How to Remove Coffee Stains From Just About Anything

When a long and tiring day comes to an end, I enjoy nothing more than having a cup of coffee for some well-deserved peace and relaxation.

For the most part, this little ritual goes swimmingly. However, more than one time, I’ve gotten clumsy and spilled coffee on myself, my carpet, my couch, or all three! 

While coffee spills are a bit of an inconvenience, don’t fret if something similar happens to you- there is a way to get coffee stains out of almost anything!

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Getting Coffee Stains out of Carpets

Carpets and rugs generally see the most traffic in the average household. It should come as no surprise, then, that they are the recipients of the most spilled coffee.  Here’s the general technique for cleaning a coffee spill on carpet right after it happens –

Cleaning Fresh Coffee Spills on Carpet

Begin with a stain’s outer portion. Gently blot it with a paper towel or cloth (clean). Move toward the middle of the stain and continue blotting it with clean portions of the paper towel or cloth.

Refrain from using scrubbing motions, which can damage the carpet. Repeat this process until you are unable to lift off any more coffee out of the carpet.

Now, pour a small portion of water on the stain. Use a paper towel or fresh cloth to blot it. Repeat this step at least two more times.

Refrain from outright soaking your carpet. After the coffee is extracted, the area should be gently dried with a fan or dryer (low heat only).

Getting Rid of Dried (Old) Coffee Stains on Carpet

Ideally, you can easily clean up a coffee spill by getting to it shortly after it happens. But, if not, don’t worry! There are a number of ways to tackle coffee stains that have already dried up – lets review a few quick tips to get your carpet spotless.

Before starting, gather:

  • Laundry detergent (liquid)
  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap (liquid)
  • Water
  • Paper towels or cloths
  • A dryer or fan (to help dry your carpet)

This simple method that appeared in an issue of Good Housekeeping can remove almost any dried coffee stain out of almost any carpet – including wool!

Start by combining one tablespoon of dish soap (liquid), one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of water.

Using just a bit each time, press this mixture onto the stain using a sponge, cloth, or paper towel. The stain should be blotted continuously, switching between a dry towel and the wet towel. You can stop when the stain is completely removed.

After stain removal, dry the area with a hairdryer (low heat only) or fan.

If there was cream or milk in your coffee, then the stain may require an additional cleaning step.  Combine laundry detergent (a cap full) with warm water (1 cup).  Again, blot the stain, alternating between the paper towel or dry cloth until the stain is completely removed.

After stain removal, rinse the area lightly by blotting it with a cloth wet only with water.  After rinsing, dry the area with a hairdryer (low heat only) or fan.

Getting Coffee Stains out of White Clothing

Have an unfortunate coffee accident at work in your white button-down? Don’t fret – we’ve got you covered!

Cleaning Fresh Coffee Spills on White Clothing

Before starting, gather:

  • Water
  • Stain Remover (for example, Shout, Spray and Wash, or a Tide pen)

Using cold water to get rid of the coffee stain is what you should be doing first. Cold water should be run through the stain’s back portion until it completely washes off. Only a little bit of fabric should be wet.  Use stain remover and allow the garment to dry.

Getting Rid of Dried (Old) Coffee Stains on White Clothing

Before starting, gather:

  • Liquid Dish Soap
  • Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Powdered laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Water

For your first attempt, try this method:

Combine three drops or so of dish soap, liquid laundry detergent, and a small amount of water, then gently lather it into the stain with your fingers.

The garment should be allowed to sit as-is for about five minutes. The back end of a stain should be rinsed with cold water until the detergent and stain are completely washed out. 

If the stain still remains afterwards, try this:

Combine white vinegar and laundry detergent (powdered) in equal parts with water until a paste is formed. Essentially, the powdered detergent both cleans and acts as a mild abrasive to help lift off the stain 

Test the paste on a small part of your garment in order to ensure discoloration does not occur. Provided no discoloration, rub the paste into the stain with a toothbrush, then rinse it off.  

Getting Coffee Stains out of Jeans

As someone that wears jeans multiple times a week, this section is particularly important to me personally!

Cleaning Fresh Coffee Spills on Jeans

Before starting, gather:

  • Water
  • Paper towels or cloths
  • Distilled vinegar (white)

Mix 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar (white) with cold water (4 cups). This mixture should be applied to a stain using either a sponge or white cloth (clean). The stain should be gently blotted away using a paper towel or dry cloth. The jeans should laundered as usual.

Getting Rid of Dried (Old) Coffee Stains on Jeans

Before starting, gather:

  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Paper towels or cloths

Sprinkle some baking soda (1 tablespoon worth) over a clean, wet cloth evenly, then rub the cloth over the stain very gently.  Repeat until the stain is removed. The jeans can then be laundered as you normally would.

Getting Coffee Stains Out Of Upholstery

Spilling coffee on upholstry can feel like an expensive mistake.  Not to worry, though- we’ve got you covered!

Cleaning Fresh Coffee Spills on Upholstery

Before starting, gather:

  • Paper towels or cloths
  • Water

Blot the spill with a paper towel or cloth while refraining from scrubbing motions. Once the coffee has been blotted out as much as possible, flush the affected area out with water (1 cup or less). Dry the area.

Getting Rid of Dried (Old) Coffee Stains on Upholstry

Before starting, gather:

  • White vinegar or lemon juice
  • Dish soap (liquid)
  • Paper towels or cloths
  • Water

Combine lemon juice (one-quarter cup), warm water (2 cups), and dish soap (liquid; 1 teaspoon).  Alternatively, you can combine white vinegar (one-third cup) and warm water (two-thirds cup) if you don’t have or want to use the water/lemon juice mix.

Use a sponge or white cloth (clean) to work the mixture into the stain. Begin from the exterior and rub gently using circular motions moving toward the middle.

Afterwards, flush the area out with cold water (1 cup or less). Blot up the water with a paper towel or dry cloth (clean).  Repeat as necessary.

Getting Coffee Stains out of Mugs

Have a stubborn stain in your favorite mug? Baking soda is all you’ll need!

Sprinkle some baking soda right into the coffee mug that is stained. Add some water to create a paste. The mug should be scrubbed using a dishwasher sponge. The baking soda’s abrasiveness removes stains almost right away. The mug should then be washed as it usually is with water.

Getting Coffee Stains out of Wooden Furniture and Floors

You can wipe away fresh coffee spills on wooden furniture and floors using a paper towel or clean cloth without leaving any stain behind.

For dried stains left on wood, you can pour white vinegar (1 teaspoon or less) over a stain. Allow it to sit as-is for two minutes. Once the coffee dissolves, the area can be cleaned with a paper towel or cloth. Allow the surface to air dry.

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Coffee!

There is no need to panic when you spill your coffee. Using some fundamental household supplies, you’ll be able to eliminate the stain, then get back to enjoying the finer things in life…like your cup of coffee!

Jay Arr

Jay Arr is passionate about everything coffee. What began as a simple interest in the history, production, and brewing of coffee led him to a job as a barista at a national coffee chain. That’s not where Jay’s story with coffee ends, however. Roasting and brewing day in and out, he continued to gather knowledge about all things coffee.

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