How To Remove Coffee Stains (Easy To Do)

Drinking coffee every day has become a part of our everyday ritual. We’re hooked on coffee as our daily caffeine fix.

But the very day you bought a fresh white rug for your living room, your cat knocks over your coffee mug and spills coffee all over your new white rug. A mini heart attack, right? After all, the common perception is that coffee stains are difficult to remove.

You can remove coffee stains from almost anything just by using common household items. An old stain can be removed by soaking the cloth with warm water and then scrubbing with baking soda.

So, in this article, I will save you the hassle of finding out what to do next. Keep on reading as we unfold how to successfully remove coffee stains.

Are Coffee Stains Permanent?

a person pouring coffee in a glass and spilling it all over.

Thankfully coffee stains are not permanent. If you have washed it out before the tannin has settled in, it will be removed without any struggle.

Coffee is a very complex drink, to begin with. The golden-brown glossy color of the roasted coffee beans and the delicious aroma of coffee is irresistible. But if even one drop of brewed coffee is spilled by mistake, it has the potential to instantly stain anything that it comes in contact with.

You see, the tannins from the polyphenol that get mixed in the water when coffee is brewed. And these tannins are responsible for staining.

This is also present in tea and even wine. Whether it’s your teeth or a piece of cloth or even the equipment used to make coffee, these tough stains can be really hard to get off once dried. But thankfully, no matter how stubborn these are, they are not permanent.

Does Vinegar Get Rid Of Coffee Stains?

Vinegar is an acidic household ingredient that is often used to clean. Since it’s acidic in nature, it comes in very handy for cleaning and removing stains from various surfaces.  

Vinegar is one the most commonly used household items used for the purpose of cleaning. Since its pH level is 2 to 3, it can dissipate even the toughest of stains.

A fresh coffee stain can easily be blotted away using a paper towel and then scrubbed away with a cleaning solution made from vinegar.

Also, along with vinegar, many other acidic ingredients are also used to remove coffee stains successfully like:

  • Toothpaste
  • Lemon juice
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (for teeth)
  • Detergent
  • Baking soda

If the stain is particularly severe, all the above-mentioned items should be used directly or with water. Once you have cleaned it with this solution, you should rinse it with plain water to get rid of the cleaning residue.

The following table summarizes the ph level of each of these household items, in order to help you understand how acidic they are:

House Hold ItempH Level
Toothpaste7-10
Lemon Juice 3
Hydrogen Peroxide3.5
Baking Soda8
Vinegar2-3

How To Get Rid Of Coffee Stains?

You can get rid of coffee stains from your teeth, rug, clothes, upholstery, coffee mugs, and wooden surfaces just by using common household items. From bar soap to baking soda to toothpaste, there is a solution for your coffee stains.

Talking about coffee stains gives all of us a sense of irritation. But the good news here is that no matter how much the coffee has stained, it can be removed. You see, if you have a knack for drinking coffee, the risk of spilling coffee is a part and parcel of this habit.

This is alright because coffee stains aren’t permanent and if washed off immediately there will be no need of rubbing them hard. So, how to remove coffee stains? For your ease, I have sectioned out each material on which the coffee stain is present. Just follow them and you’ll be good in no time.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Teeth

Regular drinking of coffee can stain your teeth. I have an entire article dedicated to the effects of coffee on our teeth. You can check it out to know more.

For making them white and bright again, you can use whitening toothpaste on a daily basis. Pair it with a mouthwash made with very weak hydrogen peroxide and water.

Use this mouthwash twice a day. But remember to rinse your mouth with plain clean water after using the mouthwash. Hydrogen peroxide is fatal if ingested. And with that, you’ll notice a difference in no time.

You can watch this where a dentist talks all about it.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Rugs & Carpets

Removing coffee stains from rugs or carpets is as simple as removing them from clothing items. You see, the basic is the same. Try and blot away the coffee using a paper towel as soon as it’s spilled. Then, make a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. If you have vinegar, lemon juice will work fine too as they both are highly acidic.

Dab the stain away with the cloth dipped in the stain removal solution you just made. Most fresh stains will disappear in a short period of time, but if your stain refuses to disappear, you can employ the use of any washing powder and vinegar mixed into a thick paste.

Then apply this paste generously on the stain and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, you can remove the paste and wash the area with clean water. You should have a clean rug or carpet by now. But if it still is left you can opt for a very strong stain remover which will get the job done.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Clothes

Just like removing stains from rugs and carpets, you can easily remove coffee stains from your clothes. If it’s freshly soiled, instantly flush it with cold water. This will remove the coffee stain before the tannin gets a chance to settle. Then put it in the washer and wash it.

