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Darienne

How does one clean a teapot

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DH and I have just begun to drink tea for the first time...Chinese tea with our Chinese meals...and I have no idea of how exactly to clean a teapot nor how often.

All help gratefully received. Thanks. :smile:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Welcome to the world of fine tea!

Cleaning is easy!

Each time you use it, you can just rinse it out with hot water, towel dry the exterior and let it air dry. Don't scrub or towel dry the interior. Don't use soap.

If it's an unglazed pot, I don't even towel dry the exterior.

If the pot has been sitting for a day...or a week while you have been away...just use boiling water after clearing out the old leaves.

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Welcome to the world of fine tea!

Cleaning is easy!

Each time you use it, you can just rinse it out with hot water, towel dry the exterior and let it air dry. Don't scrub or towel dry the interior. Don't use soap.

If it's an unglazed pot, I don't even towel dry the exterior.

If the pot has been sitting for a day...or a week while you have been away...just use boiling water after clearing out the old leaves.

But what about the stains?

I should note that our well water is very hard, with lime. All our taps are on softened water, except for the cold water in the kitchen. We do like our water, BTW.

We have to run vinegar through our coffeepot every couple of weeks.

Thanks. :smile:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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If your water is very hard, I suggest filtering it. Something simple like a Britta jug filter may do. Chek out the topic on Best Water for Brewing. The tea will taste better and you will not have to deal with mineral deposits. I rinse my pots with filtered water after using for the same reason.

Tell us more about what kind of tea pot you have (glass; ceramic - glazed, unglazed; metal?) and where and how bad the mineral deposits are. Are there tea stains in addition to mineral deposits?

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If your water is very hard, I suggest filtering it. Something simple like a Britta jug filter may do.  Chek out the topic on Best Water for Brewing. The tea will taste better and you will not have to deal with mineral deposits. I rinse my pots with filtered water after using for the same reason.

Tell us more about what kind of tea pot you have (glass; ceramic - glazed, unglazed; metal?) and where and how bad the mineral deposits are. Are there tea stains in addition to mineral deposits?

My teapot is very humble. It's a glazed ceramic teapot that we have owned for about 50 years...can't remember which Mother gave it to me.

So far no mineral deposits in the teapot, just tea stains and my DH, somewhat of a cleanliness fanatic...although why he married me I can't imagine...doesn't think that a teapot with stains in it is clean. He'd take Comet to it if I would let him. Sorry for the shock. :sad: Otherwise he is wonderful. :wub:


Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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We put ours in the dishwasher every so often. Then again, it's not 50 years old.

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We put ours in the dishwasher every so often. Then again, it's not 50 years old.

My abject apologies. The teapot in question is NOT fifty years old...that's my other teapot and it's probably older than 50 years if it belonged to one of our sets of parents.

The teapot we are using for Chinese tea is glazed, but it is one of those familiar Chinese designs with the translucent rice pattern in it which we bought about 35 years ago when driving to Toronto and into Chinatown was still a pleasure and not something to be done with gritted teeth and only when forced. The pot has a wrapped bamboo handle and I don't think it would withstand too many dishwasher trips.

Back to the drawing board? :rolleyes:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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My grandmother always used a few drops of bleach in a pot full of hot water, allow to set for 5 - 10 minutes then dump it out and rinse with hot water a couple of times. I have been using the same procedure for close to 60 years with no problems.

I have a large collection of teapots, many are antique and I have never put any of them in the dishwasher. Many have gold or silver decorations and many are hand-painted.

Some people advise using denture-cleaning tablets but this is not so good for antique porcelain and also not good for ironstone or pottery - antique china collectors steer away from this potentially corrosive product. Bleach is safe.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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What about baking soda?


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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i use baking soda -once in awhile

if u have a yixing pot it is better not to use anything

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What about baking soda?

That's what I used to use in the years before we had a dishwasher - you just make a little paste with baking soda & water & rub it around with a sponge or fingers, depending on pot configuration. Really stubborn stains, let the paste sit on them for a half hour or so.

The pot into which I pour off my brewed tea is a vintage Hall with a white glaze on the interior. Rinsing it out isn't sufficient, as it gradually accumulates a film that will then flake off into the tea when it gets thick enough, if you let it go that long. I just pop it into the dishwasher when it needs cleaning. I use the mildest possible cycle & don't use the bake-dry setting. This practice has served me well for 15 years now.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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What about baking soda?

Baking soda's great - mildly abrasive enough so it shouldn't scratch your teapot, and doesn't leave odd flavours behind. Rinse out with plenty of hot water. I use it on my mugs too. Don't use it for anything else other than ceramic.

I also find those little tiny brushes used for cleaning out the turkey baster works well for getting into the teapot spout.

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You certainly learn something new everyday on this forum. Add yixing pot to the list. Thank you, Wikipedia. At least, that's always a good place to start.

Thanks for all the posts. DH is very happy about it. We just finished lunch, with a pot of Chinese Jasmine tea.

Thanks. :smile:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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You certainly learn something new everyday on this forum.  Add yixing pot to the list.  Thank you, Wikipedia.  At least, that's always a good place to start.

Thanks for all the posts.  DH is very happy about it.  We just finished lunch, with a pot of Chinese Jasmine tea.

