However careful we are, spills happen. We’ve all been there; a table could be knocked, someone might be jogged when holding a coffee cup, or you could drop your coffee for no apparent reason. You need to know how to clean up after coffee spills, however and wherever they happen. That is why we are going to look at the best stain remover for coffee as follows:
The best stain remover for coffee action depends on whether you are mopping up as soon as the accident happens or later when it has dried.
You can buy commercial upholstery and carpet cleaners, including foam products. However, they are a ‘one size fits all’ cleaner and may not be the best option for cleaning coffee spills up. Instead, you will find the best stain removers for coffee in your kitchen or laundry room.
Fresh spills are much easier to clean up and remove stains than older spills. Especially so when you take your coffee white because milk and cream spills have their own challenges.
Couches, armchairs, and other upholstery items are frequently treated with a stain guard treatment when you purchase them from the store. The cleaning process is much simpler if your upholstery has been treated. Begin by soaking up the liquid with paper towels. When you have blotted most of the moisture, it is crucial not to scrub stain guard treated items. Instead, you should work from the outside of the stain towards the center of the stain. When you have removed as much as possible, then a cup of cold water added to the stained area and repeating the process of blotting into the center. Frequently that is all that is required for treated furniture. However, if necessary, gently add more water, repeating the process.
When coffee is spilled on untreated upholstery, then the process requires cleaning products. One of the best stain removers for coffee is liquid dish soap/washing up liquid. In any case, when the stain is fresh, quickly but gently blot up as much of the spill as you can before proceeding to the next step.
Take care to ensure that your upholstery is suitable to clean with a water-based cleaning product. The label will have SW, WS, or just W when the upholstery can be cleaned using water-based cleaning products or a cleaning foam. If your furniture does not have a label or the label does not have the symbols or cleaning instructions, then caution is needed when tackling the stain. It is always good practice to test an inconspicuous area of the furniture before proceeding to tackle the stain with any product.
When you don’t have a suitable purpose made product:
You will need the following:
- 1 TBsp dish cleaner
- 2 cups cold water
- 2 or 3 clean white clothes
- A bowl
Add the dish cleaner to the water and agitate to mix. Use a clean white cloth to blot the solution onto the stain. Blot off with the clean, dry white cloth and repeat.
Rinse the area with plain cold water and a clean cloth before blotting again to remove as much water as possible.
In most cases, this is sufficient to remove the stain when tackled wet.
Best Stain Remover for Coffee When the Stain Has Already Dried on the Upholstery
Again how you treat the stain depends on whether your furniture has a stain guard or not.
When your furniture does have a stain guard, then you should be able to gently brush the stain using a reasonably soft brush before vacuuming the stain. If there is still a visible stain, then use the cold water blotting method above to remove the stain.
When your furniture doesn’t have a stain guard treatment, you still brush the dried stain, but you can use a stiffer small brush to remove as much of the dried stain as possible.
Then you will need:
- A spray bottle
- 1 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 cup lukewarm (not hot) water for black coffee and cold water for white coffee
- A small stiff brush
- 2 clean white cloths
- A bowl of cold water
- Optional 4 drops of Rosemary essential oil
Add the vinegar and water to the spray bottle and give a quick shake to mix together. Spray the stain to adequately cover without getting it very wet. Use the brush to work on the stain gently. Blot with the cloth and repeat until the cloth is noticeably cleaner when you pull it away. Clean the cloth or get a fresh one and use the cold water to rinse away any remaining cleaning solution and stain. Blot with a dry white cloth or paper towels.
To make the solution smell sweeter, you can add 4 drops of Rosemary essential oil to help the cleansing process and sweeten the vinegar smell.
Best Stain Remover for Coffee Just Spilled on Carpets
Just as with upholstery, we sometimes have stain guard treatment on our carpets, and again stain guarded carpets, and untreated carpets require different cleaning methods.
When you are cleaning a treated carpet, as soon as the spill has occurred, mop up as quickly as you can with clean towels, cloths, or paper towels.
When you have blotted as much as you can, add clean, cool water and blot again with clean towels or cloths and repeat until the cloths come up clean. Swift action with plain water should be adequate for treated carpets. However if the stain shows when it has dried, you may need to check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for safe products to use on the treated carpet.
The best stain remover for coffee that is still wet on untreated carpets is to use the same method as for untreated upholstery above. Always begin with blotting as much as possible if the stain is still wet.
Best Stain Remover for Coffee Dried on Carpets
The best stain remover for coffee when the stain has already dried is to use a similar solution.
You will need:
- A dry brush
- Dustpan and brush or vacuum cleaner
- A bowl
- 1 TBsp liquid dish soap
- 1 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
- 2 cups water (use warm for black coffee and cold for white coffee).
