The Best Way To Remove Coffee Stains From Clothing

Coffee may taste great, but everyone dreads spilling it on your morning drive to work or walking to your office space. Unfortunately, coffee is right next to red wine on the list of drinks known to stain teeth, clothes, and furniture. The reason why coffee stains things is because it has tannins in it. According to Kahawa Planet, tannin is a dye that occurs naturally in coffee, causing the brown stain that sticks on clothing when coffee is spilled.

Coffee stains are not permanent, but they can be very tricky to remove if you don't follow the correct steps. The biggest rule with removing a coffee stain is to not use any heat, don't wash it with hot water or dry the stain with heat. Heat will set the tannin in the coffee deeper into the fibers of your clothing, making the stain harder to remove. Luckily, Fluent in Coffee explains that the type of fabric used for your clothing can be cleaned with the same methods, whether they are made of cotton or synthetic fabrics.

1. Before it sets in

A fresh coffee spill is the easiest to clean. Depending on where you are when you spill coffee on your clothes, there are different steps you can take. The most important thing is to treat the stain before it has a chance to dry. The most effective way to treat a fresh coffee stain is with cold water. Real Good Coffee Co. recommends immediately taking the stained clothing and running the stain under cold water. This will dilute the coffee before it has a chance to set into the clothing. Let the water run through the clothing for a minute, and be sure not to scrub the spot. This method will remove almost all of the coffee; if there is still any left, wash the clothing with another method when home.

Salt can also prevent a coffee spill from turning into a stain. El Dorado Coffee Roasters explains that if you put salt on a coffee spill before it has a chance to dry, the salt will absorb the coffee. To do this method, pour a large amount of salt onto the stain and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. The more salt you use, the better this method will work. Then use a paper towel or cloth to rub the salt away. Both of these work as a sort of pretreatment that might remove the issue altogether.

2. Wash when home

When you cannot immediately clean a coffee stain, you should first blot the stain with a paper towel or cloth to remove as much of the coffee as possible. Once you are home and can clean the stain, use a commercial stain remover to pretreat it. Another option is to use a little bit of laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid as a way to pretreat, according to Nespresso. Rub the soap or remover into the stain with a bit of water and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. Then rinse the stain with warm water.

After pretreating, you can wash the clothing in a washing machine as you would normally (remember, cold water is better). An important step is to check the clothing when the washing machine has finished its cycle. If the stain is gone, you can move forward and put it in the dryer. If the stain is still visible, Driftaway recommends using a sponge with rubbing alcohol to blot the stain. Then you can rewash it. Putting the stain in the dryer would set it into the clothing permanently, so don't dry it until the stain is gone.

3. Make a homemade stain remover

There are also natural, homemade cleaning recipes that can be used to treat coffee stains. Like with commercial stain removers, the first step in removing the coffee stain is to use a paper towel or cloth to blot any excess coffee out of the clothing before it dries. Once you can pretreat and wash the clothing, you will need your homemade stain remover. To remove the coffee stain, you will be presoaking the stain. In a sink or bucket, mix a solution with 1 quart of warm water, a ½ teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, according to Driftaway. Submerge the clothing in this solution and leave it to soak for 15 minutes.

After the presoak, rinse the coffee stain under warm water. Then the clothing can be washed as normal in your washing machine. The same rule goes that if the stain is still visible after the washing machine is done cleaning it, you should not put it in the dryer. Again, you should use a sponge with rubbing alcohol to treat the stain and then rewash it. Once the stain is no longer visible, it can be put in the dryer.