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Stubborn build-up on tea strainer

I use a stainless steel tea strainer/infuser every day at work. At the end of the day, I simply rinse it and wipe it dry with a paper towel. Then, every few months, I give it a good scrub with baking soda and white vinegar and hot water. This treatment shines it up nicely. However, over time, the very bottom of it (the bottom surface and the lower half-inch or so of the wall) has gotten build-up in the tiny holes that I just can't seem to clear out, no matter what. This evening I scrubbed it with baking soda paste, let it sit, then soaked it in a vinegar solution for more than an hour, then scrubbed it with a toothbrush and more baking soda—and it didn't make a dent in that build-up.

Any suggestions?
Barkeeper's friend with a 3M-style scrub pad works for me.

I've also found running it through the dishwasher with a solid detergent will help a lot, although it still needs some hand scrubbing.

In general I have pretty good luck with peroxide bleaches (Oxyclean, sodium percarbonate) and boiling water too.
+1 on the Barkeepers friend. There are 2 versions of this: powder like Comet Cleanser and a liquid version. I imagine you might use either to good effect and prepare your own version of the liquid by making a paste of the powder version.

The nice thing about Barkeeper's is that it will polish the metal and won't add a bunch of scatches. I used this to clean my stainless steel pots and have no issues.

Your post got me thinking and curious as I've a couple of strainers, though they don't seen nearly the use you're giving yours. A quickie search and I found the following:

Oh geez, why didn't I think of that? *d'oh*

Peroxide powder together with boiling water; the hot water activates the peroxide. For some reason I have better luck getting tea stains out of many things with peroxide than other things. But barkeeper's friend works well too with stainless.
I boiled it in a saucepan for a while the other day, then gave it another good toothbrush scrubbing. It got ride of some of the build-up, but not all. And now whatever finish it has has dulled in spots. Grr.


Needs milk and a bidet!
This stuff does a good job. Let it soak In it.



Staff member
Very concentrated dishwasher powder dissolved in hot water water strips tea stains right off.
I'm not about to go buy some product I don't already have, just for this task.

I have bleach. I have water. Might give that a try.

I considered dishwasher detergent earlier today. That has been my go-to for soaking casseroles and crockpots to loosen up the stuck-on nastiness. Might start with that next.

Thank you, all.
I use Oxi-clean and hot water to clean my brewing gear. Works great at removing baked on residue. Doubles in the laundry to get my work clothes nice and clean...my job is a dirty one!



Needs milk and a bidet!
That's it! Cups were getting tea stain buildup, but I soaked the espresso double boiler basket in one stained cup with this stuff (similar) and voila! Clean DB and clean cup too.


I wish I would have taken before and after pics of my tea cups. I use Yeti stainless cups. One at work and one at home. I drink tea pretty much all the live long day. 2-3 cups at home. 2-3 cups at work. Over time it really cakes on the cups. It’s been well over a year, maybe closer to 2 since I cleaned them. It’s like a tea powder coating, like that cerakote you can dip your guns in. It’s wild. They were so bad I just threw the lids out and bought new ones. But I figured I could clean the stainless. A half hour soak, a scrub, another half hour soak, another scrub and they were brand new……

…..All but the very bottom of the cups along the sidewalls. I just cant get my hands in there or any scrubber in there good enough to do a good scrape and scrub down there.


ancient grey sweatophile
Oxiclean has been recommended multiple times for good reason. There is no need for heat. Just a scoop of Oxiclean and water to cover the item. Let it sit a few hours. Rinse it off under a faucet that runs well (Some pressure).
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