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Removing Coffee Stains From Clothing, Carpet, or Upholstery

removing coffee stains

If you’re one of the many people that enjoy a good cup of coffee or two in the morning or throughout the day, you’ve undoubtedly experienced your share of coffee spills and stains. About 55% of Americans consume coffee regularly, and that’s about 400 billion cups of coffee, all with the potential to find their way onto your clothing, furniture or carpet amid the busy pace of everyday life. Fortunately, there are ways to treat and remove coffee stains that can have you back to enjoying your daily cup of java in no time.

 Staining power of coffee

Coffee beans originate from the coffee “cherries” of the coffee plant, grown in 70 countries. It’s easy for black coffee to stain and since most people add in sugar, cream, flavors and other sweeteners into their drink, a cup of coffee contains oils that stick to and absorb quickly into surfaces. When coffee contacts a porous surface, the surface holds the oils, which leads to discoloration.

Removing coffee stains

If coffee spills on your furniture, don’t scrub at the surface, as this will make the stain soak in faster. It’s best to blot up the spilled coffee with a clean towel or paper towel and then apply mild detergent safe for your fabric with a damp sponge. Rub gently in a circular motion until the stain disappears. There are other ways to remove stains from furniture, carpets, and clothing that use items you probably already have in your home.


For coffee stains that remain on furniture after using detergent or stains on cotton-blend items, try some white vinegar. On furniture, apply a mixture of lukewarm water and vinegar onto the stain and use a sponge to remove remaining stain. For clothing and other cotton-blend items, dab the stain with a vinegar-dampened towel before washing. Larger stains may require soaking the garment or item overnight in a 3-part vinegar to 1 part cold water solution before washing the following day.

Club soda

If you spill coffee on your clothing when you’re away from home, remove the garment (if possible) and poor club soda on the stain and blot with a clean paper towel. This technique also works for spills on tablecloths and carpets.

Baby wipes

Every mother knows how multi-purpose baby wipes are and they’re a good thing to have on hand for treating coffee stains. Blot coffee spills up from your carpet with a baby wipe to absorb the stain and liquid. Baby wipes also work well for drips and spills on furniture and clothing.

Baking Soda

For stains on your dishes including fine china, dip a moist cloth in baking soda until you form a stiff paste. Work the paste gently into cups, saucers and plates to remove stains and then rinse clean.


When your teacups, mugs or coffee pots have unattractive coffee stain rings, sprinkle salt onto a sponge and rub it in small circles over the stain. For stains that don’t lift immediately, add white vinegar and rub until the stain is gone.

Although DIY treatments can help immediately address a coffee stain, it’s best to leave full, safe removal of all stains to the professional cleaning services of Embassy Cleaners. We can clean your carpets, upholstery and dry-clean only items quickly and professionally.

More about removing clothing stains

More about upholstery cleaning

More about carpet cleaning

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