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Here’s How To Get Rid Of Coffee Stains From Clothing

There is nothing more frustrating than getting out tough stains from clothing. In this short brief, you will learn about various stain removal methods, particularly for cotton fabrics.

By Cookist

Cleaning a piece of cloth stained by coffee is a trial-and-error process. Fiest, you start by flushing it with cold water. And if that doesn't work, try cleaning products like laundry detergent and stain remover.

Acting quickly can also make a huge difference in how easily the stain comes out.

Chemically, the process of stain removal has to do with diluting and dissolving the brown coffee tannins in plenty of water then flushing them out of the fabric.

These brown tannins do not bond tightly to fabric fibers, so getting rid of them is not a difficult matter even if the stain is old and dried-in.


With older stains, a mild solvent such as dishwashing detergent or vinegar is usually enough to get the staining tannins moving so they can be flushed away.

With fresh stains, a simple rinse may suffice. Always check the stained area before throwing the fabric in the dryer. This is because drying the item on high heat while it is still stained will make the stain even harder to remove.

Try these steps that can help you get rid of both fresh and dried coffee stains.

What You'll Need:

  • Toothbrush
  • Materials
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Powdered laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Laundry stain remover
  • Dishwashing liquid (optional)
  • Oxygen bleach laundry detergent (optional)

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Cotton, Cotton-Blend, and Linen Fabrics


Before you begin, check the care label on the garment and test any detergent or cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it does not discolor the fabric.

Most cleaning methods are gentle enough for a diverse range of fabrics, but knowing an item's specific care needs will help you choose the best stain removal option.

Once that is done, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse With Cold Water: if the stain is fresh, run cold water through the backside of the fabric to avoid the coffee penetrating the cloth. Rinse under cold water for 10 to 15 minutes and if the stain persists, take the next step.
  2. Apply Liquid Detergent: Rub liquid laundry detergent or liquid dish soap and a little cold water into the coffee stain. This will allow fresh stains to sit for three to five minutes. It can sit for longer, but don't let it dry. If the stain is old, you'll need to soak the clothing in water after you've rubbed in the liquid detergent. Every five minutes, gently rub the stained fabric with your thumb and fingers to loosen the stain. After 30 minutes of soaking in cold water, inspect the stained area. If the stain remains, try soaking for five to 15 minutes in warm water before rinsing thoroughly.
  3. Try Powdered Detergent: if the stain is still there, mix some powdered laundry detergent with equal parts white vinegar and water, and turn it into a paste. Test it on an inconspicuous part of the garment to make sure it doesn't discolor the fabric then use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain. Afterwards, rinse the fabric thoroughly.
  4. Pretreat and Wash: Apply a stain remover spray or gel to the coffee stain. Let it stay for five minutes then wash the garment as you normally would.
  5. Inspect and Dry: Check to make sure the coffee stain is completely gone. If any hint remains, repeat the treatment steps before drying. Also air-dry the clothing rather than machine drying it to prevent heat stains.
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