When a teapot isn’t cleaned, it develops rust and a scaly build-up over time; if not cleaned regularly, it’ll make the cleaning of the teapot a much harder task than it should be.
There are obviously right and wrong ways to clean a teapot, and it is very important to know what’s what. The wrong ways include using toxic chemicals like acid, which could leave residue in the pot.
This method is especially harmful to children, who would continue to slowly ingest poison until the teapot is given a thorough clean. The application of harsh substances to remove other harsh substances rarely works without leaving a bitter taste to any subsequent brew.
There are also outdated methods in Zimbabwe, which some people still claim are the best way simply because their grandmothers and ancestors used them. Some will even try to market old products as new, pretending to slap fresh packaging on the same old rubbish.
Old folks in the rural areas would swear by the use of river sand to scour the inside of a teapot, but you would be hard pressed to find river sand that hasn’t eroded away after Chinese miners dried out the river beds. That, or all the sand has been carted away to be sold to construction firms.
Another outdated method, although people swear by it to this day, is the use of baking soda. Although it has sometimes been found to be effective, pouring white powder into a teapot can be very dangerous.
White substances act as an abrasive, and while they are applied with with boiling water, you must be careful not to burn yourself. You also have to continue scrubbing the inside of the teapot, as baking soda is an abrasive that will mix with the stains. To get a properly clean teapot, one would have to thoroughly rinse it with clean water to remove the mix of old stains and the newly-applied white powder.
The white powder is also famous for removing mineral deposits in teapots, especially when applied liberally.
Others may choose to fold their hands and stare at the teapot, hoping it will somehow clean itself. Every member of the family is entitled to delicious and healthy tea whether they participate in cleaning the teapot or not. It is perfectly okay to sit by; everyone is entitled to complain about the bitterness of the tea.
The best methods are fresh, natural Zimbabwean cleaning products, as these are safer and will leave your teapot looking shiny and new! Vinegar works well for general cleaning, and to remove stains and rust. Using a newly-purchased bottle of vinegar, fill the teapot with equal parts water and vinegar and bring to the boil.
Swirl it around, and then wash the teapot as normal and rinse completely with clean water. Rinse again, to remove any leftover residue! Diluted vinegar can also be used to polish the exterior of the teapot.
Repeat this method once every five years to keep your teapot clean and fresh.
Asante sana. Buy my book.