Nothing can ruin a morning like spilling your coffee on your clean shirt straight out of the laundry. It happens to everyone and it can be difficult to know what to do next.
But not to worry! We’re here to help you get that stubborn coffee stain out of your clothes.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to remove dry and fresh coffee stains from your clothes. Before you know it, your favorite shirt will look brand new again!
Can You Get Rid Of Coffee Stains From Clothes?
The good news is that coffee stains can nearly always be removed from most fabrics, despite how alarming a heavy coffee stain may seem.
The tannin pigments that have joined with water molecules give coffee its brown hue. Strong magnification of the stain makes it clear that the tannin pigments are only loosely bonded to the fabric fibers as the water evaporates.
Typically, removing a coffee stain only requires mixing the dark tannins into water once more so that they can readily break down and be washed away.
What You’ll Need To Remove Coffee Stains
Luckily, everything you need to remove coffee stains from clothes can already be found around your home.
This means that you might be able to remove a coffee stain without having to visit your local store, which is great if you’re in a hurry to leave the house.
Gather these materials so you can start removing the stain:
- White vinegar
- Liquid laundry detergent
- Powdered laundry detergent
- Stain remover
- Oxygen bleach laundry detergent (optional)
- Dishwashing liquid (optional)
How To Remove Coffee Stains From Synthetic Fabrics
Natural materials like cotton or linen require more cleaning effort to remove stains than synthetic fabrics (see also 'Does Dry Cleaning Remove Stains?'). Acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, polyester, spandex, and olefin are often more stain resistant, so this technique should do the job.
1. Soak Up The Excess Coffee
If the stain is fresh, blot up as much of the residual coffee as you can using a clean, dry cloth. When necessary, switch out the towels and press firmly on the stained area until it is as dry as possible.
2. Presoak The Garment
Combine 1 quart of warm water, ½ teaspoon of regular dishwashing soap, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to make a solution. Spend 15 minutes soaking the fabric in this combination.
3. Rinse The Fabric
Under warm water, thoroughly rinse the fabric. Check the fabric for any lingering stains; in some circumstances, soaking and rinsing may be enough to get rid of the stain.
4. Blot The Remaining Stain
If there is still a stain, remove it from the fabric by blotting it with a sponge and rubbing alcohol. Use a blotting motion rather than rubbing when cleaning delicate fabrics.
5. Wash The Garment
After blotting, wash the fabric right away using the washer cycle recommended for the fabric.
6. Check The Stain And Repeat If Necessary
Examine the fabric when it is still damp after the wash cycle has finished. Repeat the previous steps until there is no longer any stain visible if any traces of the stain are left.
It's especially important to avoid machine drying synthetic fabrics until every last bit of stain has been removed.
How To Remove Coffee Stains From Natural Fabrics
Before you start removing the coffee stain, check the care label on the piece of clothing you’re trying to remove it from.
You should also test any new detergent or solution on the garment to make sure it doesn’t damage the fabric. This will guarantee that you can remove the stain safely.
1. Rinse Clothing With Cold Water
Run cold water through the fabric's reverse side from a faucet to remove a fresh stain and prevent the coffee from seeping through.
For 10 to 15 minutes, or until the water pouring out is entirely clear, keep running cold water through the back of the stain. Continue to the next step if the stain isn't completely gone or if it has been there for a while.
2. Apply Liquid Detergent
Work some cold water and liquid dish soap or laundry detergent into the coffee stain. Give new stains three to five minutes to dry. While you can leave it out longer, don't let the piece of clothing dry.
You should soak the clothes in water after applying liquid detergent to old coffee stains. Use your thumb and fingers to gently rub the stained fabric once every five minutes to help the stain come out.
Check the stained area after 30 minutes of soaking in cold water. If the stain persists, consider letting the item sit in warm water for five to fifteen minutes before giving it a good rinse.
3. Apply Powdered Detergent If Needed
If the stain is still there, create a paste by combining some powdered laundry detergent with equal parts water and white vinegar.
Use an old toothbrush to clean the stain after testing it on the garment to ensure that it won't fade the fabric. Next, give the fabric a thorough rinse.
4. Pretreat And Wash The Clothing
To remove the coffee stain completely, apply laundry detergent with oxygen bleach or a stain remover. After allowing it to sit for five minutes, wash the garment as usual.
5. Check That The Stain Is Gone And Dry
Check that the coffee stain has been entirely removed. Repeat the treatment procedures if any traces remain, then let it air dry. Be sure not to machine dry the garment, as the heat will set the stain into the fabric.
Holding the dried garment in front of a light will let you check it once again for any signs of the stain. Repeat the powdered detergent step, wash, and air-dry steps if there is still discoloration.
When you spill coffee on your clothes, it may seem like all hope is lost, but with this guide, you’ll be able to remove that dark coffee stain in no time at all!
Follow these simple steps to save your favorite shirt from a Monday morning mishap.