- A spray bottle with water
- 2 or 3 clean white cloths and paper towels or a towel
Brush the stain gently to remove any residue and clear the residue away. Add the dish soap, vinegar, and water to the bowl and stir to mix. Damp a cloth with the mixture and apply it to the stain so that it is wet but not saturated. Blot the stain with the cloth, wringing it out frequently. Spray the area with the plain water and use another cloth to repeat the process. Finally, blot with dry paper towels or a towel.
Best Stain Remover for Coffee With High Milk or Cream Content
Although we refer to carpet in this advice, the method works equally well on upholstery.
In all cases, when you spill coffee with milk or cream, you may notice a nasty smell a few days later. It’s as the natural bacteria, proteins, and lactic acid in milk break down that you notice the smell.
The best stain remover for coffee with milk or cream on untreated carpets is a gentle laundry detergent. If the stain is still wet, blot as much as you can before starting the cleaning process.
Use a spatula, gentle scraper, or unserrated, unsharp knife to gently scrape the dried product from the carpet when the stain is already dried.
Then to clean, you will need:
- Spray bottle
- 1 cup mild laundry detergent in a small bowl
- Small brush
- Cold water
- White cloth, or a sponge
Add the water to the spray bottle and spray the stain with water. Then damp the brush and dip it into the laundry detergent powder. Apply it to the stain using circular motions without scrubbing or adding much pressure. When the detergent covers the stain, leave for 5-10 minutes before spraying again and rinsing the carpet by repeating until you’ve removed all the detergent. Dry by blotting with the cloth or sponge.
The carpet may appear stiff when it has dried, usually, careful vacuuming is all that is required to restore the carpet. As with all methods, it is best to test an inconspicuous area before using this method. Do not use a detergent that contains bleaching or whitening agents.
Best Smell Remover for Coffee with Milk or Cream Spills
When you have followed all the steps above and are confident you have done all you can to eradicate the spill, but there is a nasty smell, you’ll need to tackle the remaining bacteria that cause the smell. The best way to remove any remaining smell from the minute particles of milk or cream is to sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the carpet or upholstery and leave for about 8 hours (don’t be tempted to leave for more than 10 hours, it will absorb too much moisture and be challenging to remove). Then remove by vacuuming.
It is possible to add baking soda when the area is wet. However, you will need to scrape it off gently before vacuuming when the stain location is dry.
Best Stain Remover for Coffee When the Stain is Wet on Clothing
There are two great ways to treat a coffee spill that has just happened on clothing.
Method one is to grab a microfibre cloth and wet it. Gently blot the material to remove as much of the stain as possible before drying it with paper towels. The other method is when you can remove the clothing. So long as the clothing is washable, rinse the item of clothing under cold running water until the water runs clean. If the stain is still showing or if you have had to use the first method, soak the stain before you launder the clothing with a mild laundry detergent with ½ cup of vinegar.
For the soak, you will need:
- Per 2 pints or 1 liter of water
- ½ tsp laundry detergent
- 1 TBsp white distilled vinegar
Add the item to the prepared solution (for large items, you can just soak the stain) and soak for 15-20 minutes before promptly washing it by hand or in a machine.
Best Stain Remover for Coffee on Clothing When the Stain Has Already Dried
When the stain has already dried on clothing, that has been treated immediately with the emergency microfibre method above under ‘best stain remover for coffee when the stain is wet on clothing’, please follow the tips in that section.
When the stain has dried untreated, start by gently rubbing the stain together to release any loose particles, don’t miss this step if your coffee contained milk or cream. If the material is robust, you can brush the debris to remove it. However, refrain from brushing finer fabrics.
When the stain looks severe on light-colored washable fabrics, begin by making a gentle cleaning paste.
You will need:
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
- ½ tsp mild powdered laundry detergent
- A spoon or spatula
- A soft brush
Mix the vinegar and detergent to form a paste with the water, and add more or less water to create a usable paste. Add the paste to cover the stain completely. Leave for 5 minutes, then work gently with a soft brush. Rinse well under cold running water.
Then launder as above.
When the stain is from black coffee or on dark or more robust clothing, you can omit this step and go straight to the pre-wash soak and the laundry instructions for wet clothing above.
Wherever coffee is spilled, the sooner the stain is tackled, the better; moping up immediately with something clean is the first step to successfully removing the stain before it has set. The short answer to the question of what is the best stain remover for coffee is ‘water and distilled white vinegar.’ Still, as you have seen above, although water and vinegar are the main ingredients in all cases, they work best when small quantities of mild detergents are added. Even if you don’t use dish soap, adding a bottle of liquid dish soap to your cleaning cupboard is worthwhile to be prepared for spills.