how to get coffee stain out of clothes

7 Ways How To Get A Coffee Stain Out Of Everything

After a long busy day, I can hardly wait to get a cup of freshly brewed coffee and curl up on the couch, my latest book in hand. Sip after sip, I savor the moment, soaking in the rich taste and well-deserved bliss.

There are days when this cup of delight is coupled with endless laughter, making the moment all the more priceless.

On most occasions, the events unfold effortlessly until I have had my fill. However, my clumsiness sets in at times, turning this pleasure into an explosion as my drink lands on clothing, carpet, couch, and the like.

Following such happenings, I am torn between mourning for my short-lived paradise and the confusion of the ill-timed accident. The latter always seems to take precedence as my mind devices ways of dealing with the mess I did not seek.

Fortunately, there are several ways to tackle a coffee stain, turning this strenuous execution into an everyday basic chore. The trick, however, is to blot as much liquid as possible from the affected surface.

This action represents the emergency response on the stain to prevent damaging as a result of dried coffee stains.

In this article, we address the different surfaces of potential coffee spills and how to treat each occurrence.

Brunette housewife holds yellow shirt after laundry with coffee stain on fabric, having magnifying glass in one hand. Emotional cute young model wearing brown apron, white t shirt and headband.

Coffee Stain Removal On Clothing

A. White Clothing

Supplies needed;

• Water

• Stain remover

• White vinegar

• Liquid laundry detergent

• Powdered laundry detergent

Removal Of Fresh Coffee Stains

1. Blot as much coffee as possible from your clothing using a paper towel. Attend to the stained area only and avoid rubbing to prevent further spreading.

2. Invert the clothing and run cold water on the affected spot, gently washing it off. Cold water works best on fresh stains since heat makes the stain hold onto the fabric. Washing the stain off from the back helps push off the coffee, otherwise, the coffee sets in the shirt.

3. Wring out excess water from the clothing. These tips should eliminate the fresh stain completely. However, in case the stain persists, the next step is to treat it as a dried stain and follow the guideline below.

Removal of Dried Coffee Stains

1. Mix a few drops of your dishwashing or laundry detergent with some water. Gently rub some of it on the stain using your fingers. A diluted shampoo is a good choice provided it is fragrance-free and with no color or conditioner.

2. Leave the soapy spread on the garment for approximately 5 minutes. Invert the clothing and wash out the stain and detergent with cold water until they are completely rinsed off.

3. In case the stain persists further, rub some of the soapy solution on the stain a second time and soak the entire outfit in water. Every 5 minutes, check the garment and rub the stain gently.

4. After a ½ hour soak, take out the garment and inspect the stain. Rinse off where the stain has disappeared, otherwise soak the outfit in warm water an additional 15 minutes and rinse off.

5. Unfortunately, there are times where the coffee stain persists turning your venture as that of a stubborn stain. In such a case, mix equal parts of white vinegar and powdered laundry cleaner with water to form a paste.

6. It is recommended that you first test the paste on another garment to identify whether it may cause discoloration. If no discoloration is evident, use a toothbrush to apply the paste on the stain and rinse off.

7. Alternatively, you can use a stain remover by applying it on the area of concern, letting it sit for 5 minutes, and rinsing it off. After, you can wash it as usual.

how to get rid of coffee stain

B. Synthetic Fabric

In case of spills and smudges, synthetic fabrics are easy to clean off unlike leather and silks. From nylon to polyester, these fabrics are quite manageable and reasonably functional over the seasons. As a coffee lover, if you spill your drink there is no need for worry as that can be addressed in the following way;

1. Using a clean dry cloth, blot the fabric to suck in any excess liquid from your spill.

2. Prepare a cleaning solution from ½ tsp of dishwashing liquid, 1 tbsp of white vinegar, and 1 quart of warm water. Soak your fabric in the solution for approximately 15b minutes.

3. Rinse off the stain in warm water.

4. Wet a sponge with rubbing alcohol and blot the stain area to remove any persistent stain.

5. Wash your fabric as usual.

Most coffee stains disappear after a single cycle of the steps above or a repeat of the same. However, stubborn stains may require you to patiently undertake several rounds of the process to clear.

C. Cotton Fabric

As a natural fiber, cotton is a relatively simple fabric to clean. These 3 action plans will help you get rid of coffee stains on a linen or cotton fabric depending on the nature of the stain;

Fresh coffee spill:

1. Use a clean dry cloth to blot excess coffee from the garment.

2. Apply a stain remover on the smudge as a pretreatment of the affected area.

3. Wash the fabric immediately as per the normal cleaning procedure.

Persistent stain:

Where the commercial stain remover if not readily available, here is what to do instead;

1. Blot the stained area to squeeze out any excess liquid.

2. Pretreat the stain in a mixture of 1 tbsp of white vinegar, 1 quart of warm water, and ½ of dishwashing liquid for an estimated 15 minutes. DO NOT use laundry detergent as an alternative.

