step 3: After some minutes, use the sponge to scrub the tumbler stains

Step 4: Submerge the tumbler back into the water and soak it for a bit longer

Step 5: Check whether the stains have faded after a few minutes. If not, add more teaspoons of bleach to the mixture and scrub once more. This should clear the stain

Removing coffee stains from a Tervis tumbler isn’t as difficult as some think. The ingredients used in the process are readily available and easy to obtain if they aren’t already in your home or kitchen.

All the processes listed above are safe for use and will not damage your coffee cup. However, be cautious when applying the methods to other tumblers made with different materials.

How to Use and Care for Your Tervis Coffee Mug

The good news is that it is easy to maintain the clean look of the tumbler you once fell in love with. This section will share valuable tips for using and caring for coffee mugs.

Dishwasher Safety

Tervis tumblers are designed to withstand a wash cycle in the dishwasher.

However, Tervis still recommends placing the tumblers on the top rack. Furthermore, the dishwasher should be in the manufacturer’s settings when you do it.

If the mug is too tall to fit into the top rack, it’s okay to shift it so long as you place it away from the machine’s heating element.


Drinks made with tomato, citrus, and coffee products cause sustained discoloration. Therefore, you ought to properly wash the mug after each sip.


Sunscreens discolor the plastic components of drinkware. On the scale of damage, aerosol sunscreens are worse than creams and non-aerosol sprays.

However, sunscreens do not compromise the integrity of the products.

If contact occurs, wash the tumbler with soap and cold water and then dry it immediately.

Sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the active ingredients do not discolor the Tervis tumblers.


Haze on mugs sometimes forms after a run in the dishwasher. If this happens to your coffee mug, wash it by hand using mild detergent.

If the haze persists, place a tiny amount of baking soda on a wet, soft cloth to wipe the tumbler.

Microwave Safe Tumbler

Some Tervis tumblers are safe to microwave a beverage in without lids. Set for only 30-second intervals.

Check the bottom of the mug to check whether it has a warning label.

Microwave Only When Full

When you see this label, the tumbler is only safe to microwave when filled with liquid. The liquid ought to be 1 inch from the top.

Do Not Microwave

Under no circumstance should a mug with this label be put inside a microwave. This is because the tumblers or the accessories contain metallic elements.

These mugs are, therefore, not safe to put inside a microwave.

Stainless Steel Tumblers

Unlike other tumblers made of different materials, the Tervis stainless steel tumblers need special consideration.

It is not dishwasher safe, and neither is it microwavable. Please keep it away from stovetops and freezers, as well.

Extreme temperatures tend to disable the insulation properties of the mug.

How to Prevent Discoloration in Tervis Tumblers

Tervis tumblers have a lifetime warranty. That is your assurance that the products are superbly engineered.

However, that does not mean you should slack on care and maintenance. As we have read through this article, discoloration happens.

Some practices will delay staining and loss of luster. Here’s how you can keep your tumbler looking new:

  • Always pour out leftover liquid in the tumbler immediately after finishing a drink
  • Add a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid into the tumbler and fill it with warm water
  • Put the lid back on and then shake the tumbler for at least 30 seconds
  • Next, use a brush to scrub the inside of the tumbler
  • Rinse thoroughly and then let it air dry

If you want a deeper tumbler cleaning, baking soda and white vinegar will do the job.

  • After the regular soap and water wash, rinse your Tervis, then fill it up with 1 part vinegar and five parts water. Let the mixture sit overnight, and rinse it out the next day.
  • Alternatively, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a tumbler full of warm water. Let it soak through for a few hours, and rinse with clean water. Allow the tumbler and lid to air dry before you use them again.

The rule is to wash the Tervis tumbler as often as it is used.

Is It Okay to Put Hot Coffee in a Tervis Tumbler?

Yes. Tervis tumblers are designed to contain hot and cold beverages. They can also insulate the drinks at the same temperature for hours.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Tervis Tumbler

This is made possible by their double-wall nonconductor insulation. The brand is trusted by buyers who must carry their coffee at one temperature throughout the day.

How to Get Rid of Odor From a Tervis Tumbler

Tervis tumblers are constructed with long-lasting plastic material. This plastic may absorb several odors with continued use.

Odors tend to cling to plastic even after a thorough cleaning. This is true for drinks with a strong aroma.

If you need to wash away unpleasant smells from a Tervis tumbler, use cleaning agents with deodorant properties.

Take a look at some steps you can follow in cleaning your Tervis mug:

  • Prepare a solution of 1 cup baking soda and 3 cups warm water in a bowl
  • Submerge the tumbler in this solution for 8 hours
  • Rinse the tumbler with warm water to remove further traces of baking soda
  • Dry the tumbler with a clean towel and check for any lingering odor
  • In case there is still a faint scent, use white vinegar to moisten a paper towel and wipe the inside of the tumbler
  • Rewash the mug using dishwashing liquid and lukewarm water to get rid of the vinegar
  • Rinse with lots of water and let it dry completely before its subsequent use

FAQs About Removing Coffee Stains From Tervis Tumbler

Question 1:

How do I get rid of brown coffee oil stains forming on the outside of my Tervis tumbler? The lid has also become stained.


