How to Remove Coffee Stains


Coffee is delicious, but it can leave a tough stain.
Coffee is delicious, but it can leave a tough stain.
2009 HowStuffWorks

Ev­eryone has had their slippery experiences with scalding coffee. And they can leave scars: the type that need to be removed. Here's how you can remove all traces of coffee spills.

With these stain removal tips, and simple tools like wet or dry blotters, you won't have to take any lumps with your coffee.

After you identify the material that has the stain, follow the steps on each page to remove it:

Acetates, Fiberglass and Rayon

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Acetate, Fiberglass, Rayon, and Triacetate:

  • Blot up with a clean cloth.
  • Sponge (the method of using light strokes with a dampened pad working outward from the center of the stain) the stain with water.
  • Apply a wet spotter and a few drops of white vinegar. Cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the wet spotter.
  • Keep the stain and pad moist with the wet spotter and vinegar.
  • Let it stand as long as any stain is being removed. Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
  • Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining materials and residue from stain removers) with water. Repeat until no more stain is removed.

If a stain remains:

  • Moisten it with a solution of enzyme presoak and warm water (follow directions on label).
  • Cover with a clean pad that has been dipped in the solution and wrung almost dry.
  • Let it stand for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add more solution if needed to keep the area warm and moist, but do not allow the wet area to spread.
  • When the stain is removed, or no more is being lifted, flush thoroughly with water and allow to dry. (If coffee contained cream and any greasy stain remains, follow procedures to Remove Milk and Cream.)

Synthetic Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Acrylic Fabric, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester, and Spandex:

  • Blot up any excess with a clean cloth.
  • Presoak (the method of soaking in the washer or in a sink or tub before washing) the stain in a solution of 1 quart warm water, 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing detergent, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse with water. Sponge the remaining stain with rubbing alcohol and launder if possible.
  • If coffee contained cream and any greasy stain remains, follow procedures to Remove Milk and Cream.

Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Acrylic Plastic, Aluminum, Asphalt, Bamboo, Brass, Bronze, Cane, Ceramic Glass/Tile, Copper, Cork, Enamel, Glass, Gold, Grout, lron, Ivory, Jade, Linoleum, Paint/Flat, Paint/Gloss, Pewter, Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Stainless Steel, Tin, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Tile, Vinyl Wallcovering and Zinc:

  • Blot up any excess.
  • Wipe the surface with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.

Alabaster and Marble

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Alabaster and Marble:

  • Blot up any excess.
  • Wipe the surface with a cloth dipped in a solution of washing soda or detergent and water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.

If a stain remains:

  • Mix a few drops of ammonia with 1 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide.
  • Soak a white blotter with the solution and place it over the stain.
  • Cover it with a piece of glass or other heavy object.
  • Continue applying the solution until the oil has been drawn out and any remaining stain is bleached out.

Stone Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from stone surfaces such as Bluestone, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone, Granite, Limestone, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, Slate and Terrazzo:

  • Mix a solution of washing soda or a detergent in water.
  • Gently brush (the method of using a stiff-bristled brush to gently remove dried stains and spots) stain away.
  • Wash with clear water and allow to dry.

Burlap, Silk and Wool

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Burlap, Silk and Wool:

  • Blot up excess.
  • Sponge the stain with water.
  • Apply a wet spotter and a few drops of white vinegar.
  • Cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the wet spotter. Let it stand as long as any stain is being lifted.
  • Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
  • Keep the stain and pad moist with the wet spotter and vinegar.
  • Flush with water.
  • Repeat until no more stain is being removed.

If any stain remains:

  • Apply rubbing alcohol to the stain and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with alcohol.
  • Let it stand as long as it is picking up stain, changing the pad as it does.
  • Keep the stain and pad moist with alcohol.
  • Flush with water.

For a stubborn or old stain:

  • Try using an enzyme presoak (follow directions on label).
  • Cover with a clean pad dipped in the solution and squeezed almost dry.
  • Let it stand for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add more solution as needed to keep the area warm and moist, but do not allow the wet area to spread.
  • When the stain is lifted, flush thoroughly with water. (If coffee contained cream and any greasy stain remains, follow procedures to Remove Milk and Cream.)