3. Rinse of the stained part using warm water.

4. Blot off the affected area with a sponge and rubbing alcohol to remove any persistent stain.

5. Leave the fabric to dry.

6. Wash your fabric as is routine.

a coffee stain on my white shirt

Stubborn Stain:

At times, stains may persist even after the 2 wash routines suggested above. To address such an issue without access to a commercial stain remover, there is a third approach;

1. Using a rubber band, stretch the stained area over a bowl,

2. Boil water to 200F in a temperature displaying kettle and pour it over the stain. However, you should first test the pouring on a different but similar fabric to see what happens. Such high temperature can cause irreversible damage on some fabric dyes and finishes.

When dealing with cotton fabrics, the stained area should not be left to dry fully unless the stain has been removed completely.

D. Denim/ Jeans

Spilling coffee is an occurrence that every coffee enthusiast has had to tackle albeit with differing frequency. In case you spill onto your favorite jeans, no need for panic since you can easily resolve your mishap.

Supplies you will need;

• Water

• Baking soda

• Stain remover

• White distilled vinegar

• Clean white cloths or paper towels

Removal of Fresh Coffee Stains

  1. In 4 cups of water, pour 1 tsp of the white distilled vinegar and stir to mix.
  2. Using either a sponge or a clean piece of cloth, apply the mixture onto the stained region.
  3. Blot the area gently using paper towel or a dry cloth and avoid rubbing which can worsen the stain.
  4. Wash your jeans as is routine.

Removal of Dried or Large Coffee Stains

1. Evenly sprinkle 1 tbsp of baking soda onto a damp, clean white cloth.2. Gently rub the cloth over the stained spot.3. Tirelessly, repeat above steps until the stain comes off.4. Once the stain disappears completely, wash your jeans normally. In case the stain persists, you may replace the baking soda with a commercial stain remover and apply the steps as outlined above. 

Read More:

How to Get Coffee Stain in Clothing

Stains On Carpets

You would think that your rug would be spared from the untimely liquid explosion, unfortunately that is never the case. Due to the traffic flow across the carpet, it is a high recipient of spills and messes.

For your peace of mind, it is highly recommended that you address spills immediately when they occur. This proactiveness enhances your chances of completely cleaning off the mess while reducing those of possible fabric damage. Here is how to handle your stains, dried up as well;

Basic supplies needed;

• Water

• White vinegar

• Liquid dish soap

• Liquid laundry detergent

• Dryer or fan to dry the carpet

• Paper towels or clean white cloth

Removal of Fresh Coffee Stains

1. Using paper towels or a clean white cloth, blot the stained area starting from the outside.

2. At the center of the stain gently keep blotting with fresh paper towels or clean sections of the white cloth.

3. Repeat the blotting and cleaning of the stained area until there is no more liquid being sucked off the carpet. Always avoid scrubbing as it would damage your rug.

4. Spray some water onto the affected area (avoid soaking the rug) and continue blotting with the paper towels or clean white cloth. Repeat this step several times for better results.

5. Investigate your carpet to ensure there is no residue coffee than dry it off with the fan or dryer at low temperature.

Removal of Dried Coffee Stains

1. For old coffee stains, mix 2 cups of water with 1 tbsp each of dishwashing liquid and white vinegar.

2. Using either paper towels or a clean white cloth, sponge a bit of the mixture onto the area of concern.

3. Blot the stain carefully to avoid scrubbing until the stain is completely removed.

4. Dry off the stained spot with either a fan or dryer on low heat to restore the appearance and feel of your carpet. Wool carpets can also be dried in a similar manner.

In case of stain was from a cup of white coffee;

1. simply mix 1 cap of laundry soap with 1 cup of warm water and smear some of the mixture over the stain.

2. Using paper towels or a clean white cloth, blot this spot until the stain disappears completely.

3. Rinse off the stained area with small amounts of cold water and blot it dry with either paper towels or a clean cloth.

how to get coffee stain out of clothes

Stains On Upholstery

What you require;

• Water

• Liquid dish soap

• Lemon juice or white vinegar

• White cloths or paper towels

Removal of Fresh Coffee Stains

1. Using paper towels or a clean white cloth, blot the coffee stain and avoid scrubbing.

2. Once the excessive coffee has been removed completely, rinse off the are using 1 cup of water or less.

3. Blot the water off gently using paper towels or a clean cloth.

4. In the event the stain persists or unfortunately dries off, below steps are applicable.

Removal of Dried Coffee Stains

1. Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing 2 cups of water, 1 tsp of dishwashing detergent, and ¼ cups of lemon juice. 2. Alternatively, you could use ⅔ cup of warm water and ⅓ cup of white vinegar in place of the lemon water- lemon juice solution.3. Work the mixture onto the stain using either a sponge or a clean white cloth. Gently rubbing in circular motion, start your cleaning from the outside moving towards the center.4. Rinse off the are with 1 cup of water or less of cold water. Blot the stain for any excess moisture using paper towels or clean cloth repeatedly until satisfied.