Getting rid of coffee stains from plastic surfaces is a difficult task once discoloration sets in.

Plastic tends to absorb the stains making a simple wash with detergent futile. Therefore, use products that have bleaching properties to bleach away the stain.

Here is a list of homemade and commercial products that will help you to remove the brown taint from your tumbler.

What you need:

  • Bleach
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Soft microfiber cloth

You have already tried cleaning your Tervis tumbler with the list above. Don’t worry; the big guns are listed next.

  • Kitchen cleaner spray
  • Magic eraser sponge, e.g., Mr. Clean
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol

Steps to follow:

  • If the coffee oil staining is new, combat it immediately with water and a mild dishwashing liquid.
  • You might not notice the stain immediately in some cases. Bring out the kitchen cleaner to spray on the stained areas when this happens. Let it soak in for several minutes, then wipe it away.
  • If that doesn’t work, moisten your magic eraser sponge with water and rub it gently all over the stains. The sponges contain gentle abrasives that work safely on a variety of surfaces. Rinse with water.
  • If the stain remains stubborn, unleash the rubbing alcohol and soak a cotton ball. Rub the offending area until it is gone.
  • In case of severe staining, soak a microfiber cloth or a bunch of cotton balls and lay them over the stain.
  • Rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, so cover the tumbler with plastic and seal it with tape. This should allow the alcohol time to steep.
  • Let the rubbing alcohol stay on the stain for hours before removing the plastic seal.
  • If you cannot access rubbing alcohol, follow a similar procedure using vinegar or chlorine bleach.
  • Once the stain is gone, rinse thoroughly with clean water. Allow it to dry for 24 hours before its subsequent use.

Bonus Tips

  • Though you desperately want to remove the ugly brown staining, you must beware of scrubbers. A harsh scrubber scratches the plastic surface. The newly formed scratches will collect stains faster, and you will have a worse mug.
  • The more time a stain is allowed to be set on plastic, the more stubborn it will be. Stains can be permanent. Treat any discoloration on your Tervis mug immediately with dishwashing detergent.

Question 2:

I have a set of Tervis tumblers; some have developed a hazy appearance inside. I have previously solved the problem by hand washing with dish soap and soaking it in vinegar.

These procedures have helped, but the haze re-occurs just as quickly. Can you offer a more permanent solution?


Haze forms due to a few reasons. Sometimes the tap water contains high levels of calcium, forming chalky water.

In this case, a coating will form whether you wash it by hand or in a dishwasher.

Too much soap and insufficient rinse are other reasons for the dull appearance.

A less known cause of haze in Tervis mugs is contact with aerosol sunscreens.

Solving Haze

If the haze on your tumbler comes from washing it with chalky water, vinegar will clear it. However, the discoloration will occur once again when you rewash.

Haze is harmless, but if it bothers you, you can permanently solve the problem by using filtered water to wash the tumbler.

Adding a water softener such as Calgon to the wash cycle will help if you use a dishwasher.

If haze is caused by excess detergent, rinse it with a lot of water. Use less soap next time.

If this haze persists, place a small amount of baking soda on a wet microfiber cloth. Wipe the tumbler to clear the film.

Haze Caused by Sunscreen

The residue of sunscreen we apply stays on the hands. These transfer to the tumbler when we drink. The level of discoloration varies depending on the type of sunscreen you wear.

  • Aerosolized sunscreen causes the most discoloration when it lands on a mug. Physical sunscreen is less damaging.
  • If you use your Tervis mug a lot outdoors while inevitably wearing sunscreen, there are safer ingredients to look out for. Products with active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will not discolor a Tervis tumbler.
  • While sunscreen causes undesirable effects on the mug, it does not compromise the functionality of the cup.

The sunscreen haze on the tumbler can be removed with cold water and dishwashing liquid. Wipe the mug dry immediately.

Question 3:

How do I deep clean my tumbler lid?


The only way to get through the crevices that are hard to reach is to disassemble the lid components.

  • Take apart as many pieces as you safely can. Rubber seals and outer protective covers should also be removed.
  • Once you have done the dismantling, you can start washing. When cleaning these components, always use warm and soapy water to remove hidden grime.

You may attempt to use cold water, but it will not be as effective in removing contamination in the lid. The lid is a collection of oil, bacteria, and mold! Hot water cuts through the gunk more effectively.

  • Even after you strip the lid components, some places will still be hard to reach. Swiping with a sponge and warm water still isn’t enough. Use a pipe cleaner to scrub through the hidden and narrow spaces. Q-tips clean just as well if you do not have a pipe cleaner.
  • Dry all the pieces with a towel and let them air dry further. If they don’t dry properly, you’ll be drinking coffee with a serving of black mold very soon.

Final Thoughts About Coffee Stains On Tervis Tumblers

Coffee stains on a Tervis tumbler are unsightly to see. However, with the use of homemade techniques, as well as commercial solutions, you can keep the tumbler clean.

Stains and odors do not deserve a place on a coffee mug.

We hope you enjoyed this article on removing coffee stains from the Tervis tumbler!

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