Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby davlittman » Apr 18th, '14, 14:15

I made some delicious bai mudan in it, and then promptly forgot about it. Much to my horror, the next time I opened it, expecting a nice clean teapot, I found a moldy mess. I've scrubbed it with a brush and a mix of hot water and vinegar. The vinegar definitely helped, but the inside is still stained like this.
IMG_2187.JPG
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What should I try next? The denture tablet thing? Is it ruined?

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Postby bonescwa » Apr 18th, '14, 15:37

Did you try boiling it for a while?

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby PaddyB » Apr 18th, '14, 15:46

Ouch, this does look painful :( . I would try and boil it in a lot of water for few minutes. See if that stains go away easier. Very few things survive boiling. However, things are a bit different with mold. It consists of different kinds of fungi, some of which have *very* resistant spores. If spores managed to stay in small pores or cracks inside of the pot, each time you leave your wet leaves sit around, the mold could "attack" them faster (as far as my knowledge goes). So if those stains don't go away, i wouldn't be comfortable using this pot (even thogh health hazard might be minimal)

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby .m. » Apr 18th, '14, 20:05

scrub it with baking soda & water paste to clean it. if that doesn't help, bleach is extremely effective in killing mold; afterwards soak it very well in water (see here http://www.marshaln.com/2011/08/bathing-together/ ).

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby yalokinh » Apr 18th, '14, 22:46

oof! I feel for your problem. Its extreme paranoia that makes me clean the pot after each use. Hope it all works out,
-Yalo

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby Teaism » Apr 18th, '14, 23:26

Personally I won't use this pot to brew tea anymore even if I managed to clean it up. I am not sure whether it is still hygienic after cleaning it visually.

Yixing pots are porous and have microscopic pores. Minute tea leaves and tea oil will occupy these pores over time. If it gets moldy the microscopic roots of the mold will penetrated the pores and imbedded into it.

So if you soak it in chemicals, the chemical will be absorbed by the microscopic tea leaves, mold roots, tea oil that are imbedded in the pores and retain in the pot. Although visually clean, it may not be so at microscopic level.

I am not a expert scientist to figure out this and I may be wrong.
Personally for me I will clean it up and use it as display or as a small pot for plant. Loose some money to recycle that pot, learn the lesson but at least I don't loose my health by taking risk.

Well, this is just my personal opinion, I may be wrong. Most of time it is good practice to inculcate the habit to empty the teapot and flush with hot water and dry it after every use.

Cheers! :D

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby wert » Apr 18th, '14, 23:58

Teaism wrote:Personally I won't use this pot to brew tea anymore even if I managed to clean it up. I am not sure whether it is still hygienic after cleaning it visually.

Yixing pots are porous and have microscopic pores. Minute tea leaves and tea oil will occupy these pores over time. If it gets moldy the microscopic roots of the mold will penetrated the pores and imbedded into it.

So if you soak it in chemicals, the chemical will be absorbed by the microscopic tea leaves, mold roots, tea oil that are imbedded in the pores and retain in the pot. Although visually clean, it may not be so at microscopic level.

I am not a expert scientist to figure out this and I may be wrong.
Personally for me I will clean it up and use it as display or as a small pot for plant. Loose some money to recycle that pot, learn the lesson but at least I don't loose my health by taking risk.

Well, this is just my personal opinion, I may be wrong. Most of time it is good practice to inculcate the habit to empty the teapot and flush with hot water and dry it after every use.

Cheers! :D

What is your opinion on those excavation pots and those sunken ships pots? You wouldn't use them, right? Only display purposes?

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby Teaism » Apr 19th, '14, 00:41

wert wrote:
Teaism wrote:Personally I won't use this pot to brew tea anymore even if I managed to clean it up. I am not sure whether it is still hygienic after cleaning it visually.

Yixing pots are porous and have microscopic pores. Minute tea leaves and tea oil will occupy these pores over time. If it gets moldy the microscopic roots of the mold will penetrated the pores and imbedded into it.

So if you soak it in chemicals, the chemical will be absorbed by the microscopic tea leaves, mold roots, tea oil that are imbedded in the pores and retain in the pot. Although visually clean, it may not be so at microscopic level.

I am not a expert scientist to figure out this and I may be wrong.
Personally for me I will clean it up and use it as display or as a small pot for plant. Loose some money to recycle that pot, learn the lesson but at least I don't loose my health by taking risk.

