The 5 Easy, Foolproof Methods for Removing Gunk From Dishes

It's always nice to host a dinner party, brunch, or other special event for friends and family. If you decide to cook, you get the chance to show off your awesome cooking skills and present food your way. After working hard on your delicious meal, the last thing you want to do is serve your food on clean but still slightly stained dishes.

No matter how many times you run your dishes through the dishwasher or if you try hand washing them under hot water with plenty of dish soap, those pesky stains always seem to reappear. Some commercial cleaning products don't even get the job done. Personally, this is something that I've been trying to work on in my kitchen because I want my food to look appetizing and not worry about the stains left behind.

Well, there's no need to worry anymore about dirty dishes because there are a bunch of foolproof methods to get those plates and mugs squeaky clean and looking brand new. Try out these 5 helpful tricks for washing dishes and removing extra gunk. You might even think twice before heading to the store for a brand new set!

1. Coffee and Tea Stains: Baking Soda & Lemon Juice

Have you noticed a dark ring around your favorite coffee mug that never goes away? Well, say goodbye to that annoying brown blemish with this natural method. It might take a little extra elbow grease, but it will be an effective way to remove stains on mugs from coffee or tea.

Start by making a paste in a small bowl with baking soda and lemon juice and apply it to the stain with a brush or cloth (you might want to let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing). The acid from the lemon juice will help work through the stain. After you've successfully scrubbed away the stain, make sure to throughly wash in soapy water and dry your clean coffee mug.

2. Stubborn Stickers: Goo Gone

There's nothing worse than a price tag or sticker displayed front and center of a gorgeous serving dish. I'll be the first to admit it- there are a few pieces of my dish set that still have those annoying stickers stuck on. Sometimes they're impossible to remove and then you're left with all of that sticker gunk. It's so frustrating!

If you just bought a new set of glasses or dishes and you want to successfully get rid of price tags and their residue, try using Goo Gone. Goo Gone is a powerful spray gel and works wonders to easily remove stickers from dishes. Just spray the Goo Gone on to the sticker, let it sit for a few seconds and wipe clean with a dish cloth. The sticker should come right off with no problem.

You can also try this method out on picture frames, candles and with other pesky labels. Buy Goo Gone on Amazon here.

3. Hard Water Spots: Vinegar

There are so many reasons to love vinegar: it's a great ingredient to use in food and around the house. I especially love to use it when I'm cleaning out my coffee pot. It's a simple, inexpensive and magical ingredient.

If you start to see those leftover hard water spots on your dishes or glasses you can try two methods. The first one is to soak any hard water spotted dishes and glasses in a solution of vinegar and water and let them sit in the solution for a few hours. Afterwards, make sure to rinse and dry off the dishes with a clean dish towel or on a dish rack.

Second method is to add in a splash or two of vinegar to your dishwashing cycle the next time you're planning on running your dishwasher. This will help prevent any hard water stains from forming on your sparkling clean dishes.

4. Scuff Marks and Scratches: Bar Keepers Friend

One of my favorite household cleaning products is Bar Keepers Friend. One ingredient it contains is oxalic acid, which helps dissolve rust and other mineral stains. Worn down dishes that have gotten their share of scratches and scuff marks overtime will look brand new when you use this product. This product will also prevent those pesky food particles from getting stuck in the scratches.

I prefer the liquid form, which you can buy at the grocery store or on Amazon. It's also one of my favorite stainless steel and kitchen sink cleaners.

Apply Bar Keepers Friend to you scratched dishes and gently rub with a sponge or cloth until they disappear, making sure to throughly wash dishes with dish soap and water after using. Take note that this is a pretty heavy duty product, so a little goes a long way. You can even test it out first on the back of a plate to make sure your dishes can handle the product.

5. Food Stains: Baking Soda & Vinegar

Occasionally, deep-colored foods like beets and tomatoes or spices like turmeric can end up staining your ceramic dishes or china due to their color. You definitely do not want to serve your food on a blotchy plate, so try using this baking soda and vinegar method. Just scrub some of this mixture on and watch the stains wash away. Make sure to use dish soap and to rinse your dishes clean after applying this mixture.

No need to stash those plates far away in the cupboard anymore!

Watch: White Vinegar Is the Magic Cleaning Agent You Already Own