Jun 9th 06 12:57 pm
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mold on a yixing pot

by cubby » Jun 9th 06 12:57 pm

Hi all -- I am new to this forum and am happy to have found it.

I am wondering if anyone knows of a way to deal with mold on a yixing pot. I had rinsed out the leaves from my pot but failed to let it dry all the way before storing it with the lid on for a few days, and a small amount of white mold appeared on the lid.

Is this pot ruined? I boiled the lid for a while, and have been using the pot since, but there is now a stubborn white ring around the lid's knob... Any ideas about what to do?

Incidentally, I now always store my pots with the lids off.

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Jun 9th 06 1:39 pm
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by rhpot1991 » Jun 9th 06 1:39 pm

Vinegar is a good way to remove mold from things, though this might make you sad when your tea pot smells like vinegar forever....

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by Warden Andy » Jun 9th 06 4:43 pm

You might be able to get away with just boiling the pot. That should kill the mold. You could try rubbing the mold spot with a tea soaked cloth to see if that helps. If you can't get away with just doing that, you could try rubbing the mold off with vinegar, and try boiling the pot again with tea to get rid of the vinegar. I'm not sure if that will get rid of the vinegar though.

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by MarshalN » Jun 9th 06 5:35 pm

Is the mould on the outside or inside of the lid? Is it just the lid? Anything in the body?

DO NOT USE VINEGAR OR SOAP OR ANYTHING ELSE

Yes, boiling it will probably do. I'd imagine it hasn't really gotten bad yet, if it's just a few days. I've had a pot that was infested with mould because I forgot about it with leaves in it. That wasn't pretty.

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Jun 9th 06 6:45 pm
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by TeaFanatic » Jun 9th 06 6:45 pm

That's my biggest fear with investing my money in a yixing tea pot. I really want one, but I don't want it to be ruined with mold or anything because it seems pretty hard to deal with a problem like that.

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by jogrebe » Jun 10th 06 2:17 am

TeaFanatic wrote:That's my biggest fear with investing my money in a yixing tea pot. I really want one, but I don't want it to be ruined with mold or anything because it seems pretty hard to deal with a problem like that.
I can relate to you as I also put off buying a yixing pot but looked into them for a bit. Although talking with others and from personal experience, I'd say that the biggest regret most people have about yixing pots is that they waited so long to get their first pot. Still realize that your first pot will probably be an experiment so don't get a real expensive one (mine was around $20 through the combination of a 15% coupon item and a sales promotion) but I messed up in the fact that I got a 400 ml monster that isn't practical to use for gongfu brewing. Still its a nice pot even though I am stuck with English brewing and filling it up halfway most of the time but I'm glad I got it and use it several times a day to brew my cooked puerh.

Personally in time I would like to pick up a few smaller yixing pots more suitable for gongfu brewing, but for now I just bought a gaiwan to learn gongfu brewing in something that I can brew different types of tea in for now.

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by jogrebe » Jun 10th 06 10:11 am

Very good question, so how does one kill mold that is growing in a yixing teapot with its unglazed porous clay?

While I've never heard of vinegar being useful for killing mold before, even if it does kill the mold you might end up with vinegar flavored tea for some time. Reminds me of someone saying that they once brewing a jasmine oolong in their oolong yixing once and ended up with jasmine traces in all their oolong for close to a month. Bleach while it will clearly kill the mold, it is clearly not an option to have bleach in one's tea if you want to live.

I know boiling it again was suggested but will that be enough to fully kill and remove the mold? Also what about filling it up with water and putting it in the microwave (or a cup of water next to it - never operate a microwave empty as you'll risk damaging it and I'm not sure if a clay would be good enough), kindof like the US Postal service now does to kill any more anthrax letters so they won't be able to kill anyone even if they are sent? Or would a microwave somehow damage the yixing teapot?

I've heard someone say before that its important to take care of your yixing to keep it clean and dry as if it gets moldy its ruined and needs to be thrown out. Has anyone ever managed to purify a moldy yixing of the mold, making it fit to use for brewing tea again?

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by MarshalN » Jun 10th 06 9:05 pm

It only gets mouldy if you messed up, such as leaving tea in there for too long or closing the lid when it's still wet.

As for killing the mould -- boiling it will do the trick.

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by cubby » Jun 11th 06 5:59 am

thanks for the ideas; i will try boiling the lid again. good thing there wasnt really anything in the body of the pot, as boiling that would get rid of nearly a years worth of seasoning with daily use!

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Re: mold on a yixing pot

by chittychat » Apr 30th 10 2:41 am

I just came accross this old post and will give my experience with moldy yixing tea pot. Where I live we can have for months humidity of over 90 %. Everything gets moldy, shoes, my hair even my brain :wink: and then my yixing tea pot.
It was always well cleaned, no old leaves left, yet the mold got in. I boiled the pot in water and there was initially no more mold, but came back fast. Then I got the right advice from a Chinese:

Soak the pot in gin or other alcohol for 24 hours. That did it for good, no more mold in that pot. :D The pot was not ruined at all and I keep on using it for my finer green/green olong teas.

Now after each use of a pot I dry it with a rag and do not close the lid for about 12 hours.

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Apr 30th 10 5:27 am
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Re: mold on a yixing pot

by tingjunkie » Apr 30th 10 5:27 am

If boiling doesn't work, you can always soak it in a diluted bleach solution for a couple days, then boil it in clean water. I know several extremely knowledgeable Yixing collectors/users who recommend this. If that won't work, I have successfully removed hard water stains from pots by carefully using fine steel wool. Just don't go overboard with the rubbing. :wink:

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Apr 30th 10 6:11 am
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Re: mold on a yixing pot

by IPT » Apr 30th 10 6:11 am

I have used a bleach solution as well. It works fine, just make sure you boil it well when you are done.

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Re: mold on a yixing pot

by tsverrir » Apr 30th 10 3:46 pm

I had mold in one of my pots. I got rid of it by boiling it for well over an hour.
Recently I noticed a moldy-looking spot inside the same pot. I'm not completely sure if boiling the pot got rid of the mold stain, but I don't taste any mold from the tea made in it. This could just be a stain of dead mold??

Anyway, I'm not going to use bleach on one of my favorite pots, no way. I might go with the alcohol. But I'm not using gin, I would use vodka or something unflavored.

-- Sverrir

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Re: mold on a yixing pot

by andy825 » May 2nd 10 7:33 am

I soak in diluted bleach as well, then rinse soak in lots of very hot water to get rid of the rest of the bleach. I also always store the pots with the lid on its side in the hole, so air can flow around. I think that prevents a lot of problems.

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Re: mold on a yixing pot

by Logan6 » May 2nd 10 5:18 pm

chittychat wrote:
Now after each use of a pot I dry it with a rag and do not close the lid for about 12 hours.

if I may, I would suggest you keep the pot open for longer than 12 hours, as even in moderately humid climates the clay will keep humidity for 24 to 72 hours. the surfaces will look dry, hygrometry can still be significant.
In a high hygrometry environment, it may be that the clay will always keep a certain % of humidity after "drying" time.

perhaps you could place a dehumidifier device close to where you store your pots.