• by vinux

For tea drinkers, it is difficult for us to relate drinking tea, an act of utmost elegance, to being dirty and contaminated every time we rinse and refill our cups with almost a full pot of water.

Though the tea table appears neat and clean, it has an unseen “micro world” of dirt and grime due to its long exposure to a high-humidity environment. The hot, humid weather creates an especially favorable environment for bacteria to thrive in.

Tea Towel

In a US science-based TV program, there was an episode called “Invisible Bacteria”. They checked the bacterial count of 8 common daily use items, and finally the kitchen dishcloth topped them all, with an innumerable amount of bacteria. The tea towel, as another wiping item, was almost no different from the dishcloth.

Many people have used tea towels briefly without developing the habit of washing them every time, because “they weren’t completely wet”, “there wasn’t much tea stain on them” and “it would dry by itself if left for a while”.

In a damp environment, the fibrous texture of towels can easily make them a warm bed for microorganisms and become the main channel of cross contamination, including – repeated contact by hand, dust contamination on the table, and exchange of bacterial colonies at the bottom of teapots and cups.

Cleaning Suggestions:
1. Vacuum and mop the floors regularly.
2. Clean windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces with a non-abrasive cleaner.
3. Wipe down countertops and tables with disinfectant wipes or sprays.
4. Dust ceilings, walls, and shelves to remove accumulated dirt and grime.
5. Wipe down door handles, light switches, and other frequently touched surfaces with an antibacterial solution.
6. Empty all wastebaskets daily and replace trash bags as needed.
7. Wash all bedding, towels, and cloth items according to the manufacturer’s instructions at least once a week or more often if needed.

After each use, wash the tea towel separately with hot water and hang it to dry.

After using for a period of time, you can do a thorough cleaning with detergent.

Just like ordinary towels, it is best to replace it with a new one after 2-3 months of frequent use.

The Six Gentlemen of the Tea Ceremony:
1. 紅葉 (Momiji): Appreciation of nature and its beauty
2. 菊 (Kiku): Respect for tradition
3. 松 (Matsu): Patience and perseverance
4. 梅 (Ume): Respect for others and their opinions
5. 山桜 (Yamazakura): Adaptability to changing circumstances
6. 橘 (Tachibana): Humility, gentleness, and grace

As an auxiliary tool for drinking tea, the usage frequency of Tea Way Six Gentlemen is not high for most people.

But this also means the longer you don’t use them, the dirtier they’ll be when you take them up again.

First of all, tea sets are usually placed on the tea table and not often used, so it is inevitable that dust will accumulate. Especially the inner wall of the teapot, it is generally difficult for ordinary people to clean it.

Secondly, the placement of these tools is usually with the end facing up, which is the place where you can directly contact when taking it by hand. Moreover, if you clean them but don’t let them dry completely before putting them back in the tea canister, the damp and sealed environment of the tea canister will become an ideal paradise for molds.

Cleaning Tips:
1. Dust frequently to keep surfaces clean.
2. Vacuum carpets and furniture regularly.
3. Cleaning hard surfaces with a mop or a damp cloth.
4. Wipe windows and mirrors with glass cleaner to make them shine.
5. Use an enzyme-based cleaner to remove tough stains from fabrics and upholstery.
6. Disinfect kitchen and bathroom surfaces regularly with a disinfectant spray or wipes.
7. Clean tile areas often with a mild detergent solution and scrub brush or sponge.

Try to clean them thoroughly after using them for a period of time, then air dry.

The tea caddy should be placed in a dry and ventilated place. It is better to choose a hollow bamboo caddy, but the bamboo caddy also needs to be cleaned, disinfected and dried regularly.

Every wet tool should be air-dried before being put into the bamboo canister to avoid mixing dry and wet items and keep the inner walls of the bamboo canister dry.

The tea strainer is a tool used to filter out the tea leaves when making a cup of tea. After adding loose-leaf tea or small pieces of tea to a teacup, the strainer is placed over the top of the cup and hot water is poured over it. The brewed tea passes through the mesh of the strainer while any sediment and other particles are caught in the strainer.

When you clean the teapot every time, use tap water to power flush both sides of the teapot, that can get rid of visible residues. But what about the tea scale that can’t be seen? Especially for the teapots with a layer of nylon mesh filter, its advantage is that the mesh leaks more finely, and disadvantage is that it will accumulate tea scale after long-term use, and when it comes to filtering later on, its flow rate will slow down.

In addition to the accumulation of tea scale, there are also aging, oxidation and other causes due to the long-term wetting of the fibers themselves.

Therefore, when your tea strainer starts to show slight discoloring, this means that you should do a thorough cleaning rather than simply rinsing it with hot water.

Cleaning Advice:

It is recommended that surfaces be regularly cleaned and disinfected to reduce the risk of surface transmission of infectious diseases. Cleaning should use soap or detergent and water, and should be followed by a disinfectant, such as a bleach solution or alcohol-based product. Before the cleaning process begins, it is important to wear protective gear such as gloves, masks, and gowns. After the cleaning is complete, all protective gear should be disposed of properly.

Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush dipped in baking soda, and gently scrub.

It’s better to throw away the tea strainer that is not too expensive but has been used for too long and get a new one directly.

The back of the tea table, the water tray and the seams.

For something simple, portable, and easy to clean, the situation might be much better. However, what we want to say is that big, semi-permanent tea tables that are not easily disassembled or washed!

When was the last time you dismantled and cleaned the water pan under the tea counter? Or… have you never dismantled it before?!

Cleanliness Suggestions:

1. Regularly dust and vacuum all surfaces.
2. Wipe down hard surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dirt and grime.
3. Mop floors at least once a week for sparkling, clean floors.
4. Disinfect high-touch areas such as doorknobs, countertops, and light switches on a daily basis to prevent the spread of germs.
5. Clean up spills and messes as soon as they happen to prevent stains from setting in.
6. Wash linens, including sheets and towels, frequently in hot water to remove bacteria and allergens.
7. Clean windows and mirrors regularly with glass cleaner for streak-free clarity.

If you want to enjoy tea companion without smelling sourness, it must be cleaned at least once a week!

The tea table is damp, and the wooden tea table can’t be exposed to the sun, but try to put it in a dry and ventilated place.

Drinking tea is an elegant and pure activity, so greater attention should be paid to cleanliness and hygiene, for nothing else but one’s own health.