How to Remove a Coffee Stain - Unisan Columbus
How to Remove a Coffee Stain

How to Remove a Coffee Stain

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According to USA Today, 83% of Americans drink coffee and of those coffee drinkers they consume, on average, 3.2 cups per day. That’s a ton of coffee being consumed everyday in the office and a lot of opportunity for coffee spills and stains. In fact, P&G ranks it among the top thirteen most common stains you’re likely to encounter.

Unlike what J.D. from Scrubs assumes, coffee can be one of the more difficult stains to remove from surfaces and you may need more than just a sponge to deal with stain.

Janitor: Oh. So you can do my stuff, but I can’t do yours?

J.D.: Yes!

Janitor: Okay, hot shot, what would you use to get a coffee stain up off a tile floor?

J.D.: I don’t know… the… rough side of a sponge?

So when you do encounter the inevitable coffee stain how would you clean it? (And no, the answer is not “use the rough side of a sponge.”) Fortunately, we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you.

Here are tips to help you remove coffee stains from four different surfaces with ease.


To remove a coffee stain from carpet we recommend trying a dish soap and vinegar solution.

Start by blotting as much coffee from the carpet as possible. Mix one tablespoon of dish soap, one tablespoon of vinegar and two cups of water together. Using a clean, white cloth blot the solution into the stain. Repeat this process until the stain is gone. Once the stain is gone, sponge away the solution with cold water.

If the stains persists, it may be time to invest in a carpet cleaning machine. This carpet spotter is perfect for pesky stains you can’t get out on your own.

Tile and Grout

To remove a coffee stain from grout we recommend trying a vinegar based solution.

Simply take an empty spray bottle and fill it halfway with water and the other half with vinegar. Scrub the stain with a brush. Finally, use a cloth to remove the vinegar solution and wipe the grout clean.

After this, if the coffee stain is still there and causing you issues, you may want to invest in a floor scrubber. Although it’s definitely more expensive, a floor scrubber will easily take care of any tile stain with the flip of a switch.


To clean coffee spills from upholstery all you need is dish soap.

Use one part liquid dish soap to two parts water. Using a clean, white cloth apply the mixture. Repeat this process until the stain is gone and blot with cold water.

You can use this process for any basic upholstery, but we do not recommend using this on more specialized fabrics such as suede or microfiber.


The most difficult surface to remove coffee stains from is definitely clothing. Before you begin be prepared for a lot of soaking.

Here are three ways you can remove coffee stains from clothing.

  1. For a fresh coffee stain, use cold water and try to flush out the coffee. Run water through the spot for 10-15 minutes. If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to resort to a more arduous process.
  2. First, rub liquid laundry detergent and water into the stain. Do this every five minutes for up to 30 minutes making sure you don’t let the stain dry out.
  3. If the stain persists after that, then you can try a vinegar based solution similar to the one we recommend for tile and grout. Combine equal parts water and vinegar and add in powdered laundry detergent until it forms into a paste. Use a brush to scrub the stain.

Now that you’ve read our tips on how to remove coffee from surfaces, tell us your favorite techniques. What’s your favorite method for removing coffee stains?