But if this stain is not fresh, make a mix of 50/50 of water and vinegar or lemon juice and baking soda. Thoroughly dampen the stained area with water and apply this mix. Scrub it using a toothbrush or a washing brush. Then let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. After it’s done, rinse with clean water and then wash it normally. There will be no sign of any stain remaining.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Upholstery

Though this might sound a bit daunting, in actuality, it’s not. In fact, there is a greater chance you’ll see coffee stains which you didn’t even know when they came from.

So, how to remove them? Just like for rugs or carpets, make a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. If vinegar is not there, you can use lemon juice. But this time add liquid or powder detergent. Apply this mix on the stain and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then wash the area with clean water and dab away any excess moisture. It will be just as good as new.

a cup of coffee as a close up shot that has coffee makes you happy printed on the inside.

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Coffee Mugs & Coffee Ceramic Pots

The tannin from the coffee surely stains the coffee mugs and the coffee containers the most. Because they are the most used items when it comes to coffee.

And those stubborn coffee stains and tannin rings inside the mug or the pot look terrible and frankly, quite irritating. So, how to remove them effectively? Get denture cleaning tablets.

They remove the stain instantly. In the mug or pot fill it with water and soak in one tablet per container. Let it loosen up for 15 to 20 minutes. Then rinse and wash off with a normal dish cleaner. It will be squeaky clean.

How to Remove Dried Or Fresh Coffee Stains From Wooden Tables Or Plastic

Remove coffee stains from wooden or plastic tables by mixing toothpaste and baking soda 50/50. To clean a stain, place baking soda and toothpaste directly on it.

With a clean cloth, use circular motions and little steady pressure to polish away the stain. If you are cleaning plastic, clean it away with some wood polish or detergent after you have worked the paste into the stained area.

How Do I Get Dried Coffee Out Of A White Shirt?

Remove coffee stain from a white shirt by using a stain remover. But if you don’t have one, there are two techniques. The first is using a cleaning solution made at home and the second is using boiling hot water.

Drinking coffee every day is healthy but in limited quantity. The FDA suggests only consuming 400 mg of caffeine in a day which is equal to three to four 8 oz cups of coffee. But even if you drink it moderately, accidents can happen and your new crisp white shirt can get stained.

But can we really remove the coffee stain from the white shirt? Yes, we can.

First, if you’ve noticed that coffee’s been spilled, immediately use a stain remover, There are many available on the market which can do this job within minutes. But if you don’t have one, there is another way. Whether your white shirt is synthetic or cotton here‘s how to do it effectively.

  • Using a clean dry cloth, wipe away the excess coffee. It will remove the first layer of the coffee stain.
  • In 1 cup of water add ½ teaspoon of dishwashing liquid or soap and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Mix well. If the area is large you can double up the quantity.
  • Then, soak up the stained area with this mix for 15 minutes.
  • Use warm water to rinse the area.
  • Then, dab the area with rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush. Scrub it away for any remaining stain.  
  • If its cotton, let it dry. If not, you can proceed with the next step.
  • Wash it in the washer as normal.
  • The stain will be gone – taada!
a girl wearing a white shirt with a glass of coffee in her hand

Here is another technique that can be used when the stain is not completely gone even after the stain remover or this homemade stain removing solution has been used. But keep in mind, this can affect the texture of the fabric.

  • Put your shirt on top of a big deep bowl, and use a rubber band to stretch over the shirt and spread the stained area on top of it.
  • Then slowly pour hot water which is about 200-degree Fahrenheit or 93-degree Celsius.
  • Pour slowly but steadily.
  • Once done remove from the bowl and wash away normally.

My Verdict On This

If you drink coffee or tea, spills and stains are bound to happen. There’s not a whole lot that you can do about it. Sometimes your cup of coffee can get spilled over your clothes or your fancy white rug. Sometimes, by drinking coffee regularly, even the coffee mugs and tables can get stained.

But thankfully, coffee stains aren’t permanent. Whether it’s a dried-up stain or a fresh one, it can be removed completely. Things like stain remover are available in the market, but if you can’t find one or don’t have any, household items like vinegar lemon juice, or baking soda can be used for the same.

So the next time you see any coffee stain, stress less cause now you know how to successfully remove coffee stains.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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