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Coffee Stain Removal: A Guide for Carpet & Upholstery

Coffee stains on carpets and upholstery can be a frustrating sight, but fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through effective techniques to remove those stubborn coffee stains from both carpets and upholstery.

Coffee spills are common accidents, and knowing the right steps and products to use can make a significant difference in successfully eliminating the stains. So, grab a cup of your favourite brew and let's dive into the world of coffee stain removal!

Considerations For Coffee Stain Removal

When removing coffee stains, taking into consideration the different materials you are working with is key. Make sure that you use cold water and a white vinegar mix on most materials. For velvet, use a dry cleaning method and for leather make sure that you get a specialized leather cleaner.

Read on for more information:

Understanding Coffee Stains

Before we jump into the cleaning methods, it's crucial to understand the nature of coffee stains. Coffee contains tannins, which can quickly penetrate the fibres of carpets and upholstery, resulting in visible stains.

It's not just the visible stain that becomes a problem. Coffee is a strong odour in its own right but if you have milk with your coffee, this is a biological stain too which gets really stinky! We recently wrote a guide on how to remove spoiled milk from a mattress, but it applies on carpets and some upholstery too.

Fresh stains are easier to tackle, but even set-in stains can be successfully removed with the right approach. If the stain finds itself in a foam cushion, take a look at our guide on how to tackle that.

Preparing for Coffee Stain Removal

  • Act Quickly: Time is of the essence when dealing with coffee stains. The faster you can address the stain, the better your chances of complete removal.

  • Blot, Don't Rub: Use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the coffee stain. Avoid rubbing the stain, as this can spread it and further embed it into the fabric.

  • Test for Colourfastness: Before applying any cleaning solution, test it on a hidden area of the carpet or upholstery to ensure it doesn't cause discoloration or damage.

Materials To Take Extra Care With When Removing Coffee Stains

Some materials require extra care and attention:

Wool: Wool carpet and upholstery is particularly prone to accidental damage. You can use the methods below except for steam cleaning. Also, if you choose to use a carpet cleaner then you will need to purchase a wool safe product.

Velvet & Suede: Don't use a steam cleaner for these types of materials. This can easily cause damage and ruin your upholstery. Instead, use a carpet cleaner sparingly or look at some dry cleaning methods as well.

Memory Foam: You can't use a carpet cleaner on memory foam as you will saturate the material. if you're careful (and confident) using a steam cleaner sparingly is a good option but the best way is by hand if possible. You don't need to worry about what product to use, but you do need to be careful when using it.

Leather: For leather, using a specialized cleaner is necessary. Obviously you can't use a carpet cleaner, but you can use a steamer as long as you attach a microfiber cloth to the end of it. This will allow for a stronger cleaning experience without the use of chemicals.

Coffee Stain Removal from Carpets

Homemade Cleaning Solutions

  1. Vinegar Based Cleaner: Mix one tablespoon of dish soap and one tablespoon of white vinegar along with 2 cups of warm water for an effective coffee stain remover. Put it in a spray bottle and use it on the affected area. Gently agitate with a soft brush and then blot away the stain.

  2. Baking soda paste: Use baking soda and water to form a thick paste. You can do this in a jug, then spread the paste onto the coffee stain. Allow to sit for a few minutes while gently working it into the stain. Afterwards, get a microfiber cloth that has been soaked in cold water and blot over the stain to remove it.

Carpet Cleaners: This is one of the most effective ways to remove any stain, including coffee. It does require some more product and a gentle agitation process as well though.

Spray a stain removal product onto the stain (you can use your homemade solution) and gently agitate with a soft bristled brush after letting it sit for 5 minutes.

Then, grab your carpet cleaner and use it on the stained area. You will probably need to go over it a few times until the stain is fully removed.

Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaning is a powerful method for deep cleaning carpets and removing tough stains. You can use a small steam cleaner such as a Karcher and enjoy a great result, especially if you mix it with the homemade solution above.

Take care not to oversaturate the stained area and don't leave the steamer to sit, keep on moving it to and fro while cleaning the stain.

Extra Considerations For Upholstery

  1. Fabric Upholstery: There are different kinds of upholstery and the methods explained work on most types of upholstery except with a few key considerations. Have a look at our 'how to remove coffee stains from your couch' guide. We go into a bit more detail about different materials there.

  2. Leather Upholstery: Leather requires special care to avoid damaging its natural texture and colour. Make sure you act fast to remove as much coffee as possible. If this time has passed, use a dedicated leather cleaner along with soft bristled brushes to remove the stain. Don't try to use a homemade solution for leather as if the clearcoat has worn, you could easily damage the it or run the colour.


Coffee stains on carpets and upholstery may seem daunting, but with the right techniques and products, they can be successfully removed.

By acting quickly, blotting the stain, and utilizing homemade or commercial cleaning solutions tailored to the specific fabric, you can effectively restore your carpets and upholstery to their pristine condition.

Remember to test any cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area before application and follow the manufacturer's instructions. In cases of severe staining or valuable pieces, professional cleaning services may be the best option.

So, don't let coffee stains ruin the beauty of your carpets and upholstery. Armed with the knowledge and techniques provided in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently tackle coffee stains and enjoy a fresh, clean living space once again.

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