How to Remove Coffee Stains

You can spill coffee on almost anything. Luckily, are expert-endorsed tricks to removing coffee stains.

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The majority of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis. And, unfortunately, many end up spilling it. “Coffee can easily stain clothing (and teeth) because it contains tannin—a color-rich, naturally occurring dye found in many plants—tea, red wine, and chocolate included,” explains Lindsey Boyd, co-founder of The Laundress. Since these things can stain fabrics easily, it’s important to know how to remove stains effectively.

Does coffee stain?

Before you start crying over a spilled cup, the good news is that coffee stains are not permanent—if you know how to remove them and act promptly. Whether it’s in your car or on your clothes, furniture, or carpet, experts unanimously agree that your chances of success are much higher if you treat the stain quickly. We talked to some cleaning experts to learn about what products and methods they use to remove coffee stains. Luckily, you probably already have most of these things in your cabinet.

How to get coffee stains out of carpet

What you will need:

If your coffee cup runneth over onto your light-colored or white carpet, don’t stress. Instead, act promptly by treating the spot. There are a few methods you can use to treat a coffee stain on the carpet—including vinegar, dish detergent, or hydrogen peroxide—but make sure to start by blotting the stain with a dry cloth or paper towel. It is important not to rub the spot, as you could unintentionally spread the stain. Then, follow these steps to get coffee stains out of your carpet.

How to get coffee stains out of clothes

how to get coffee stains out of clothesAlaina DiGiacomo/rd.comWhat you will need:

  • A dry rag
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • OxiClean or chlorine bleach

Coffee stains on clothing come with the territory when you are a devoted coffee drinker. However, if treated correctly those brown spots can be removed 95 percent of the time, according to Kathleen Razmus, director of store profitability, ZIPS Dry Cleaners—even when it comes to your favorite white t-shirts and jeans! Just follow these simple steps for removing coffee stains from your clothes. Bonus tip: liquid laundry soap can also be used to remove mustard stains—here’s a guide on how to get mustard out of clothes.

How to clean coffee stainsAlaina DiGiacomo/rd.comHow to remove coffee stains from cups and mugs

What you will need:

  • Baking soda
  • Astonish Cup Clean
  • Denture tablets

Coffee stains on cups and mugs are inevitable. Unfortunately, running them through the dishwasher usually doesn’t get the job done. There are a few different methods of removing coffee ring stains from cups and mugs, depending on what type of cleaning agent you prefer to use.

How to get coffee out of couch and upholstery

What you will need:

  • Dry rag or paper towels
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Vinegar

Removing coffee stains from upholstery or a couch is similar to treating clothing. Start by blotting the spot with paper towels or a dry rag to remove as much of the liquid stain as possible. “Make sure to avoid rubbing the stain as you can damage the fabric,” warns Razmus. Then, use a wet and dry method: Make a solution of one tablespoon laundry detergent, one tablespoon of vinegar, and a cup of water. Using your rag, blot the solution into the upholstery. Then, dry the area by blotting. Repeat the process until the stain is lifted.

How to remove coffee stainsAlaina DiGiacomo/rd.comOther common coffee stain removal solutions

Cold water

It might seem simple, but Lauren Haynes, a cleaning expert at Star Domestic Cleaners, says it works. “Run cold water through the front and back of the stain until you manage to clean it,” says Haynes. It should work well if the stain is fresh.

Shaving cream

When you’re trying to figure out how to remove coffee stains, your mind probably doesn’t go to shaving cream. “Shaving cream contains active ingredients such as surfactants and cleansing agents that are like the ones found in other household soaps,” says Haynes. “To clean coffee stains with shaving cream just rub, rinse with water, and repeat if necessary.”


Haynes says that toothpaste has an exfoliating effect and can be used to get rid of coffee stains. Use an old toothbrush to brush toothpaste lightly into the fabric and then rinse. Just make sure the toothpaste you use is white.

Baby powder

Apply baby powder to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Then brush it off with a damp cloth, says Haynes.

Egg yolk

This stain remover might surprise you, but many people swear by it. Beat an egg yolk and work into the coffee stain with a terry-cloth towel for about a minute. Rinse thoroughly with water, and the stain should be completely gone.

Natural soap

If you have a bar of soap lying around get it wet and scrub it on the coffee stain, says Haynes. Let it sit for an hour and then rinse it with water.

Baking soda

Similar to toothpaste, baking soda is abrasive and will remove stains easily. Navarrete recommends mixing water and baking soda—or if the stain is really bad, laundry detergent and baking soda—and rubbing the stain until it comes out. Try these genius cleaning hacks from professional house cleaners.


Figuring out how to remove coffee stains from your carpet may seem impossible, but you can literally lift it out by pouring a bit of light or pale-colored beer right on top, says Bryan Stoddard, director of Homewares Insider. Rub the beer lightly into the material, and the stain should disappear. You may have to repeat the process a couple of times to remove all traces of the stain. Now that you know how to remove coffee stains, read up on these cleaning tricks for hard-to-clean household objects. And if you’re a chocolate lover, this guide on how to remove chocolate stains is a must-read.


Leah Groth
Leah Groth covers everything from cleaning hacks and consumer products to travel and pets for Reader’s Digest. When she isn’t working on a piece, you’ll find her chasing after her four children (two humans, a Vizsla and a German Shorthaired Pointer) or working on her 100-plus-year-old home outside Philadelphia.