There’s nothing like that morning cup of coffee to start your day. And not much is more frustrating than spilling it on your brand new shirt, or the seat of your car. Luckily, removing coffee stains is not as hard as you think.

Blot it

First things first: Blot up the coffee. Do not rub it, this just forces the stain in more. Use a clean cloth, and firmly press and hold the cloth in place to absorb the coffee. Continue applying clean, fresh cloths (or napkins) until you are not pulling up any more coffee. You can also use towels dipped in cold water to blot out the stain. Continue blotting with fresh towels until the coffee is gone. Again, remember to never rub the stain, blot it gently. This will also work on your car’s interior, or your new couch.

Club Soda

The great benefit of this is that it is available at the restaurant where you spilled the coffee. Blot the stain gently with club soda, 7Up or Sprite until it is lifted, then blot with cool water to rinse away the soda. This is another solution that can work on upholstery, as well.

Commercial Stain Remover

Sometimes the simplest things will work. Soak the stain with commercial stain remover, wait one minute and then wash the garment. Before you place the item in the dryer, see if the stain has come out. If it is still there, try the next step.


Ah, the natural stand-by for generations. Mix one teaspoon of white vinegar with one quart of cold water. Sponge this on the stain and then wipe off. Launder as usual, check the stain before drying.

Egg Yolk

You may not have heard of this one. Mix one egg yolk with a small amount of rubbing alcohol and a slightly larger amount of warm water. Rub this into the stain using a sponge, then launder as usual.

Baking Soda

Another oldie but goodie; baking soda can be sprinkled on a wet dishcloth and the coffee stain can be gently wiped with it. This has the added benefit of being something you can try at the moment, rather than having to wait until you can wash the garment. This is also great for removing coffee stains from your countertops. Just use a small amount of baking soda, and gently scrub it into the stain using an old toothbrush.

Peroxide and Dawn

Take a cup of peroxide, and just a few drops of Dawn dish detergent and mix them together. Submerse the stained area in the solution and wring it out completely. Allow it to dry and the stain will probably be gone completely. Take care with the peroxide since it is actually a mild bleach. You might want to test part of your garment for color-fastness.

Baby Wipes

These aren’t just for little ones. Buy a small pack and toss it in your purse or car. Most stains can be removed quickly and safely by dabbing at them with a baby wipe. Keep one in your glove box for cleaning up spills on your car’s seat, or any other part of the interior.

Special Tips for Leather or Suede

Start by carefully blotting the liquid out of the leather. Put some mild soap in a container of water, and then swish vigorously to create plenty of suds. Using a sponge, gently dab only the foam on the coffee stain, and then wipe dry using a clean cloth. Continue until the stain is removed.

So the next time you spill your morning cup of java, don’t panic. Just reach for one of these tried and tested cures. With these tips, you will never again be defeated by coffee stains.


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