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How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Clothes

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You have just enjoyed a fresh cup of coffee, when it happened: The coffee has spilt and a brown stain is on your new top! Don’t panic, with the following tips you can remove coffee stains from your clothes effectively and easily.

How to remove fresh coffee stains

If this has just happened to you here are some quick tips on what to do:


  • The sooner the better: the sooner you remove the stains, the easier and faster they will disappear. 
  • Dab instead of rubbing: never rub the stains! This often makes things worse. Gentle dabbing is much more effective.
  • Try some mineral water: the carbon dioxide helps to dissolve the coffee quickly. Most of the time the stain will disappear immediately, especially if the coffee has a thin consistency (eg. filter coffee)
  • If there was milk and sugar in your coffee, things might get a little more difficult. If you wish to remove the stain quickly by hand-washing then water might not be enough and you will need a little washing-up liquid or hand soap. These products will help loosen fats from the fibers.
  • If you are at home and have access to your washing machine, wash the garment on a regular wash cycle. If you don’t wait too long you will remove the coffee stain completely.

Use milk for white textiles only

You can soak the clothes or textiles in dairy milk for 10 minutes to thoroughly remove coffee stains. Then, simply rinse the milk out under warm water and wash the textiles in the washing machine.

How about old coffee stains?

As you can tell from the above tips, you usually don’t need much to remove coffee stains as soon as they end up on your clothes. But what about old coffee stains? Don’t worry, you can remove them too!


To do this, first dampen the dried stain. The use one of the following home remedies:


  • Gall soap: Gently dab the stain with the soap and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Then wash out the gall soap with warm water, check the stain and repeat the process if necessary. Finally, wash the garment on a regular wash cycle.
  • Baking powder or baking soda: Mix baking powder or baking soda with a small amount of water to form a paste and apply it to the stain. After 10 minutes, wash the paste off with water and put the garment in the washing machine. Be careful though: both these products can cause fading to sensitive clothing under certain circumstances.
  • Pure alcohol or distilled water: For delicate fabrics that cannot be machine washed, I recommend using alcohol or distilled water to remove coffee stains. Soak a clean cotton cloth in distilled water or alcohol and dab the coffee stains until they have disappeared. 
  • Salt: A highly concentrated salt solution is also suitable for removing old coffee stains from clothing. First, fill a bowl with warm water and dissolve as much salt in it as possible. Then, soak the garment in the saline solution so that it is completely submerged. Leave aside to soak for about 30 minutes and then rinse the garment with water. Finally, wash the garment on a regular wash cycle.

  • Whichever method of the above you choose, make sure to read the washing instructions on the textile. For example, baking soda is not suitable for colored textiles, as you might end up with bleached patches. 


    The same applies to alcohol: when you are using alcohol to remove stains, it can also lead to color fading. All in all, there are many ways to remove fresh and old coffee stains from clothes, just keep the washing instructions in mind as well. 

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