Are You Supposed to Wash Your Teapot?

  • Last edited: March 8, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Everyone loves using a teapot to brew a nice cup of tea. After using your favorite teapot for a while, tea stains can start to appear. Washing your teapot is not always the best option, but this depends on the material of your teapot and whether it’s glazed or not. This article answers the question of whether you are supposed to wash your teapot or not.

You are not supposed to wash teapots with soap or any other detergent. Unglazed zisha teapots absorb most of what you put in them, so using soap will ruin your teapot. It’s better to clean and rinse unglazed teapots with hot water and let them dry with the lid off.

Material of the teapot

The first thing to keep in mind when deciding whether to wash your teapot or not is the material your teapot is made of. The three main types of teapots are porcelain, glass, and clay teapots.

If you really want to give your teapot a full wash, it wouldn’t really hurt the pot if it’s a porcelain or glass teapot. Most people recommend not to use any soap to wash your teapot. In theory, porcelain and glass teapots are not porous so soap won’t seep into the teapot itself. However, it’s better to stay away from soap for this purpose altogether.

The other type of teapots is a completely different story. Clay teapots should never be washed with soap! Using soap will most likely ruin your precious Zisha, Jianshui, or Nixing teapot.

Glazed and unglazed teapots

The main thing to avoid when dealing with unglazed teapots is soap or any other detergent. The fact that a teapot is unglazed means that the walls are porous and that other substances can seep into the walls. This will definitely affect later brews and is to be avoided at all costs.

The main reason people use Zisha, Jianshui, and Nixing teapots is the fact that those pots are unglazed. These teapots allow for better extraction of the flavors and essential tea oils slowly build up in the pores of those pots. After a while, a good-quality teapot enhances the tea’s flavor and overall experience.

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An unglazed zisha teapot
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An unglazed porcelain teapot

Glazed teapots are not porous so soap and other detergents won’t get into the walls of the teapot. Technically, you could use soap to remove any tea stains on a glazed teapot. However, it’s best not to use any soap.

Cleaning teapots

If you can’t use soap or other detergents to clean your teaware, how can you clean it then? Cleaning a glazed teapot is a bit easier than an unglazed teapot.

Cleaning glazed teapots

I recommend cleaning your glazed teaware by rinsing it with water. The water can be hot or cold as it doesn’t really matter. You just pour water in the teapot, pour it out, and dry off your precious teapot.

If you don’t want to use a towel, you could let it sit on a shelf without the lid, and water will evaporate. However, I only recommend doing this if you used hot water to rinse your pot. Hot water will evaporate a lot quicker and your teapot will be dry in a couple of minutes.

Cleaning unglazed teapots

Cleaning unglazed teapots is best done by only using hot water. You pour freshly boiled water in and over the pot and let it rest for 10-20 seconds. Then you pour it out and let it dry without the lid.

Hot water evaporates quickly so your teapot will be dry in a couple of minutes. It’s better to let it air dry and avoid using a towel for the insides of your teapot. The unglazed surface is rather delicate to it’s better not to touch it.

If there are tea stains on the outside of your teapot, you could use a clean and damp towel to wipe them off. It won’t hurt the teapot to use a towel for this because the outside of the teapot is not used to brew tea.

If you used hot water and you clean your teaware like this after every tea session, your teapots will look fine for a very long time. They will even become more beautiful the more you use them.

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