How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Everything

From methods to tackle all surfaces to a guide for stain-busting products, we're here to help you clean that coffee stain.

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Grappling with coffee stains is an annoying inevitability, especially since many of us depend on coffee in order function. Luckily, coffee isn't as difficult a substance to deal with as, say, red wine, so you've got many options for cleaning everything from clothing to carpet. Read our tips for dealing with java stains, stat!


Blot up excess coffee with a clean, dry cloth. Pre-soak your stain with a natural or commercial coffee remover (see our list of suggestions below). Rinse with cold water, then use a sponge and rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining stain. Wash and dry as normal.

A Note About Dryers: Only run an object through a dryer once the stain has been completely removed. Subjecting fabric to high temperatures will only cause a stain to set. Air drying is best for any item with stains you still need to tackle.

Carpet and Upholstery

Use a clean white cloth or towel to blot the stain, starting from the outside working in. Do not scrub. Once you've blotted off all excess, spray with water and blot again. Keep repeating this process until all coffee is removed. Try a natural or commercial cleanser if water doesn't work, you'll probably have to do so if the stain is old, instead of fresh. Once the stain is removed, use a fan or hair dryer to dry.

Wood and Furniture

If simply wiping away with a wet cloth doesn't do it, pour white vinegar over the stain, let sit to dissolve, and wipe away. Allow the surface to air dry. If your furniture has any special finishes, be sure to double check that vinegar's acidity won't ruin its appearance.

Cups and Mugs

Being that they're actively filled with coffee again and again, your ceramic mugs and glasses are most subject to stains. To have them looking good as new, make a paste of baking soda and water and use it as an abrasive to scrub out the inside of the cup or mug. Rinse, wash, and they should look good as new.

Cup of coffee fell on carpet. Stain is on floor.
Mukhina1 / Getty Images

Natural Coffee Removers

These solutions are your next, all-natural defense, for when water doesn't do the trick.

Salt: Pour a thick layer of table salt over the stain, allowing it to really seep into the fabric. At the very least, this will keep the stain from spreading. Repeat the process as needed until all the coffee has been absorbed.

Baking Soda: After blotting with a damp paper towel, sprinkle baking soda on top of the stain and allow it to seep in. Blot away with a dry towel or cloth. This will also keep the stain from setting. Repeat the process as needed until the stain has been removed.

White Vinegar: Pour a few drops over the stain, and blot with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. You can use white vinegar for spot cleaning and it can also be added to the washing machine for further deep cleaning.

Baby Powder: After blotting with a damp paper towel, sprinkle baby powder on top of the coffee stain and give it time to seep in. Blot away with a dry towel or cloth. Repeat the process as needed until all the coffee has been absorbed.

Commercial Coffee Removers

Because sometimes, you need to call in the big guns.

Tide to Go Pen: Perfectly portable for using any time, anywhere, a Tide to Go Pen ($7; Amazon) can be applied directly to a surface without having to throw it into the washing machine. At the very least, it will keep the stain from setting until you can access your laundry facilities.

Wine Away: Like vino, coffee also contains tannins, which is why this all-purpose Wine Away spray ($10; Amazon) should eliminate both types of stains. It can be used on on clothing, upholstery and carpet.

Biz Stain Remover: For use on clothing, Biz Stain Remover ($14; Amazon) contains both enzymes and color-safe whitening agents to remove stains. It can be used as a presoak, mixed into a paste to put over the stain, or added to the washing machine.

Woolite Carpet and Upholstery Foam Cleaner: This foaming cleaner is made specifically for upholstery and carpets. The foam cleaner ($4; Amazon) comes with a fabric-safe bristle brush, perfect for really working out those tougher, set-in stains.

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