Though many of us enjoy a cup of the good stuff of a morning, we also fear the prospect of accidentally creating a coffee stain – figuring out how to clear up that dark brown liquid without leaving a lasting mark can feel impossible. But if you’ve had a spill, don’t panic; the professionals have shared their expert cleaning hacks for how to remove coffee stains from pretty much anywhere in your home.
Although it does have the potential to create a pretty scary-look stain, coffee stains actually aren’t any more difficult to remove than any other stain. In fact, even if your coffee stain has been around for a while, there’s still a very good chance that you can get it out. However, using the right method is essential.
So how should you go about removing coffee stains from various areas around your home, be it your sofa, mattress or furniture? What processes do the experts advise – and which products are the most effective for getting this job done? To make sure you do it right, these are the natural cleaning ingredients and methods the professionals suggest for removing coffee stains without leaving a trace.
How to remove coffee stains
Coffee stains can occur anywhere, so it’s important to be prepared to deal with a spillage on any surface. This is vital, because not every method can be applied in every area, as drinks like coffee tend to affect different materials in different ways. So before you launch into your cleaning, make sure to tailor your method to match the location of your coffee spill.
1. How to remove coffee stains from every surface in your home
Though removing coffee stains is achievable, Heidi Phillips, a cleaning expert and owner of The Organised Home and Mind, explains that acting fast is imperative. "Time is very important, as you are dealing with both moisture and heat. So as soon as you spill coffee, deal with it immediately."
Though you should make every effort to clean your coffee stain according to the surface it has landed on, there is a method that should make an impact on almost any area around the home:
- Firstly, Heidi urges not to rub the coffee stain. “Blot the excess off and out of the surface using a soft white cloth or kitchen towel. Don't rub it in!” she says.
- Put together a solution of washing up liquid, white vinegar and warm water; one teaspoon of washing up liquid to a tablespoon of white vinegar should do the trick.
- Using a microfibre cloth or piece of kitchen towel, rub the solution into your coffee stain to try and lift the mark.
- Repeat the process until the stain has completely disappeared.
- Then rinse the stain using a clean, damp microfibre cloth.
- Leave the stain to dry.
2. How to remove coffee stains from carpet
Getting stains out of a carpet can feel the most precarious of all – especially if it’s a lighter carpet and a much darker stain. However, removing coffee stains from a carpet is simple, it just requires some gentle care and attention.
"Most coffee stains on carpet are going to be on a small area, so should easily be spot treated by hand, which means there’s no need to get out the carpet shampooer!" Heidi says.
When planning how to remove coffee stains from your carpet, follow this method:
- Act quickly to ensure the best chance of getting the coffee stain out. Heidi urges, "Don't leave the stain to dry; blot it immediately with a clean piece of kitchen towel and get out as much as you can this way."
- Then, put together a mixture of both warm water and a small amount of washing up liquid.
- "On a lot of carpet types you should be able to gently blot the rest out using a soft cloth and this mixture," Heidi explains. Blot very gently until the stain begins to disappear.
- Repeat the above steps as much as necessary to lift the stain away.
- When the coffee stain has disappeared, blot gently at the wet residue to dry the carpet out, with a piece of dry kitchen towel or a dry clean tea towel. It can also help to leave doors and windows open too, if possible.
If you prefer, you can also use a commercial carpet cleaner on coffee stains too. "My favourite product is Stain Away by VivaMK. It's gentle and effective," Heidi suggests.
Though this advice will apply to most carpet types, Heidi encourages you to consider your specific carpet before cleaning a coffee stain. "You must pay attention to the manufacturer's advice and make sure you know what the carpet is made of – not every suggestion will suit every type of carpet, and could make matters worse," she urges.
3. How to remove coffee stains from walls
Coffee stains can usually be cleaned off of walls very easily. The most important thing, as with carpet, is to be aware of the exact type of surface you are cleaning.
- Consider the type of wall surface that the coffee stain has landed on. Heidi says, "If it's a washable wall then the stain should easily wipe off. If the surface is porous, it will need a little more work."
- If you don’t know what finish is on your walls, you can work this out by trying to wipe the coffee off with a damp cloth - if it doesn’t work, you likely have a more porous wall that needs closer attention.
- For the latter wall surfaces, Heidi suggests grabbing a soft bristled brush to remove the coffee stain. “A baby toothbrush, for example, would be ideal,” she says.
- Heidi continues, "Slightly dampen the brush and use a gentle circular motion to try and remove the stain."
- Cleaning expert, Matthew Harrison at PriceYourJob urges that being gentle is vital when cleaning walls. “Work the stain gently to avoid damaging the paint. If you apply too much pressure while you’re scrubbing, this could leave marks behind on the wall or may cause the paint to fade."
- Then, if there is a lot of excess moisture, gently pat the wall using a clean, damp cloth or piece of kitchen roll.
- After this, allow the wall to dry naturally, Matthew advises.
Heidi also insists that you should "never use harsh chemicals" on a wall. This is because the paint on walls can be very delicate, and you may run the risk of stripping or ruining your wall decor by spraying the coffee stain with chemical cleaning agents.
If you have any other wall stains to tackle – be it stick hand marks from little ones, or perhaps even food debris – there are plenty of other options for understanding how to clean walls, too.
4. How to remove coffee stains from furniture
Spilt coffee on plastic furniture should only require a simple wipe with a clean damp cloth – but on a wooden furniture, be it a coffee table or a side table, a coffee stain is slightly trickier. Wood is the type of material where spilled food and drink can easily stain, if you’re not careful. So if you're wondering how to remove coffee stains from furniture, this is the method to follow:
- Blot immediately using a clean, dry piece of kitchen roll.
