Tips for Removing Coffee Stains

Tips for Removing Coffee Stains

Jake Bonneman Jake Bonneman
5 minutes of coffee drinking

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Party foul! Spilled a cup of coffee on you, your dog, or some furniture? Well, we have no answer for the dog, but for the rest of the common scenarios - here are some stain removing tips for coffee.

What you’re gonna want to have on hand is:

  • Water
  • 2 x Clean cloths/towels (or paper towels)
  • Soap, bleach-free detergent, stain remover, or a combination of these
  • White vinegar

To remove a really tough coffee stain, you’ll also want to have:

  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • A Soft-bristled Toothbrush

Fresh Coffee Stains

Fresh coffee stains are the easiest to remove because the coffee particles have yet to set into the material. It’s science.

Removing Fresh Coffee Stains from Clothing

If you accidentally (or purposely?) drip coffee on your clothes, get to a tap as quickly as possible and run cold water through the stain.

Make sure you run water through the stain in one direction, then the other for best results. (Running water through the front, then the back of the fabric)

As you might expect, time is really of the essence here: the faster you respond to the stain, the easier it will be for you to deal with.

Don’t wait. Don’t deal with it later. Just drop whatever you’re doing* and get to a faucet.

*Ok, ok. Unless you’re doing something incredibly important, like performing a  or something, but then… why were you drinking coffee at the operating table?

Removing Fresh Coffee Stains from Furniture

If you’re dealing with a fresh coffee stain on furniture, sponge the stained area with a damp cloth before blotting it dry with a second cloth. Use cold water, not hot.

Continue this process and if you’ve acted quickly enough, repeated blotting should remove the stain.

I know it might be tempting when you see a mahogany-colored stain on your new oyster shell white U-shaped sectional, but whatever you do—don’t scrub the stain at this point.

It’s easy to panic and get carried away and start scrubbing at the stain. Don’t do it. Just let the cold water work its magic. 

If you got to the stain fast enough, cold running water alone can often get stains out in a matter of minutes.

If this doesn’t work, the coffee particles are set into the material too much, and you’ll need to move on to the next phase of attack:

Dried Coffee Stains

Alright, so the stain dried. No judgment here. It happens.

You’ll need water, clean cloths/towels or paper towels, dish soap, bleach-free liquid laundry detergent, and, in tough cases, a toothbrush and white vinegar or lemon juice.

Removing Dried Coffee Stains from Clothing

If you’re dealing with a dried coffee stain on clothing, wet the stain and apply a few drops of detergent, while gently rubbing the stain with your fingers. Leave it to sit for five minutes, then rinse it.

If the stain is still there afterward, repeat the process by mixing a few drops of white vinegar with powdered laundry detergent until you end up with a paste. Rub the paste into the stain gently with a soft toothbrush and let it sit for five more minutes, then rinse.

Removing Dried Coffee Stains from Carpet

Combine 1 tbsp each of liquid dish detergent and vinegar with 2 cups of water. Pour the mixture onto the stain. Dry with a blow dryer or fan.

Removing Dried Coffee Stains from Upholstery

Mix 2 cups of water with 1/3 cup of white vinegar. Blot the mixture into the stained surface and rinse with cold water. If that doesn’t work, try replacing the white vinegar with an equal amount of lemon juice.

Fixing a Stained Coffee Mug

Method #1 - Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda into the stained mug and add just enough water to form a paste. Using a brush, cloth, or sponge, scrub the mixture for a minute or two. If you’re using a rough sponge, be careful not to scratch up the inside of your mug too much. If the mild abrasiveness of the baking soda was enough to get the stain out, you’ll be able to rinse the mug with water and admire your new sparkling clean mug!

Method #2 - Hot Water & Vinegar

Fill the stained mug half full with boiling water if possible, or hot water from your faucet. Fill the rest of the mug with white vinegar. Let the mixture soak in the mug for 10 minutes, then dump it down the sink and scrub the freshly emptied mug with a scrub brush or sponge. Rinse with clean water until you don’t smell vinegar anymore, and you will hopefully have a clean new mug to admire.

Method #3 - Denture Tablets

This is my favorite method. When you need to call in the heavy artillery, fill your stained mug with warm water, leaving a little room at the top, and add a denture tablet. Let things get fizzy. When the fizzing finally stops, dump out the contents and wash the mug by hand with warm, soapy water and a scrub brush. Rinse out your mug thoroughly, and your spotless mug is ready to be used.


We know coffee stains are annoying as hell, but we hope you won’t hold it against us.

You won’t? Awesome! Because that wouldn’t make sense. Check out Black Insomnia, extreme caffeine coffee with 4 times the caffeine.

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