How To Remove Coffee Stains – 7 Effective Solutions!

This guide is for anyone who wants to quickly and easily clean coffee stains from clothes, couches, mugs, or pretty much anywhere in your home. 

There are so many different myths and half truths about how to remove stains when you spill coffee, and having sat down and tried them I can tell you that most of them are useless. 

However, I have found the best tried and tested methods for cleaning coffee stains completely, and they are all here. So, keep reading, and in just a few minutes you'll no longer need to fear the occasional coffee spill. 

Before I share the solutions, let's explain the 3 main reasons why coffee stain removal is so difficult:

1. Temperature

When hot coffee comes into contact with cotton fabrics or synthetic fabrics is opens up the fibres. The excess coffee will then almost bind to the material and makes it more likely that the coffee stains permanent, especially if you don't clean fresh stains quick enough.

2. Tannins

Coffee contains natural colors called tannins. This is what gives coffee the deep, rich color, but it also makes the stained area much more noticeable. Scrubbing off and removing the tannins is what makes the stains harder to deal with. 

3. Mix Of Ingredients 

Most of the time when you remove coffee stains you're dealing with a mix of compounds because there's coffee, milk, sugar, and other extras. This mixture is more challenging to clean and it's why stain remover has to work harder. 

Removing Coffee Stains - Easy Step-By-Step Guide

It's quite a problem we're facing, but there are some simple solutions. Here’s how to go about removing coffee stains when you spill coffee in these common places:

1.  Remove Coffee Stains From Carpet  

Items that you will require:  

  • Powdered laundry detergent   
  • Warm water  
  • A toothbrush  
  • 1
    To start, you’ll want to make sure that you’re removing the coffee stains as soon as the spill happens.  
  • 2
    Start by blotting the stain with a dry cloth. Then, mix ¼ teaspoon of a liquid dish soap or dishwashing detergent with one cup of lukewarm water.  
  • 3
    Test a small spot of the dishwashing detergent mixture on your carpet before applying it to a microfiber cloth and working around the edges of the spill before moving towards the center.  
  • 4
    Allow the spill to set before blotting it with a dry cloth. Repeat until the stain is entirely removed. This might take several tries, so it’s important to be patient. If the stain still remains, an alternative solution might be required.  
Coffee Stains From Carpet

2. Removing Coffee From Clothes  

Items that you will require to remove coffee stains from clothes:  

  • A dry rag 
  • Liquid laundry detergent 
  • White vinegar 
  • 1
    Start by carefully blotting the stain with a dry rag.  
  • 2
    Then, make sure that you are checking the laundry label. Synthetic and cotton fabrics that need to be dry cleaned should be brought for professional cleaning.  
  • 3
    Rinse your clothing with cold water to remove as much excess coffee as possible before making a solution that’s one part white vinegar and one part liquid laundry detergent. Place the solution on the stained fabric for a while before rinsing.  
  • 4
    Once the stain becomes relatively light, you can go ahead and place the item of clothing in the washing machine as per usual.  

If your clothing is made of cotton material, it is advisable to pretreat your clothing with a prewash stain remover before laundering as usual. Ideally, you should also use a detergent with stain-fighting enzymes, especially if you have had coffee with milk or sugar in it.  

If your clothing is white, you would want to rinse your clothing with cold water before pretreating the spot with liquid laundry detergent. Then, go ahead and machine wash the shirt in cold water. It would be best if you avoided using hot water as that could permanently set the stain.  

Coffee Stained Shirt

3. Cleaning Coffee Stains From Cups & Mugs  

Items that you will require to remove coffee stains for cups and mugs:  

  • Baking soda
  • A damp cloth
  • 1
    To start, go ahead and sprinkle some baking soda onto your mug or cup.
  • 2
    Then, scrub the remaining stain it with a damp cloth, and you should be all good to go.

If that doesn't work, another great alternative is using denture tablets. Simply fill your cup or mug with warm water, add a denture tablet, watch it fizz and gently rub with a cloth, and you should have a clean mug or cup in no time at all. 
Some other ways that you can remove coffee stains from your cup or mug include using a store-bought mug cleaner or making a paste with baking soda and warm water. 

Coffee Stained Mug

4. Removing Coffee From Stainless Steel 

Items that you will require to remove coffee stains from stainless steel:  

  • Baking soda  
  • White vinegar 
  • Bottle brush  
  • Hot water  
  • 1
    Place the stainless steel cup or container that you’re cleaning in the sink before adding in one tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of vinegar.  
  • 2
    Swirl the mixture and ensure that it coats every surface. Then, leave the item aside for a few minutes.
  • 3
    Finally, add some hot water to the stainless steel cup or container before using a bottle brush to scrub the inside. 
  • 4
    Once the surface is clean, pour out the solution and rinse with hot water. Dry and set aside. Your stainless steel container or cup should now be free of all coffee stains. 
Coffee Stained Stainless Steel

5. Cleaning Out From A Coffee Pot  

Items that you will require to remove stains from a coffee pot:  

  • Baking soda  
  • Warm water
  • 1
    Removing coffee stains from a coffee pot is relatively similar to how you would remove it from a mug or cup. 
  • 2
    All you've got to do is sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of your coffee pot before adding enough warm water to make a paste.
  • 3
    Once you have the paste, go ahead and scrub the pot. The gentle abrasion should get rid of the stain in a couple of minutes. 
  • 4
    Then, simply wash away the paste, give your coffee pot a good rinse and wipe down with a fresh cloth. All of the coffee stains should now be gone. 
Coffee Stained Coffee Pot