Carpets and Foam Rubber

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Synthetic Carpet, Wool Carpet and Foam Rubber:

  • Blot up what you can.
  • Apply Stain-X Carpet Stain Remover, Spot Shot Carpet Stain Remover, or Afta Carpet Stain Remover.
  • Flush the stain with a solution of 1 quart warm water, 1/2 teaspoon liquid laundry or dishwashing detergent, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar.
  • Blot with a clean pad and rinse well with water.

If the stain remains:

  • Use an enzyme presoak (follow directions on label).
  • Blot and flush alternately until no more stain is left.
  • Sponge the area well with water.
  • Blot all excess liquid and place a clean pad over the area and weight it down.
  • When no more is being absorbed, allow the area to thoroughly air dry. (If coffee contained cream and any greasy stain remains, follow procedures to Remove Milk and Cream.)

Cotton and Linen

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Cotton and Linen:

  • Blot up excess.
  • Pretreat (the method of applying a stain-removing agent directly to the stained area before laundering) with Shout Liquid Laundry Stain Remover, then launder immediately.
  • If that is not possible, soak the stain in a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing detergent for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse well with water.
  • Next, sponge the stain with rubbing alcohol.
  • Rinse and allow to dry.
  • If the stain remains, use an enzyme presoak (follow directions on label).
  • Rinse well with water and dry.
  • Launder as soon as possible.

Another method that has worked:

  • Stretch the stained area over a bowl and secure with a rubber band.
  • Pour boiling water through the stain from a height of 2 to 3 feet. Stand back to avoid splatters.
  • Although cotton and linen can stand boiling water, some of the finishes and colors used on the fabrics might be damaged by such harsh treatment.
  • Be sure to test on an inconspicuous corner first. (If coffee contained cream and any greasy stain remains, follow procedures to Remove Milk and Cream.)

Felt and Fur

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Felt, Synthetic Fur and Natural Fur:

  • Blot up what you can without forcing the stain further into the fibers.
  • Mix a mild soap in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds.
  • Dip a cloth in only the foam and apply.
  • Rinse with a cloth dipped in clear water and wrung nearly dry.

If an oily residue remains:

  • Powder the stain with an absorbent such as cornmeal.
  • Don't push the powder into the fibers or pelt.
  • Give it plenty of time to work.
  • Gently brush or shake it out.
  • Repeat if necessary.
  • Make sure the material is dry before applying powder. (If coffee contained cream and any greasy stain remains, follow procedures to Remove Milk and Cream.)

Leather and Suede

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Leather and Suede:

  • Carefully blot up excess liquid.
  • Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water.
  • Swish to create a great volume of suds.
  • Apply only the foam with a sponge.
  • Wipe dry with a clean dry cloth.

If an oily stain remains:

  • Powder the stain with an absorbent such as cornmeal.
  • Give it plenty of time to work.
  • Gently brush it off. Repeat if necessary.
  • On leather only, follow with Tannery Vintage Leather Cleaner & Conditioner or Fiebings Saddle Soap to condition the leather. (If coffee contained cream and any greasy stain remains, follow procedures to Remove Milk and Cream.)

Porcelain

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Porcelain Dishes and Porcelain Fixtures:

  • Clean the stain by washing it in warm sudsy water or wiping it with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse well and wipe it dry.
  • To remove old stain from the bottom of cups, dip a soft, damp cloth into baking soda and wipe any remaining stain.
  • Rinse well and dry.

Silver

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Silver:

  • Wash silver in hot soapy water.
  • Rinse in hot water.
  • Wipe dry immediately with a soft cloth.

Wood

Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from Wood:

  • Gently wipe the surface with a cloth dipped in the suds of a mild detergent and water.
  • Rinse well with a clean cloth dampened with clear water.
  • Polish or wax the wood as soon as possible.

If you have any other spills, we've got plenty of other stain removal tips.

#}