How To Get Coffee Stains Out

It’s every avid coffee drinker’s fear; the dreaded coffee stain. We’ve all been there before, watching in horror as our brand new white shirt gets splashed with our morning cup of joe. However, as the splotchy brown mess starts to soak into your clothing, side table, upholstery, or carpet, there’s no need to panic!

Like wine stains and grass stains, there are solutions in place for getting rid of those stubborn java stains, and if you’re prepared, you can get the coffee out in just a few simple steps. 

Before we dive headlong into cleaning solutions, it’s important to remember that the faster you act, the better chance you have of getting the stain out. If the stain is older or dried into the clothes, your task may get significantly more difficult. 

Without further ado, let’s get cleaning!

What You Need

If you want to become the master of the coffee-cleaning universe, you’ll need to make sure you have a few different things on hand. These will be your go-to cleaning materials, so make sure you have as many of them as possible!

  • White Vinegar
  • Water
  • Paper Towels or a Dry Cloth
  • Baby Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Laundry Detergent

Now, you’re not going to need all of these to tackle one coffee stain, and usually, one or two will do the trick. However, depending on the fabric or surface that the coffee spills on, you’ll need to utilize different strategies to get the stains to disappear. 

How To Get Coffee Stains Out of Clothes

Unfortunately, coffee’s most common target is often our clothes. One overzealous sip of coffee can easily spill over, and all that’s left to stop the coffee is the front of your shirt and pants. The next time your white clothing falls victim to a cup of coffee, try following these steps for clean clothes!

  1. Immediately after the spill, spend a minute blotting the stain to pick up any excess liquid. Next, run your clothing under cold water. If you do this quickly enough, the coffee stain won’t have time to settle into the fabric. When running your clothing under water, make sure to avoid rubbing the stained area, as this might damage the material. If you can’t get the stain out in a few minutes under cold water, try letting the fabric soak in cold water for up to 30 minutes. Once the soak is finished, move on to the next step!
  2. Depending on how deeply the coffee has soaked in, your next steps can go a few different ways. First, try a few drops of liquid detergent on the stained area. Gently rub the detergent into the stain and let it sit for five minutes. Rinse the stain and check for any remaining coffee.
  3. If Steps 1 and 2 don’t work for you, it’s time to upgrade to heavier-duty options. Create a paste out of white vinegar and powdered laundry detergent. This should only require a few drops of vinegar. Rub the paste into the stain with your fingers or a toothbrush, and let it sit for five minutes. Rinse the stained area again and let the clothes dry!

If you still have a coffee stain after Step 3, try repeating Step 2 or 3 a few more times. Remember to be gentle with your clothes and be patient! With enough detergent and a bit of work, that stain should come right out. 

How To Get Coffee Stains Out of The Carpet

If you’ve ever spilled your coffee on your in-law’s living room carpet, you probably know the feeling of terror this can invoke (especially if it’s a white carpet). Thankfully, you can save face (and that light-colored fabric) if you act quickly! 

  1. Start your coffee stain removal process by blotting the stained area to mop up any excess liquid. DO NOT rub the stain at all, or the discoloration will spread. Just gently dab the site until you pick up all traces of the liquid. 
  2. Next, mix a cup of warm water with a ¼ teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Test the mixture on a small area of your clean carpet to ensure it will not stain the fabric any further. If there is any discoloration or change, switch to a different detergent and try again!
  3. Apply the cleaning solution to a cloth, and slowly dab the solution to the stain. Work from the edges of the stain, inwards, so the stain doesn’t spread any further. Once again, patience will be your greatest asset, so don’t be afraid to take your time! 
  4. Let the cleaning solution set on the stain for a minute or two, then dab the stain with a dry cloth. This should start to remove coffee from the area! You may not get all of the stain on the first try, so be prepared to repeat this process a few times.
  5. If, after a few repetitions of these steps, the coffee stains haven’t disappeared yet, you can give white vinegar a try! The acid in vinegar often helps separate coffee from fabric. Make a mixture of white vinegar and water, and repeat Steps 2-4 until the stain has cleared. 
  6. Once you are sure you have all the coffee out of the carpet, rinse the area with lukewarm water a final time, and voila! Clean carpets.

Remember: All of these cleaning tips work best when the coffee stain is fresh. If you’re dealing with dried or old coffee stains, you may need to take some extra time or repeat each step a few more times than recommended. 

While clothes and carpets are the most common victims of coffee spills, there are plenty of potential targets. Never fear—most stains can be removed with the above methods and materials. If you are struggling with a particular fabric or material, make sure to look up any special cleaning instructions.


If you’re having trouble keeping coffee in your cup, it means one of two things. Either you need a new mug (like Amora’s handy travel mug!) or it might just be time for some new coffee! Here at Amora, we want to spread excellent coffee to as many people as possible. From our 9-step roasting process to your front door, you can be sure that you’re getting fresh, specialty coffee with our coffee subscription service

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