How to get the coffee smell out of the cup?


Getting rid of the lingering coffee smell from your favorite cup can transform your drinking experience. This article delves into practical and simple methods to freshen up cups that have absorbed coffee odors.

We'll explore household ingredients like baking soda, white vinegar, salt, and ice cubes, showing you how to use them effectively. Each method offers a unique approach to deodorizing cups, ensuring your next coffee or tea is enjoyed in a fresh, odor-free mug. Whether you're a daily coffee drinker or an occasional sipper, these tips will keep your cups smelling fresh and ready for your next brew.

What causes cups to smell?

The lingering smell in cups often stems from the cup's material, insufficient cleaning, and residual coffee oils. Understanding these factors is key to tackling unwanted odors effectively.

Material used for cups

When it comes to cup materials, plastic cups are particularly prone to retaining odors. These cups can develop scratches over time, providing a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to unwanted smells.


Plastic cups can causes the odor from cups 

Poor cleaning routine

Neglecting to wash your cup regularly and using improper cleaning methods can lead to the buildup of coffee and tea residue. Over time, these residues form stubborn stains that not only affect the teacup appearance but also contribute to unpleasant odors. Proper cleaning routines are essential to maintaining a fresh-smelling cup.

Coffee oil

Over time, when using plastic cups, coffee and, more notably, the oils from the coffee, can permeate the cup's material. Unfortunately, these coffee oils are not readily soluble in water, making them stubborn and difficult to remove, even with regular washing. As these coffee oils accumulate, they become a significant factor contributing to the lingering smell of old coffee in your cup. Proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial to combat this issue.

How to remove odors from cups?

Removing odors from cups can be effectively achieved using common household items like baking soda, white vinegar, or a combination of salts and ice cubes. These simple solutions are surprisingly powerful at freshening up your mugs.

Banking Soda


  • Baking soda


  • Rinse the Cup: Start by rinsing the cup with warm water to remove any loose residue or lingering coffee or tea.

  • Sprinkle Baking Soda: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda into the cup, ensuring it covers the entire interior surface.

  • Scrub: Use a soft-bristle brush or a sponge to scrub the baking soda around the cup's interior. Pay extra attention to areas with stubborn odors or stains.

  • Let It Sit: Allow the baking soda to sit in the cup for at least 15-30 minutes. This gives it time to absorb odors and break down any remaining residues.

  • Rinse Thoroughly: After the waiting period, rinse the cup thoroughly with warm water. Ensure all traces of baking soda are removed.

  • Check for Odors: Sniff the cup to check for any remaining odors. If the odor persists, repeat the process until it's completely gone.


Use baking soda to get the smell out of the cup

White Vinegar


  • White vinegar

  • Water


  • Rinse the Cup: Begin by rinsing the cup with warm water to remove any loose residues or lingering odors.

  • Create a Vinegar Solution: In a separate container, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. You can start with a 1:1 ratio, depending on the cup's size.

  • Soak the Cup: Fill the cup with the vinegar and water solution, ensuring it covers all areas with odors. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes, but you can leave it for longer if the odors are persistent.

  • Scrub if Needed: After soaking, use a sponge or brush to scrub the interior of the cup, paying special attention to areas with lingering odors or stains.

  • Rinse Thoroughly: Empty the cup and rinse it thoroughly with warm water to remove the vinegar solution and any loosened residues.

  • Check for Odors: Sniff the cup to determine if the odors have been removed. If not, repeat the process until the cup is odor-free.


Use Vinegar to get smell out of the cup

Salts and Iced cubes


  • Table salt

  • Ice cubes


  • Rinse the Cup: Start by rinsing the cup with warm water to remove any loose residues.

  • Add Salt: Sprinkle a generous amount of table salt into the cup, covering the bottom evenly.

  • Add Ice Cubes: Place several ice cubes on top of the salt in the cup.

  • Swirl and Scrub: Hold the cup firmly and swirl the ice cubes and salt mixture around. The salt will act as a mild abrasive, while the ice cubes will help remove odors and stains. You can also use a sponge or a brush to scrub the interior if needed.

  • Rinse Thoroughly: Empty the cup and rinse it thoroughly with warm water to remove the salt and any loosened residues.

  • Check for Odors: Smell the cup to determine if the odors have been removed. If not, you can repeat the process or try adding a bit of baking soda to the salt and ice mixture during the next attempt.


Use salt and ice cubes to clean mugs

👍 Explore more: Coffee Lover's Guide: How to Clean Coffee Mugs with Ease.


In conclusion, banishing unwanted coffee odors from your cups is a simple and effective process. Whether you choose to use baking soda, white vinegar, or the salt and ice cube method, a few easy steps can leave your cups smelling fresh and clean. By maintaining a regular cleaning routine and following these odor-removing tips, you can continue enjoying your coffee without the lingering scents of yesterday's brew. So, savor your coffee's flavor without any unwanted odors in the mix.

You may also like: 

👍 Say Goodbye to Stains: How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Mugs.

👍 Tea Lover's Guide: How to Remove Tea Stains from Cups

👍 Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean a Coffee Thermos Effectively

👍 Keeping It Fresh: How to Clean a Classic Coffee Pot Like a Pro. 

👍 How to Clean Coffee Carafe: Expert Tips and Easy Methods.

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