How to Remove Coffee Stains from Clothes: 8 Methods that Work!


It’s the start of a new work week and you’re trying to cope with the Monday blues by sipping on your favorite latte. Then, a slight nudge and your latte spills all over the table and on your white shirt! But don’t let those nasty brown stains on your clothes put a damper on your day.

Immediately rinsing out the coffee with cool water can often remove most or all of the stain. However, if the coffee stain persists, it can be removed easily using simple household ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and bleach.

before and after using hydrogen peroxide

Either way, the key is acting promptly before the stain sets. Also, before using any of the cleaning methods to get rid of coffee stains, do a patch test on a hidden section of your white shirt to be sure the cleaning agent is well tolerated by the fabric and doesn’t lead to any discoloration.

Here are the top 8 methods you can try to remove coffee stains from your sparkling white shirt.

Method 1: Use White Vinegar

before and after using white vinegar

A common household product, white vinegar can be used as an effective cleaning agent to remove water-soluble stains. If the strong vinegar smell bothers you, don’t worry because it will come out when you wash the garment after spot treating it.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to use white vinegar to remove coffee stain from clothes

  • White vinegar – ½ cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Hand towel

Step 1. Prepare a solution of vinegar and water

prepare a solution of vinegar and water

  • Pour ½ cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water into a bowl.
  • Stir to mix the liquids well.

Step 2. Blot the coffee stain with the solution

blot the stain with the solution

  • Fold a hand towel and soak it in the solution.
  • Dab it on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Wash and dry the garment as usual.

For larger stains, soak the garment overnight in 1 part vinegar mixed in 2 parts water. Wash the garment with a detergent in the morning.

final removed coffee stain using white vinegar

Method 2: Use Egg Yolk

before and after using egg yolk

Who knew eggs could serve more purposes other than providing a hearty breakfast? Simply beat an egg yolk and apply it on the stain and voila! Bye-bye coffee stains.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to use egg yolk to remove coffee stain from clothes

  • Egg yolk – 1
  • Terry cloth – 1

Step 1. Beat an egg yolk with a hand blender

beat an egg yolk

  • Separate the egg yolk into a container and beat it using a hand blender.

Step 2. Apply the egg yolk on the coffee stain

blot the stain with the yolk

  • Dip the terry cloth in the yolk and dab it on the coffee stain.
  • Let the yolk sit on the stain for a few minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
  • Wash and dry the garment as usual.

final removed coffee stain using eggyolk

Method 3: Use Baking Soda

before and after using baking soda

Baking soda is a mild abrasive as well as a good absorbent that works effectively on stubborn coffee stains. However, do not use baking soda on delicate garments, as its abrasive nature can damage the fabric.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to use baking soda to remove coffee stains from clothes

  • Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  • Warm water – 1 cup
  • Hand towel

Step 1. Wet the stain with warm water

wet the stain with warm water

  • Pour about 1 cup of warm water on the coffee stain.
  • Squeeze out all the water from the piece of clothing before applying the baking soda.

Step 2. Sprinkle baking soda and rub it into the coffee stain

sprinkle baking soda and rub into the stain

  • Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of baking soda on the wet stain.
  • Use the wadded towel to rub the baking soda into the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Don’t rub too hard, as you don’t want to damage the fabric of your favorite white shirt.
  • Rinse it off with water.
  • Wash and dry the garment as usual.

final removed coffee stain from clothes using baking soda

Method 4: Use Lemon Juice

before and after using lemon

Lemon is a natural bleaching agent and can work effectively to remove coffee stains. If your coffee contained a lot of sugar, it is important to first rinse the stain with water. The citric acid in lemon can react with the sugar and turn the stain a darker brown. Lemon can also be used to remove deodorant stains from clothes.

Single-Step Method: Soak the coffee stain in lemon juice

soak the coffee stain in lemon juice

  • Soak the stain in lemon juice for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Squeeze out the lemon juice and rinse the stained area thoroughly with water.
  • Repeat the soak if the stain is still there.
  • Wash and dry the garment as usual.

final removed coffee stain with lemon

Method 5: Use Hydrogen Peroxide

before and after using hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful bleaching agent and is present in most commercial bleaches. It is important to wear gloves while using concentrated hydrogen peroxide to prevent skin irritation. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to treat red wine stains on clothes.

Using  3% hydrogen peroxide is advisable for cleaning stains.

Single-Step Method: Soak the coffee stain in hydrogen peroxide

soak the stain in hydrogen peroxide

  • Pour hydrogen peroxide into a bowl.
  • Soak the stain in it for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Rinse it out with water.
  • Repeat if the stain persists, then wash the garment with your regular detergent.

If the stain has already set into the fabric, you can mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and dish washing liquid and apply it on the stain. Wait a few minutes, then rinse it out with water.

final removed coffee stain from clothes using hydrogen peroxide

Method 6: Use Dish Soap

before and after using dish soap

You can use your regular dish soap with warm water to treat coffee stains. Liquid dish soap also acts as an efficient all-purpose cleaner to clean chair fabrics or leather car seats.

Step 1. Prepare a solution of warm water and dish soap

prepare a solution with warm water and dish soap

  • Pour 1 cup of warm water into a bowl.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of dish soap and stir until it completely dissolves in the water.

Step 2. Soak the coffee stain in the solution

soak the stain in the soap solution

  • Soak the coffee stain in the solution for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse it out with water.
  • Repeat if necessary.
  • Wash and dry the garment.

final removed coffee stain from clothes with dish soap

Method 7: Use Rubbing Alcohol

before and after using rubbing alcohol

Regular household rubbing alcohol can also be used to remove coffee stains from your white shirt. Simply dab rubbing alcohol on the stain and it should vanish.

Single-Step Method: Apply rubbing alcohol on the coffee stain

apply rubbing alcohol on the coffee stain

  • Soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol.
  • Apply it on the stain and allow it to dry completely.
  • Rinse it out with water.
  • Launder the garment as usual.

final removed coffee stain from clothes with rubbing alcohol

Method 8: Use Bleach

before and after using bleach

You can use a non-chlorine or oxygen bleach to remove coffee or any other stains from colored fabrics. If using chlorine bleach, which can be a little harsh on fabrics, it is best to use it remove coffee stains from white shirts only.

Step 1. Prepare a solution of bleach and water

prepare a solution of bleach and water

  • Pour 1 cup of water into a bowl.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of bleach.
  • Stir to dissolve the bleach in the water.

Step 2. Soak the coffee stain in the solution

soak the stain in the bleach solution

  • Dip the stained fabric in the solution and let it soak for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the clothing from the solution and rinse it with water.
  • Launder the garment as usual.

final removed coffee stain using bleach

Tips

  • Always read the fabric care instructions on the garment label before washing it or using any of the stain-removal methods.
  • When using a dry or wet blotting method, use white towels as colored towels can bleed onto your garment.
  • Don’t rub too vigorously to remove stains, as it can fade colored garments and damage the fabric’s fibers.
  • For stains on delicate fabrics like silk or wool, it is advisable to get it treated by a professional dry cleaner.
  • If you are out somewhere and cannot treat the stain immediately, try dabbing it with a damp paper napkin. This will soak up most of the coffee and prevent it from setting into the fabric.
  • You can also buy commercial stain removers made specifically for coffee stains. However, they do not come cheap and coffee mishaps don’t happen that frequently. If you plan to use it, read the product label and follow the use and safety instructions.

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How to Remove Coffee Stains from Clothes: 8 Methods that Work!

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