by Amy Gordon
(last updated June 1, 2015)
Coffee stains can sneak up on you. They happen as easily as a coworker bumping you on the elbow as you are lifting your cup. Here are a few tips on how to get these splashes out and save your clothes. Unfortunately, there are few instant fixes, so if you are prone to spilling coffee on yourself, you may want to keep a change of clothes in your car.
If the coffee stain has dried on to an article of clothing, rub the stained area with liquid laundry detergent and soak the garment in cold water for half an hour. If the stain is fresh and still moist, rub the stained area gently with liquid detergent. Be careful not to spread the stain. Let the detergent sit on the stain for 5-10 minutes. After you have rubbed and soaked the stain, rinse the stained area thoroughly with water and soap. Hopefully the stain will have washed away at this point.
If the coffee stain is still there, try rubbing the stained area with detergent again and soak the clothing in the sink, this time using warm—not hot—water for about 10 minutes. Apply a stain-removing spray or stick product, such as Spray 'n Wash or Shout, and let it sit for ten minutes. Wash the garment in a washing machine as you normally would. Check the garment for the stain before putting in the dryer. Repeat the pre-treatment process if the stain is still there.
If the coffee stain is on the carpet, it cannot be soaked out, since that would ruin the carpet backing. If the coffee stain is still wet, use a paper towel to blot away any excess moisture. Once you have removed any excess moisture, you can try spraying the coffee stain with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. If the stain has already dried, just spray it with the vinegar solution. Blot up any extra moisture from the solution with paper towels or a clean white cloth. Gently rub a detergent solution (1 squirt of detergent in a half-gallon of water should do) into the stain, being careful not to rub in circles. Rinse the detergent out by carefully spraying the stained area with pure water. Instead of blotting up the excess moisture, put some paper towels on the stain and weigh the towels down. Leave the towels there until the stained area has dried.
Coffee stains take time to remove, but with a bit of gentle rubbing and some persistence, they can be removed and your clothes or your carpet can be good as new!
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