Cleaning Guides

How to Get Coffee Stains Out of a Carpet

Victoria 1 /

If you love a fresh cup of coffee in the morning or during the day, then you’re probably no stranger to the stains it can leave on your carpet. We in Australia certainly do, as we love everything from espressos to cappuccinos (not to mention flat whites!) and take our time to enjoy them. Cleaning the coffee stains on the carpet, on the other hand, is a whole different matter. It requires some serious carpet cleaning knowledge because you have to act fast.

So, if you:

  • Just spilt some of the hot drink on your carpet.
  • Wonder if coffee stains on your carpet are permanent.
  • Wonder if baking soda can remove the stains from the carpet.
  • Have some old stains which you’d like to remove as well.

You’re in luck, as you will now learn how to get coffee stains out of the carpet.

Table of contents:

Recipe to clean coffee stains

The best strategy is to mix your very own carpet coffee stain remover and keep it close at hand (it might work well with tea too). That way, you will be ready to tackle the stain the moment it happens.

Mind you, the stain remover may not be suitable for all carpet fibres. You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and maintaining your carpet, just in case.

Mix ½ tablespoon of liquid dish soap and ½ tablespoon of white vinegar in two cups of warm water. Voila, you have your carpet coffee stain remover. Also, supply yourself with plenty of clean white towels or rags.

In addition to this cleaning solution, you can use some of the following home ingredients as well. Use these as an alternative if you don’t see the desired results from your regular carpet coffee stain remover.

  • Baking soda – mix three parts water and one part baking soda to form a paste. Scrum the paste into the coffee stain until it is no more. Remember to rinse with cold water and dab until the area is dry.
  • Toothpaste – rub the stain with a little bit of toothpaste so it breaks down the coffee. Rinse and repeat if necessary.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water will remove coffee stains from light or white carpets.
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How to get coffee stains out of carpet

Remember, acting quickly after the stain has happened is the key to a successful removal. The second thing to remember is always to spot test on an inconspicuous area. With that said, this is how to get coffee stains out of the carpet:

  1. Absorb excess liquid.

    Use clean white rags or paper towels and blot the freshly spilt coffee from the outside to the middle of the stain. This will prevent the spill from spreading further. Press gently, but don’t rub, as then you will push the hot drink further into the fibres. Continue until the liquid is almost gone.

  2. Dilute the stain.

    Pour some lukewarm water over it and blot again. The water must not be hot, as then, if your coffee had milk, the milk will curdle. Blot the water with a fresh, dry white cloth.

  3. Apply your carpet stain removal solution.

    Apply the solution with a clean rag and again move from the outside towards the middle. Wait several minutes for the solution to do its job.

  4. Rinse the cleaning solution.

    Pour some cold water over the stain and blot again, this time with a dry towel. The point is to remove the solution from the carpet.

  5. Air dry.

    Leave a paper towel on the spot and leave it dry on its own. The treated area needs to become dry. The smell of vinegar will disappear in a few hours.

  6. Rinse with cold water.

    Use cold water to rinse the area and again, blot up as much liquid as you can to ensure the stain is out. Let the carpet air dry on its own, and be sure to avoid rubbing.

It’s not recommended you use laundry detergents as an alternative to home ingredients. Some commercial products may contain dyes that can dye the carpet fibres.

Cleaning an old coffee stain

While fresh coffee stains are easier to remove from the carpet, older ones are a different matter. Coffee contains “tannins”, a naturally occurring vegetable dye, which gives it its bitter taste. It’s the exact reason why old coffee stains are hard to remove.

The heat from the drink “opens up” the carpet fibres as the spilt coffee touches them. The result is the coffee penetrates all carpet layers. If you leave it for a day or two, it will set, thus becoming harder to remove.

Regular black coffee is hard to remove after it has set, but it becomes even harder if it has been mixed with cream and sugar. Some decaffeinated coffees even have artificial colours, which make the cleaning job even more challenging.

Still, there is something you can try, and it might just work.

  • Scrape up solids – if you see dried leftovers from cream, get a rounded spoon and scrape as many solids as possible. Then vacuum the area.
  • Dampen the old coffee stain – pour a little bit of warm water on the stain, but don’t pat or rub it, as then you can expand the stain.

When you’re done with this, try the steps in the previous section. Normally this is how to remove old coffee stains from your carpet. But be careful; if you notice discolouration, stop your cleaning and call a professional.

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  • Try to remove the coffee stain from the carpet the moment it happens. Don’t wait until you come back from work.
  • Absorb excess coffee and dilute the stain before using your DIY cleaner.
  • Always rinse the cleaning solution afterwards.
  • If you plan to clean an old coffee stain, dampen it with warm water first.

Did you manage to clean the coffee stain from your carpet? What recipe did you use? Let us know by leaving a comment!

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