Stains On Wooden Surfaces

Wooden surfaces relate to floors and furniture such as coffee tables. In case you identify a coffee smudge on either surface, here is how to get rid of the stain;

1. Immediately wipe off fresh coffee stains with either paper towels or a clean cloth ensuring you do not leave a stain yourself.

2. For dried stains, pour 1 tsp of white vinegar over the affected area and leave it for a few minutes. Once dissolved, the area should be cleaned with paper towels or a clean cloth.

3. Leave the surface to air dry completely.

coffee stain removal from carpet

Stains On Coffee Mugs

If you are anything like me, you probably have a favorite coffee mug. That means from a fresh brew to refill, you partake your sweet nectar from your chosen apparatus. Due to the repetitive use, the cup may become stained requiring quick action. Fortunately, you can reverse this discoloration through the following steps;

a. Baking soda paste

Necessary supplies;

• Baking soda,

• Water

• Cleaning cloth or sponge

Cleaning procedure;

1. Sprinkle some baking soda inside the stained cup.

2. Pour some water, enough to make a past.

3. Using a sponge or clean cloth, coat the paste around the cup and scrub. The staining disappears immediate due to the gentle abrasion of the soda.

4. Rinse off the paste and wash the cup as you normally do.

b. Vinegar Solution

Basic supplies;

• White vinegar

• Hot water

• Cleaning cloth or sponge

What to do;1. Pour boiling water into the stained cup, filling it half way.2. Fill up the cup to the brim by adding in white vinegar.3. Leave the resulting solution to sit for approximately 10 minutes.4. Drain the vinegar solution down the sink and use a sponge or clean cloth to scrub the insides of the cup. 5. Rinse the cup with water and wash normally.Alternatively, you can mix white vinegar with corn starch and apply the paste onto the stained surface. Leave it on for 10 minutes, scrub and rinse. Thereafter, clean the cup normally. 

c. Salt scrub

Supplies needed;

• Water

• Salt

• Lemon peel

Steps to follow;

1. Use a bit of water to wet the insides of the cup.

2. Add 1 tbsp of salt into the cup and use the lemon peel to smear the salt around the cup as you scrub. The lemon peel doubles up as a natural bleaching agent while the salt as a mild abrasive thus enhancing your stain removal process.

3. Rinse off the cup and clean as usual.

d. Vinegar soak

What you will need;

• White vinegar

• Heat

Cleaning procedure;

1. Heat a cup of white vinegar over medium heat until it’s hot.

2. Soak the stained mug in the heated vinegar for at least 4 hours. Alternatively, you can leave it to soak overnight.

e. Salt and ice

Necessary supplies;

• Salt

• Ice (crushed)

• Plastic wrap

The steps to follow;

1. Sprinkle salt at the bottom of the stained cup and add in several pieces of crushed ice.

2. Using several layers of plastic wrap, cover the mug and shake the two vigorously. The forceful abrasiveness of the coarse salt attacks the stains leaving no stains.

3. Rinse the mug with clean water and wash it as is routine.

f. Denture tablets

What you will need;

• Denture tablets

• Water

• Scrubbing brush

What to do;

1. Pour warm water into the affected mug and add in 1 denture tablet.

2. Patiently wait for the tablet to fizz to activate its cleaning power.

3. Once the fizzing stops, empty the contents of the cup and clean it by hand using warm water and a scrubbing brush.

4. Rinse the mug with water for a spotless finish.

g. Melamine foam sponge

Basic supplies;

• Water

• Melamine foam sponge

• Dishwashing soap

• Scrubbing brush

Cleaning procedure;

1. Wet the melamine foam sponge with water and rub it against the insides of the mug.

2. Continue running the foam sponge over the surface until the cup is clean.

3. Using a scrubbing brush, clean the cup by hand in warm soapy water.

4. Rinse the cup and wash as is routine.


A normal wash is not sufficient cleaning to get rid of coffee stains. You should first pretreat the stains through either of the tips provided above then wash the item normally.

Yes, coffee stains do go away. With fresh stains, the stains disappear easily whilst dried coffee stains require patience and commitment to the cleaning procedures discussed above.

Yes, baking soda does get rid of coffee stains. Usually when getting rid of coffee stains on cups and clothing, baking soda is the best remedy.

Getting rid of coffee stains on clothing is dependent on the fabric. From cotton to denim, you can tackle coffee stains by following the tips provided above for each fabric.

Yes, lemon juice can remove coffee stains. It acts as a bleaching agent thus helps in getting rid of the staining.


All the above cleaning tips discussed to highlight how easy it is to get rid of coffee stains from anything. From carpets to mugs, they should be no reason why your home should be characterized by coffee smudges. We further emphasize the need for a quick response whenever you spill your coffee to make it more manageable. Always having a set of paper towels at hand is a vital element in being proactive and ready.

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