A stainless steel teapot is easy to take care of. Most times, you don’t even need soap; just a quick rinse and it’s ready to use again. Watch out for rust and scale as these can ruin the teapot and affect the taste of your tea.
Here are some additional tips on how to clean the inside of a stainless steel teapot.
Should You Clean A Stainless Steel Teapot?
That sounds like a question with an obvious answer. Don’t all utensils need to be cleaned?
But not all teapots need to be cleaned. There’s a belief among tea lovers that teapots absorb the flavour of tea over time.
This results in more flavourful teas as the old flavours are released into every cup of tea you brew.
Washing a teapot gets rid of these old flavours.
However, that only applies for porous teapots made from clay such as Yixing teapots. Only a porous material can absorb flavour.
So if you have a stainless steel teapot, go ahead and wash it as often as necessary. The stainless steel material does not store flavours.
3 Ways to Clean The Inside of A Stainless Steel Teapot
Option 1: Rinsing
Most days, you don’t need to spend a lot of time cleaning the inside of a stainless steel teapot. A quick rinse with hot or warm water is enough to remove any tea residue.
- Add hot water to the teapot. Note that most teapots are not meant to be used on a stove (unlike tea kettles) so don’t heat water in the teapot.
- Let the hot water sit in the teapot for a few minutes to dissolve any tea left inside.
- Pour out the hot water and place the teapot upside down to dry or wipe the inside dry with a soft cloth. If the teapot is still dirty, you can rinse it a second time with hot water.
As you pour out the hot water, it’ll also clean the inside of the spout.
Option 2: Soap and Water
Regular dish soap is safe to use on stainless steel. It’s a great way to remove tea stains and residue.
- Add liquid dish soap to warm water. Pour the warm soapy water inside the stainless steel teapot and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Use a sponge or soft cloth to wash the teapot with the soapy water still inside. Use a cotton swab for the inside of the spout. Never use anything abrasive inside a stainless steel teapot. It’ll scratch the surface and make it easier for rust to develop.
- Pour out the soapy water and rinse the teapot with clean warm water.
- Leave the teapot upside down to dry.
Option 3: Denture Tablets or Vinegar
If the teapot has tea stains or a bit of rust, use denture tablets or vinegar.
- Rinse the teapot with hot water to get rid of tea residue and some of the loose stains.
- Add hot water to the teapot until it’s full. Drop two denture tablets inside and put the lid on.
- Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes. This will remove stains, rust and residue.
- After 30 minutes, pour out the water and rinse 1-2 times with warm water. Leave the teapot to dry.
If you are using vinegar, pour some white vinegar on a soft cloth then wipe the inside of the teapot to remove stains and tea residue.
You can also mix vinegar and hot water (50:50 ratio) and add it to the teapot. Let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
Can I Clean a Stainless Steel Teapot in a Dishwasher?
Most stainless steel teapots are dishwasher safe. But check what the manufacturer recommends before you put yours in the dishwasher.
Place the teapot upside down and make sure it will not bump other dishes to avoid scuffing the shiny finish of the teapot.
That said, most tea lovers prefer hand washing their stainless steel teapots to reduce the risk of scratches.
How to Remove Stains/Scale From The Inside of a Stainless Steel Teapot
If you live in a hard water area, your teapot will develop scale deposits over time. You’ll also notice that the bottom of the teapot gets discoloured as tea residue builds up.
Baking soda works wonders on both tea stains and limescale. All you need to do is add a spoonful of baking soda to the teapot.
Then boil water and add it to the teapot. It’ll fizzle as it reacts with the baking soda. Close the teapot lid and let the mixture sit for 1-2 hours.
Pour out the mixture and rinse the teapot with warm water. You may need to scrub the inside with a sponge or soft cloth to remove any loose stains that did not come out with the water.
Here’s a video showing how well this method works.
Denture tablets are another good descaler and stain remover. Follow the same procedure as with baking soda. Drop a couple of tablets in hot water in the teapot and leave for an hour then rinse.
How to Remove Rust From The Inside of a Stainless Steel Teapot
Baking soda again comes to the rescue. It can remove light rust stains inside a stainless steel pot.
Use the same process we’ve explained above for cleaning stains and scale. Hot water in the teapot mixed with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. Let it rest for an hour or overnight if the rust is serious.
Rinse with warm water.
Other products that can remove rust from a stainless steel teapot include vinegar and lemon juice. Similar to baking soda, mix them with hot water inside the teapot then leave to rest for an hour or so.
If the rust is on the outside of the teapot, make a paste using baking soda and a little bit of water. Spread the paste on the rusted areas and leave for a few hours.
Rinse off the teapot with warm water to remove the paste and dissolved rust.
Tip: To keep your teapot from rusting, rinse it immediately after use and place it upside down to dry. You can also wipe it dry with a soft cloth.