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How to Clean Coffee Stains From any Surface – Ultimate Guide

How to Clean Coffee Stains From any Surface_n00

The unmistakable sign that you are an avid coffee drinker: those coffee stains that sometimes plague your kitchen counter, clothes or even the carpet. These tell-tale signs are not just an eyesore, but can prove to be difficult to get rid of. While some commercial stain cleaners might help, you may be surprised to find homemade solutions which are more effective and cheaper as well.

There’s no denying how deliciously fragrant as well as beneficial for your health this liquid goodness called coffee is. However, if you’re serious about brewing your cuppa on a daily basis, you need to know how to clean coffee stains effectively, since spills and stains are bound to happen.

Fret not, for we have compiled this helpful guide about quick and easy stain coffee stain removal for all surfaces. Barring those coffee rings on your notebook, it is very much possible for you to get rid of coffee spills and stains, and keep on enjoying your divine cuppa.

Why Does Coffee Stain?

The uplifting taste and beautiful aroma of coffee is mostly due to the hundreds of acidic compounds, aromatic oils and the dark pigments present in coffee. Unfortunately, these are the very ingredients which end up staining your clothes, curtains, sofas, furniture and even your teeth!

It is interesting to note here that the color pigments naturally present in coffee have been employed for dyeing fabrics to give them a subtle antique and aged look for centuries. Artists steep fabrics in pots of hot coffee for several hours to achieve the level of dyeing they desire. The fabric is then soaked in vinegar solution for the dye to set properly and finally rinsed with cold water.

However, when the same stains occur accidentally over a clumsy slip or spill, the result is not so appealing and one needs to employ one or more useful techniques to quickly get rid of the undesirable stains, before they set permanently and damage the look of the affected fabric or furniture.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Fabric

Coffee stain removal is a matter of trial and error procedures. It is best to start with the simplest technique, i.e. rinsing with cold water, and then proceeding to use common cleaning agents like vinegar or baking soda for tougher stains. If the stains persist even after these treatments, the next ideal step would be to employ a commercial cleaning solution or getting professional help.

The choice of cleaning technique also depends on the type of fabric. It is easier to remove fabric stains from synthetic fabrics like nylon, acrylic, modal or spandex etc, when compared to silk, velvet or fur. Similarly, cotton fabrics are more enduring, making them easier to work with when it comes to stain removal.

You will need 1 or more of the following ingredients:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Fabric stain remover
  • White towel or paper towels
  • Cold water

Here’s how coffee stains can be removed from different materials:

Synthetic Fabric

Step 1: Blotting

Using a clean towel, blot the excess coffee as soon as the spill happens.

Step 2: Preparing a cleaning solution

Add ½ tablespoon washing detergent and 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 quart warm water.

Step 3: Pre-Soaking

Soak the stained fabric in the cleaning solution for 15-20 minutes.

Step 4: Rinsing and Drying

Rinse the fabric with warm water. If the stain persists, dab some rubbing alcohol on the stained area as you blot the stain with a sponge. Repeat until the stain disappears. Wash the fabric in the usual manner and dry in shade.

Cotton Fabric

You can try the same method mentioned above for stain removal from synthetic fabric. If that does not work, try to stretch the stained area over an inverted bowl using a rubber band, and pour hot water (at about 200°F) over the stains.

To make this all the more effective, mix 1 tablespoon baking powder with 1.5 tablespoon cold water to make a thick paste and dab this paste with a wet sponge or towel over the stain. Leave for 15 minutes. Next, pour hot water at 200°F from a kettle over the stain. Rinse with hot water, and proceed to wash in the usual manner. Dry in shade.


Coffee stains can ruin the look of your favorite pair of jeans. Not for long though, as the fix is very easy to perform:

For Fresh Coffee Stains

Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar in 3 cups of cold water and mix well. Dab this mixture gently on the stains as you blot with a clean towel. Rinse with plain water and proceed to wash the denims in the usual manner.

For Dried Coffee Stains

Sprinkle and spread 1 tablespoon baking soda evenly on a wet, clean towel. Dab the towel on the stained area. Repeat this process until you notice the stain disappearing. Rinse with cold water and wash the jeans as usual.

If the stains persist even after this, you may need to use the fabric stain cleaner as per the directions of manufacturer.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Teeth

How To Remove Coffee Stains From Teeth

The acidic compounds – also known as tannins – can get entrenched in between the cavities and tiny pits on the surface of one’s tooth enamel, staining it forever if left untreated for a long time.