Thanks. :smile:

Yixing teapots should only be rinsed with hot water. It is best to have a separate pot for each type of tea when you use Yixing. The "patina" that develops on the inside of the pot is said to contribute to the overall enjoyment of the tea.

Holy Mountain Trading Company has a lot of information about Yixing teapots as well as other teaware, teas and good info.

Many people who prefer the cast iron tetsubin pots also feel that the pots should never be washed with detergent but only rinsed with hot water.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Yixing teapots should only be rinsed with hot water.  It is best to have a separate pot for each type of tea when you use Yixing.  The "patina" that develops on the inside of the pot is said to contribute to the overall enjoyment of the tea. 

Holy Mountain Trading Company has a lot of information about Yixing teapots as well as other teaware, teas and good info.

Many people who prefer the cast iron tetsubin pots also feel that the pots should never be washed with detergent but only rinsed with hot water.

Right on - it's a matter of perspective "it isn't a stain, it's a patina". I just rinse any tea pot with hot water. Cups are another matter since I usually use them for other things (small far east style tea cups are my favorites for whisky).

You probably won't get mineral deposits in the tea pot unless you let the tea evaporate for days. The minerals form in the kettle because of the boiling driving off CO2 and evaporating water.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Having spent 24 years in the pottery industry in the UK, I would say that most modern, commercially made European or American teapots can and should be washed in the dishwasher. Care needs to be taken with older pottery and also with anything made from softer, cheaper earthenware bodies which may not be fully vitreous.

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Having spent 24 years in the pottery industry in the UK, I would say that most modern, commercially made European or American teapots can and should be washed in the dishwasher. Care needs to be taken with older pottery and also with anything made from softer, cheaper earthenware bodies which may not be fully vitreous.

Thanks, but how can I tell if an older teapot is "fully vitreous"?

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Having spent 24 years in the pottery industry in the UK, I would say that most modern, commercially made European or American teapots can and should be washed in the dishwasher. Care needs to be taken with older pottery and also with anything made from softer, cheaper earthenware bodies which may not be fully vitreous.

Thanks, but how can I tell if an older teapot is "fully vitreous"?

If it has a glass-like surface inside and out. There may be an unglazed "ring" on the bottom and the inner edge of the top, but otherwise fully glazed with a shiny surface.

Some pots are glazed on the inside but unglazed on the outside and many of these can be harmed in the dishwasher cycle - the dishwasher detergent is harsher and has a micro abrasive component.

Some china and porcelain can become heat crazed - that is, they develop a netting of fine cracks and while they are okay and safe to use for brewing tea - when this develops they should not be put in the dishwasher.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I dont have a diswasher but i wash my teapots by hand, with a scrubby if there are stains. They are all regular glazed inside and out.

My mom and aunt both use the denture tablets!

I have a number of silver plate older family pots, these i never ever use silver cleaner on the inside, because it tastes funny no matter how i rinse. I rinse the insides of them with soap and water, never use a scrubby so as not to wreck the plate on the inside.

on the silver pots I am all about the patina building up. I think that is makes the tea taste more tea and less very slightly silver.

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Thanks, but how can I tell if an older teapot is "fully vitreous"?

That's where some expert knowledge (or semi-expert in my case) comes in. We are talking about the body here, not the glaze, and it is about whether it absorbs water readily or if it has been fired to a high enough temperature to make that less likely. Porcelain and stoneware are vitreous, but earthenware may not be, depending on the firing temperature and, hence, the quality. You can sort of tell by feel, or by using water to see if it is absorbed readily or repelled.

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Having spent 24 years in the pottery industry in the UK, I would say that most modern, commercially made European or American teapots can and should be washed in the dishwasher. Care needs to be taken with older pottery and also with anything made from softer, cheaper earthenware bodies which may not be fully vitreous.

Interesting.

My Bee House pot meets andiesenji's description. Should I just toss it into the dishwasher next time?


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Having spent 24 years in the pottery industry in the UK, I would say that most modern, commercially made European or American teapots can and should be washed in the dishwasher. Care needs to be taken with older pottery and also with anything made from softer, cheaper earthenware bodies which may not be fully vitreous.

Interesting.

My Bee House pot meets andiesenji's description. Should I just toss it into the dishwasher next time?

If it is the McCoy beehive pot, or the beehive teapot made by Bauer, No! Have you posted a photo of it anywhere?

Do you know if it is vintage? Where it was made?

Hall China produced a beehive teapot in the late 1930s and it IS vitreous china and okay to put in the dishwasher - however it is quite valuable so I personally would wash it by hand.

(All of the figural teapots produced by Hall China through the mid-1960s are considered to be collector items.)


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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As usual, I'm the dope on this topic. However. my North of England grandmother gave me the DL on washing teapots (In her case, A Brown Betty.)

You don't. A swish under hot water, no soap, no scrubbing. Ever. It would kill the pot and kill the tea.

I have a pretty white French teapot, and sometimes I'll clean it with a vinegar solution, just so the interior looks nice. But mostly, with a teapot, less is more.

And for heavens sake, mes amis, tea is tea.


Edited by maggiethecat (log)

Margaret McArthur

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