Easy Hacks to Remove Coffee Stains

How to remove coffee stains


If you’re a daily coffee drinker, learning how to remove coffee stains is crucial because spills are bound to happen. Whether it’s on your clothes, in your car, or on your furniture, it’s important to treat stains quickly before they set in. Fortunately, there are ways to remove coffee stains from almost any surface. In this article, we discuss different coffee stain removal techniques.

Why Does Coffee Stain?

Before we discuss the different coffee stain removal strategies, let’s talk about why coffee actually leaves a trail by looking at what coffee is made of. Coffee beans, which come from the Coffea plant, are found in coffee ‘cherries’, which grow on trees in different countries around the world. 

A typical cup of coffee contains water, coffee granules, milk, and sugar, with a variety of artificial sweeteners as well. Coffee leaves a stain because it contains oils that stick to surfaces and materials, and are quick to be absorbed – porous surfaces hold these oils and cause discoloration. 

Coffee Stain Removal Strategies

Listed below are some strategies to remove coffee stains from different materials. 

Removing Coffee Stains from Cottons

There are different ways to get a coffee stain out of linen or cotton. The first approach involves the following steps: 

  1. Blot up excess coffee using a clean, dry cloth.
  2. Pre-treat the stained area using a commercial stain remover.
  3. Wash immediately (as you normally would).

Don’t have a commercial stain remover? You can try this DIY workaround:

  1. Blot up excess coffee using a clean, dry cloth.
  2. Pre-soak the stain in a solution of warm water with ½ teaspoon dishwashing detergent (not laundry detergent) and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Soak it for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse the stained area with warm water. 
  4. Use rubbing alcohol and a sponge to blot up any remaining coffee stain. 
  5. Rinse the fabric again with warm water.
  6. Let the fabric dry.
  7. Wash as you normally would. 
  • Removing Coffee Stains on Synthetic Fabrics
    Synthetic fabrics are considerably durably, particularly when compared to leathers, furs, and silks. Removing coffee stains from any synthetic fabric, including nylon, spandex, polyester, and acrylic is easy. Here’s how: 
  1. Blot up excess coffee using a clean, dry cloth.
  2. Pre-soak the stain in a solution of warm water with ½ teaspoon dishwashing detergent (not laundry detergent) and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Soak it for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse the stained area with warm water.
  4. Use rubbing alcohol and a sponge to blot up any remaining coffee stain. 
  5. Wash as you normally would. 

If the coffee stain doesn’t come out the first time, repeat the steps above until it does. Most coffee stains, unless they’re old, will come out after one or two times through these steps. Bonus Tip: If you usually put your synthetic fabrics in the dryer, don’t dry them until the stain is completely removed.  

  • Removing Coffee Stains from Carpet
    If you’ve just spilled coffee on your carpet, make sure to act fast. Here’s how you can remove coffee stains from your carpet:
  1. Blot as much of the liquid up as possible using a paper towel, rag, or towel. Work from the outside to the middle so the liquid doesn’t spread. Don’t rub the carpet – simply blot the liquid up. Once all the liquid has been absorbed, pour a small amount of cold water on the coffee stain, and blot to dilute it. 

  2. Use a cleaning solution. If blotting doesn’t work, you’ll have to make a cleaning solution – mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide with ½ teaspoon dish soap in a small bowl. Then, dab the cleaning solution onto the stain using a towel or sponge. Allow the solution to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then, use a paper towel or clean towel to absorb both the coffee and cleaning solution. Bonus Tip: If the coffee contained sugar or cream, combine one cup of warm water and one capful of enzyme laundry detergent. Stir the solution to mix it well. Using a new cloth, dab this cleaning solution onto the coffee stain to help break down the stickiness of the sugar and cream.

  3. Use a wet vacuum. If the cleaning solution doesn’t get the entire coffee stain, you’ll have to go even further. Pour a cleaning solution onto the stain – make sure to saturate the entire area. Then, let it sit for about 10 minutes. Afterward, use the wet setting of your wet/dry vacuum to remove all the liquid. Repeat until the stain is gone.  
  • Removing Coffee Stains from Furniture
    If you want to remove coffee stains from furniture, the last thing you want to do is aggressively scrub the surface. Doing this will just make the coffee stains soak into the upholstery even faster. Instead, follow these instructions to remove coffee stains from your favorite couch or chair:
  1. Blot the spilled coffee using a paper towel. Try and remove any excess liquid, but don’t scrub.
  2. For black coffee stains, take some mild liquid detergent and place it directly onto a damp sponge.
  3. Gently rub the stain with the sponge in a circular motion. The coffee stain should disappear gradually.
  4. If the stain hasn’t been removed, you can also try to use vinegar. Try applying a mixture of lukewarm water and vinegar directly onto the stain using a sponge to get stains out of the furniture. 

Get Professional Help Removing Coffee Stains

The abovementioned DIY methods to remove coffee stains may be sufficient, but for particularly stubborn stains, you might need a professional cleaners’ help. 

The Bottom Line

No matter what you spill coffee on, there’s always a way to try and remove the coffee stain. These are just a few ways to get stains out of some of the most common clothing fabrics, as well as on carpets and furniture. If these DIY coffee stain removal strategies don’t work, you might have to consider calling in the professionals.

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