[ezcol_1third] It's funny how personal something as generic as a mug can be.

As true creatures of habit, Mr. Spring and I started our love affair with enamel mugs when I first got them into the shop some time last year. I don't think we've sipped hot beverages from another vessel (at home, anyway) ever since.

We love our white and blue mugs… how big they are… how hot they keep our tea... how satisfying the weight of the liquid feels as it's cradled in our hands.

The only downside of enamel mugs is that tannin stains build up in a big way. While neither Mr. Spring or I are particularly bothered by them - it's only a reminder of all those lovely culpas past - we do get that no one else wants to be presented with a darkly flecked, dirty looking cup when they come round to visit. It was time to think about a deep cleaning.

I didn't want to use any harsh chemicals to clean our mugs, so after a little online research into how to clean enamelware stains I came up with this - and it really works:

"Dampen a cloth with water, dip it in baking soda and scrub the mixture over the stain."

Et voila. We are respectable at tea time once again.

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Catherine Roberts