6. Removing Coffee Spills From Upholstery Or Couch 

Items that you will require to remove coffee stains from your couch:  

  • Dry rag or paper towels
  • Liquid laundry detergent  
  • Vinegar  
  • 1
    Removing coffee stains from upholstery or a couch is relatively similar to removing coffee stains from clothing. 
  • 2
    Start by blotting the spot with your dry rag or paper towel. Make sure that you are not rubbing the fabric.  
  • 3
    Then, mix a tablespoon of laundry detergent with a tablespoon of vinegar and a cup of water.
  • 4
    Go ahead and blot the solution into the upholstery before drying with a dry rag or paper towel.
  • 5
    Proceed to repeat the process until the stain is removed. 
Coffee Stain On Couch

7. Removing From A Car Seat 

Items that you will require to remove coffee stains from your car:  

  •  Dry rag or paper towels  
  • Cold water
  • 1
    Similar to most of the other stains, if you’ve spilled coffee in your car seat, you will want to ensure that you remove it as soon as possible. 
  • 2
    Start by soaking and blotting away any excess liquid with a dry rag or paper towel.
  • 3
    Then, apply cold water to the stain with a fresh paper towel. Make sure that you are blotting the water and not rubbing it.
  • 4
    Blot with another fresh paper towel to remove the excess water and coffee. Repeat the process until the stain is removed. 
Coffee Stained Car Seat

Substances That Can Remove Coffee Stains (Are They Permanent?) 

Coffee stains aren't permanent. If you know how to remove them and act promptly then you can make most surfaces as good as new. 

Whether you've got coffee stains on your clothes, in your car, or at home, the chances of you removing these stains are much higher if you treat them quickly.  

Some of the liquids and ingredients that are great are removing coffee stains include:  

  • 1
    Cold water
    Tends to work great on coffee stains. 
  • 2
    A little liquid soap or liquid washing detergent should get rid of the stain in no time at all. 
  • 3
    While you’ll usually mix the vinegar with some cold water, this is an effective way to remove stains. 
  • 4
    Lemon juice
    As lemon juice acts as a bleaching agent, it's excellent at removing stains. 
  • 5
    As toothpaste has an exfoliating effect, it can be used to get rid of coffee stains. 
  • 6
    Baking soda
    Mixing baking soda and a little bit of water makes a paste that’s great at removing coffee stains. 
  • 7
    Baby powder
    Applying baby powder to a coffee stain for a few minutes can work wonders. 
  • 8
    Egg Yolk
    while surprising, working an egg yolk into the stain is incredibly effective. 

How To Remove Old Coffee Stains

A fresh stain is much easier to remove than an old, dried on coffee stain, so it's important to act quickly if you can. 

However, you can remove old stains from most surfaces but it will require a bit more elbow grease. 

The longer the coffee stain has been there, the most challenging the stain removal is so you'll have to use a tougher cleaner. White wine vinegar works best as the acidic compounds can help to clean the stained area. Here's the process to follow:

  1. Mix white vinegar and water together. You can also add a bit of liquid dish soap. 
  2. Spread over the stained area and leave for a few hours.
  3. Take a cloth and gently rub the stained area to dislodge the stain. Be careful with some synthetic fabrics as you don't want to cause damage. 
  4. Take a fresh cloth and wipe the solution off the remaining stain. 
  5. Repeat the steps above as necessary until the old coffee stain is removed.

How To Remove Coffee Stain From Your Teeth

Drinking coffee can stain your teeth. The more coffee we drink, the harder it is to remove the stains; and it's important to remove the coffee stains quickly. Here's 4 tips for whiter teeth:

  • 1
    Mix two drops of hydrogen peroxide and a small amount of baking soda to make a paste that you can brush twice a day for stain removal. 
  • 2
    Use approved whitening products from the pharmacy after you have consulted with your dentist.
  • 3
    Use an electric toothbrush instead of a manual toothbrush as it’s more effective at removing stains.
  • 4
    Avoid sugar and creamer in your coffee, and brush your teeth half an hour after you've finished drinking coffee.
young woman cleaning coffee stained teeth

Frequently Asked Coffee Stain Questions

How do you get dried coffee stains out? 

Dried coffee stains are usually harder to remove, so you would need to first soak the stains in a solution of distilled white vinegar, liquid detergent, and water. This is usually incredibly effective at loosening coffee stains. 

What is the best coffee stain remover?

One of the best coffee stain removers is a simple solution made of a tablespoon of liquid dish soap, a tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water. Simply combine these ingredients in a bowl before stirring the solution with a spoon. Apply this solution to a clean cloth, and you'll be all good to go.

How do you get old coffee stains out of wood?

If you would like to remove older coffee stains out of wood, go ahead and pour a teaspoon of white vinegar on the affected area and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. After the stain has dissolved, clean the area with a dry cloth before allowing it to dry.  

Conclusion -  Start Cleaning!

Drinking coffee can be enjoyable and hazardous, especially if you're clumsy like me! 

However, if you know what you're doing and act fast then you can remove coffee stains quickly and easily. Hopefully this guide has shown you the best ways of doing it, and you now feel well equipped to take on coffee stain removal. 

Karmy Widjaja

Karmy Widjaja

Karmy grew up in Singapore before heading to wintry Boston to pursue a Hospitality Administration degree. It was there that she developed an interest in coffee - especially hot lattes which helped get her through the winter. In her later years, Karmy moved to Melbourne, fully immersing herself in the world of coffee, beans, and the roasting process. Now, Karmy resides in Perth where she's always on the hunt for the next best coffee.

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