Well, this is just my personal opinion, I may be wrong. Most of time it is good practice to inculcate the habit to empty the teapot and flush with hot water and dry it after every use.

Cheers! :D

What is your opinion on those excavation pots and those sunken ships pots? You wouldn't use them, right? Only display purposes?


Personally I avoid using them for tea brewing but many collectors go for it. Some of my tea friend have loads of it but not my cup of tea.
It is just a personal preference because I think hygiene is the most important factor. There is always a small splinter of doubt when using these teapots, at least to me. For appreciation, maybe it is fine.
They are also way too costly, I rather spend the money on some good tea.

Cheers! :D

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby davlittman » Apr 19th, '14, 03:25

Thanks for all the advice, everyone! Baking soda seems to have done the trick! Now, how do I get the baking soda/vinegar smell out of it?
IMG_2199.JPG
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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby William » Apr 19th, '14, 06:29

Honestly, If I were you, I would use it just for decoration, not for brewing tea.

Last edited by William on Apr 19th, '14, 08:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby Tead Off » Apr 19th, '14, 07:04

davlittman wrote:Thanks for all the advice, everyone! Baking soda seems to have done the trick! Now, how do I get the baking soda/vinegar smell out of it?
IMG_2199.JPG

Nothing wrong with that pot. I don't understand what all the fuss is. Gently submerge both teapot and lid in water and bring to a boil slowly. Simmer it for 20-30 minutes. Carefully remove it, and smell it to see if there is any lingering odor. Boil more if odor persists. Then take a handful of fresh tea leaves, put it in the water and boil the pot again for 15 minutes. That should do it. Take the pot out and let it cool down. Wipe the exterior of the pot with a cloth to remove excess tea stains. Run some boiling water through the pot 2 or 3 times before making tea. You should be good to go.

I have used stronger solvents on some teapots to remove impossible stains and have never had any problems after drinking tea with these pots. Too much paranoia, IMO.

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby tingjunkie » Apr 20th, '14, 14:54

I have friends who are what I'd call Yixing experts who have cleaned some truly sketchy pots. They recommend letting them sit in a 1/10 part bleach solution for a full week (maybe changing the solution a few times), and then boiling several times to finish off the process. If they do it, I'd trust it 100%. If the other option is don't use the pot, then what do you have to lose?

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby Bob_McBob » Apr 20th, '14, 14:57

As other said, why not try dilute bleach? It's tried and tested for cleaning yixing pots, and especially appropriate for mold.

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby bonescwa » Apr 20th, '14, 15:22

Tead Off wrote:
davlittman wrote:Thanks for all the advice, everyone! Baking soda seems to have done the trick! Now, how do I get the baking soda/vinegar smell out of it?
IMG_2199.JPG

Nothing wrong with that pot. I don't understand what all the fuss is. Gently submerge both teapot and lid in water and bring to a boil slowly. Simmer it for 20-30 minutes. Carefully remove it, and smell it to see if there is any lingering odor. Boil more if odor persists. Then take a handful of fresh tea leaves, put it in the water and boil the pot again for 15 minutes. That should do it. Take the pot out and let it cool down. Wipe the exterior of the pot with a cloth to remove excess tea stains. Run some boiling water through the pot 2 or 3 times before making tea. You should be good to go.

I have used stronger solvents on some teapots to remove impossible stains and have never had any problems after drinking tea with these pots. Too much paranoia, IMO.


Yeah, I've always been confused about people who are worried about mold for the health reasons. Sure, it might negatively effect the flavor, but if you can correct that, I wouldn't worry about pathogenic mold strains just floating around your house. I don't know much about the mold species in general, but I highly doubt that most that you find in a typical home have any ability to cause disease in a healthy and non-allergic person.

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Re: Is this Yixing teapot ruined?

Postby chrl42 » Apr 20th, '14, 21:36

I think the pot's quality (quality of the clay in this matter) is more important than pot's past.

I've used over a hundred pots (I'm sure there are peeps who've used more :D ), and each pot reacts to tea differently

In some pots, the tea leaves rot quickly than other ones, I have even used pots in which molds are grown on the surface..the situation is noticeable especially in summer. (the same goes for water used, in China some water is made of wastes)

Good clays have sanitary function itself, as the researches show, the leaves are safer than in porcelain.....so there. :)

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