- When it comes to wooden furniture, cleaning with vinegar is incredibly helpful. Heidi suggests, "Put a small amount of white vinegar directly onto the coffee stain."
- "Then, let it sit for 1 minute, during which it will begin to lift away the stain," she continues.
- Once the minute is up, tend to the stain once more. Heidi explains, "using a clean paper towel, gently blot away the vinegar and the stain."
- If you don’t have white vinegar to hand, you can use toothpaste and baking soda instead, Matthew explains. "Mix one part non-gel toothpaste with one part baking soda. Apply this solution to the furniture using a white cloth and work in circular motions to remove the stain."
- He continues, “Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean cloth.”
- After this, you should leave the area to air dry – again, open up doors and windows if possible, to speed up the process.
5. How to remove coffee stains from the mattress
Many of us love a morning cup of coffee in bed, but spilling it can mean an unpleasant brown stain on our mattress that can settle easily into the fabric of the item, which is something you’ll want to avoid. To clean a mattress that has a coffee stain, act fast with this method:
- Soak up any excess liquid with a clean piece of kitchen roll or a towel, especially if you have just spilled your drink. "Blot at the stain gently – start from the edges and move inwards to prevent spreading the stain further," Matthew recommends.
- Then mix together equal amounts of white vinegar and dish soap.
- "Dip another dry, clean cloth into this mixture, and repeat the blotting process as mentioned previously," Matthew advises.
- After this, put together another mixture of a small amount of laundry detergent and warm water.
- Matthew says, "Then, dab this mixture on the stain and allow this to sit for five minutes, before using a damp cloth to rinse away the detergent." Be sure not to leave any detergent on the mattress, as this could leave behind residue itself.
- Following this, dry the mattress with a clean dry towel or a piece of kitchen cloth, and keep duvets or bed covers off for at least a couple of hours.
6. How to remove coffee stains from fabric sofas
Cleaning a leather sofa that has had coffee spilt on it is easy, as long as you address it quickly – as with plastic furniture, all you’ll need to do is wipe it clean with a damp cloth. However, a fabric sofa is another matter entirely. To clean coffee stains from this type of sofa, follow this step-by-step:
- As with previous methods, you’ll want to blot at the stain with a paper towel, or a dry tea towel.
- "Then add some mild liquid laundry detergent to a damp sponge, and then gently rub the stain in circular motions until it disappears," Matthew advises, as with your mattress.
- After this, rinse the stain with just some warm water using a different, clean cloth.
- Leave the sofa to dry by opening doors and windows if possible.
- For more stubborn coffee stains on sofas, Matthew suggests employing a tougher solution. “If the stain is still visible, create a mixture of warm water and white vinegar. Apply this mixture to the stain using a sponge, working in circular motions as above."
- Then, follow the same process of rinsing the sofa of the cleaning ingredients, before leaving to dry.
Do coffee stains come out?
Yes – there’s no need to worry if you accidentally spill a pot of your favourite beverage, as there’s pretty much a solution for tackling any type of coffee stain anywhere around the home.
But as discussed, while coffee stains can easily be lifted out with the above methods, the key is always to act quickly. If you don't, you risk them staying right where they are, Matthew says. "Coffee stains can be quite difficult to remove if you don’t deal with them quickly – the longer the coffee stain is left to set, the more difficult it will be to remove the stains."
So if you or a member of your household does create a coffee stain, don’t hesitate; the sooner you tackle it, the better.
How do you remove dried coffee stains?
Those ground-in coffee stains are much more difficult to deal with than fresh coffee spills, it is possible to remove them!
Area Supervisor at Cleanology, Jordan Ward, shares that the key is using the correct method and the correct cleaning products.
"When confronted with stubborn, dried-in coffee stains, prepare a solution by combining one tablespoon of white vinegar and washing up liquid with two cups of water."
He continues, "Apply this mixture onto the stain using a sponge, and continue blotting the affected area with a white cloth or paper towel until the stain lifts completely. Finish the process by thoroughly drying the area using a dryer or a fan to ensure the stain is completely removed."
How does baking soda remove coffee stains?
Baking soda can be an incredibly effective tool in cleaning lots of areas of the home, and it does indeed work well for coffee stains too. "Baking soda or bicarbonate is used in many commercial products that you can buy, but you can also make your own paste with it to remove a coffee stain," cleaning expert and clean-fluencer Sandra Pine explains.
But how to remove coffee stains using baking soda? Explaining the best method, Jordan says: "Gently blot the affected area with a cold, damp paper towel. Next, generously sprinkle baking soda onto the stain, allowing it to sit for a brief period. Afterward, carefully blot away the baking soda using a dry towel or cloth. If the stain persists, don't fret; this approach will, at the very least, prevent the stain from becoming deeply ingrained in your fabric." Just repeat until the stain disappears.
Sandra suggests that you can also create a mixture of baking soda and washing up liquid too, for more stubborn stains, applying it to the coffee mark as above.
Though this is a great method for tackling coffee spills, baking soda can be a little more abrasive, so it’s important to spot test this solution out first, on surfaces that may be more delicate. Jordan advises, "Baking soda is best used on fabric surfaces, such as carpets and upholstery."
What is the best cleaner for coffee stains?
Most experts would recommend using natural and everyday household ingredients as the best way to deal with coffee stains, given that they can be incredibly effective, are safe to use, and you don’t need to spend any extra money.
However, if you’re keen to buy a commercial cleaner, there are a couple of options the professionals favour. "The best cleaner for coffee stains depends on the surface the stain is on, as every one would need a different approach," Sandra reiterates. “However, I have had great success with Astonish stain remover foam."
Matthew also shared that while he prefers homemade solutions, "if you’re looking to purchase a commercial cleaner for coffee stains, I would recommend using Prochem coffee stain remover for this particular job."
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Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.