The English homemaker of last century followed a simple ritual for cleaning her Brown Betty teapot. After use, the teapot was emptied of its spent leaves, rinsed with hot water, and turned upside down in the sink to dry. The Brown Betty was a common utensil in the home kitchen and it was pressed into service several times each day.
Made with red clay and covered with Rockingham brown glaze, this durable teapot was a staple in British homes for over two hundred years for two reasons: it held heat very well and, because of its reddish-brown color, it didn’t show stains caused by the buildup of tea tannins on the interior.
This rinse and dry method still works well with most teapots but, if the pot is a lighter color, the buildup of tea tannins becomes evident and an occasional scrubbing is needed. Dish detergents and a cloth will take care of most stains; however, if the pot has been neglected for some time, a bit of white vinegar or a denture cleaner can help remove the stain buildup.