How to clean an old teapot?

Cleaning an old teapot, especially one that has been used regularly, requires special care. The buildup of tea residue and stains can not only alter the flavor of your tea but also affect the overall health of the pot. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you restore your teapot to its former glory:

1. **Empty & Rinse**: Start by emptying any remaining tea from the pot. Rinse the pot with warm water to remove any loose leaves or debris.
2. **Soak**: Fill the teapot with hot water and add a spoonful of baking soda. For tougher stains, you can also use a mild dish soap. Let the pot soak for an hour or longer, depending on the severity of the stains.
3. **Scrub**: Using a soft-bristled brush (a toothbrush works well for small crevices), gently scrub the inside of the pot, focusing on any stained areas. Avoid using abrasive cleansers or scrubbers as they can damage the teapot's glaze.
4. **Rinse Thoroughly**: After scrubbing, rinse the teapot thoroughly with warm water to remove all traces of soap or baking soda.
5. **Dry**: Wipe the pot dry with a clean towel and leave it open to air dry completely. Never put a damp teapot away as this can promote mold growth.
6. **Season (Optional)**: Once the pot is dry, you can season it by brewing a batch of strong tea and leaving it in the pot for a few hours or overnight. This helps to reinfuse the pot with tea's natural oils, enhancing future brews.

By following these steps, you can not only clean your old teapot but also help maintain its quality and longevity. Regular cleaning ensures that your teapot remains a trusted vessel for enjoying delicious cups of tea.

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