How to protect teeth from permanent staining?

The solution is to not let the stains sit on the teeth for a long duration. Gargling your mouth after consumption of coffee and brushing your teeth twice a day, preferably with toothpaste that contains a whitening formula, can make all the difference between a radiant and an otherwise dull smile.

Additionally, you can mix a tablespoon of baking soda with 1.5 tablespoons of water, make it into a thick paste and apply it evenly on the teeth. Five minutes later, brush your teeth while gently rubbing the paste on the teeth enamel, and rinse with cold water. Repeating this process 2-3 times a week will reward you with gleaming, white teeth.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Carpets & Upholstery

This is often gives way to double-edged agony – you’ve spilled golden drops of your coffee AND the spills ended up on your treasured carpet. Worry not, as we’ve got just the right fix for the stains to be gone like they never existed.

Step 1: Blotting

Where there is coffee spills involved, you need to act really fast and blot the coffee immediately using paper towels or an absorbent fabric. Avoid aggressive scrubbing, as this may result in further absorption of coffee oils into the carpet. Blot the stain gently to remove as much liquids as possible.

Step 2: Flushing with water

Flush the stained area on the carpet using ½-1 cup cold water as you continue to blot the stain with a clean paper towel.

Step 3: Mixing a stain solution

Prepare an easy cleaning solution with 1 tablespoon each of white vinegar and hand wash detergent in 2 cups of warm water. Apply on the stain in stages, and continue to gently rub in circular motions and blot. Work on the outskirts of the stain first

Step 4: Drying

Sponge the stained area with cold water. Allow to dry naturally or by using a hair drier on mild heat setting.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Coffee Cups

How to Clean Coffee Stains From any Surface_n2

Haven’t coffee mugs themselves been the biggest and most enduring victims of coffee spots? You must’ve noticed how your once pristine-looking white mugs now look brown and almost lifeless.

To reclaim your sparking clean coffee cups, just fill them with lukewarm water and add 1 teaspoon lime juice with 1-2 drops of your dishwashing solution. Leave for 10 minutes and rinse with a clean sponge and water. Alternately, if you are using the dishwasher, just add ¼ cup lime juice to dishwashing solution. You’ll be surprised by how shiny and new-like your coffee mugs look, post-rinse.

How to Choose the Right Commercial Cleaner to Remove Coffee Stains?

While choosing a commercial stain cleaner, read the cleaning instructions thoroughly to gauge if it is best suited for the fabric type or surface that you wish to clean. For example, a fabric stain-cleaner would target the stain in a different manner than a furniture stain remover.

Also, bear in mind the safety precautions stated, so as to maintain the integrity and beauty of the surface or fabric. Doing a colorfastness test by applying the commercial cleaner on a small patch of fabric before you proceed to use it on a larger portion will prevent it from any potential damage like fading.

Helpful Tips for Effective Coffee Stain Removal

  • Most successfully removed stains were the ones that were dealt with as soon as they happened.
  • Using warm water to rinse the stain or letting the spill dry may result in setting the stain permanently. It’s best to do the initial rinsing with cold water.
  • Read the care instructions of the fabric or furniture carefully, to ensure that it can endure the cleaning process and to avoid any structural damage.
  • Always test out the cleaning solution on a small patch of the fabric or surface being cleaned, so as to test if it can withstand the cleaning and won’t get ruined.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals or intense rubbing as those may result in chafed fibers or faded spots.
  • If in doubt, use the white towel blotting method while rinsing the stains. Simply fold a clean white towel and dab gently on the stained surface, as you continue to rinse with cold water. This method will help you estimate the amount of coffee that has transferred from the stain to the towel.
  • Avoid mixing different cleaning solutions together, as it may damage the stained cloth or surface.
  • If the stained fabric is dry-clean only, resist the temptation to try cleaning it on your own and resort to professional help, as they are more likely to have best cleaning agents to remove the stain. Point out the stain beforehand and clarify the extent of stain removal that can be done to save the fabric.


While there is no better substitute for the instant pick-me-up feeling you derive from a steaming cup of fresh-brewed coffee, a coffee spill or staining can be agonizing. You may feel panic-stricken initially, but the best thing you can do in this scenario is to act immediately and try the techniques mentioned in this guide to get rid of the stains completely.

This guide aims to show how you don’t always need to rely on store-bought cleaners and can also utilize the stuff you usually have in your pantry to make your fabrics, upholstery, coffee mugs and even teeth good as new and stain-free.