How to Remove Coffee Stains from Carpets – Tried and Tested Methods


Nothing gets you out of bed in the morning or perks you up quite like a nice, steaming cup of coffee. Coffee loves will go to great lengths to ensure that they get their daily coffee dose. Unfortunately, they are all afflicted by a common curse – the dreaded coffee spill. Nothing irritates coffee drinkers more and coffee spills have a habit of happening at the most inopportune times and in the wrong place – easy to happen but difficult to clean.

When it comes to coffee spills on carpets, the clean-up difficulty factor goes up a few notches. Coffee stains tend to ‘set in’ due to the presence of tannins and become harder to clean the longer they are left. When it comes to cleaning coffee spills from carpets and rugs, time is of the essence; the earlier you react, the simpler it will be to clean away the stain from the carpet or rug.

Tannins are naturally occurring compounds in many plants and produce the dark colours associated with some types of beverages. They are the underlying reason for the hard to remove coffee stains. Tannins are alkaline in nature and have a pH value over 7. It is on this alkalinity of tannins you need to focus your clean up strategy on. In short, you will need to ensure that whatever cleaning medium you intend to use, it should have an acidic nature to counteract the alkalinity of the tannins.

The good news is that removing coffee stains from carpets and rugs is very easy by using a few common household items and simple techniques like the ones you will discover today. Please see the instructions below for a step-by-step tutorial on how to remove old coffee stains from carpets.

Method 1: Liquid Dish Soap and White Vinegar

Step 1 – The first step is to soak up as much of the spillage as possible without spreading it. Carefully dab up the stained area with a clean cloth or paper towels, starting at the borders of the spill and working your way towards the centre to avoid staining adjacent fibres. Continue the process until you are no longer able to draw up any more of the spilt coffee. Follow this up by wetting the area by dabbing it with a wet cloth or paper towels using warm water. This will assist to remove more of the spilt coffee by drawing it out of the fibres. Remove as much of the water as you can using the cloth or paper towels. At all times avoid any scouring actions as this may cause damage to the fibres, use a dabbing or pressing motion instead. Repeat this process if necessary.

Step 2 – Next prepare your cleaning solution by combining one tablespoon of white vinegar, one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, and two cups of warm water in a bowl mix thoroughly until combined. You can add some lemon juice to boost the acidic value of your cleaning solution and have a clean lemon smell when you are done cleaning – but do not overdo it.

Step 3 – Before applying the cleaning solution over a wide area, test it on a small inconspicuous part of your carpet to avoid any unexpected results. Spray a small amount on the Carpet and leave it to soak for about 20 minutes. If there is no adverse result you can proceed to the next step.

Step 4 – Apply cleaning solution to the affected area. You may use a dry towel to dab the stain or gently massage the cleaning solution into the carpet. While rubbing, avoid pressing too hard on the stain as this will drive it deeper into the carpet making the cleaning process more difficult. After applying the solution evenly to the stained area, allow it to soak in for 15 – 20 minutes. Once soaked in, use cold water and a cloth to remove as much of the cleaning solution from the carpet as possible. Once your carpet is dry, vacuum the carpet as this will help to fluff the fibres.

Step 5 – When dry, there is a possibility that the coffee stain may reappear to some degree. As the carpet dries, any excess liquid that was not mopped up may be drawn up to the surface. If this happens, repeat the process again.

Method 2: Baking Soda and Water

Step 1 – Lightly moisten the affected area with warm water and a clean cloth to loosen the old coffee stain. Dab the discoloured area beginning at the borders and working your way inward to prevent spreading the discoloration. Any scouring action should be avoided.

Step 2 – Using this process, remove as much of the stain as possible and soak up any excess liquid or stain from the carpet. Remove as much of the stain as you can and be careful to soak up as much of the water as possible.

Step 3 – Next, make up your cleaning medium by combining one part water and three parts baking soda in a small bowl into a light paste. Additionally, you may add one tablespoon of white vinegar to the mixture to give it even more cleaning power.

Step 4 – Test the cleaning solution on an isolated area of your carpet to ensure that it will not cause any harm to it. Apply the paste to a small, unnoticeable area of your carpet and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes. Pay careful attention to any coloration shifts or fading that occurs. If there are no changes, go to the next step.

Step 5 – Brush the baking soda paste into the stained area with an old toothbrush and gently scrub the stains away. However, avoid using too much force or a scouring motion as you may damage your carpet. Use a clean, dry towel to gently wipe away the remaining mixture and any residue from the carpet. Allow your carpet to dry overnight before vacuuming it in the morning.

Side Notes

If the described methods do not work for any reason, you could try the following methods. Just keep in mind that these methods are not considered established:

(a) If you do have white vinegar or baking soda available, you could try diluting the juice of a lemon in water and following the techniques described in the above methods;

(b) Club soda may assist to remove coffee stains. You can either pour some over the stained area or you can spray it. Let it sit for a while and then follow the described methods to remove the excess liquid and clean up.

(c) For carpets that have synthetic makeup only, you could try applying some ammonia. Dilute a tablespoon of ammonia into a cup of water and follow the application and clean up techniques described above. Make sure to test the solution on a small inconspicuous area before using on a large area. Also, make sure that your carpet is not a woollen one.

(d) Salt has great absorbent properties. Pour salt liberally over the coffee stained area and allow to rest overnight, Brush or vacuum away the excess salt the next day and you should see a difference.

(e) If the area of carpet you’re cleaning happens to look a little flat, you can use this opportunity to fluff up that bit of the carpet.

(f) If this sounds like too much work, or you would prefer a professional remove the coffee stains for you, then get in contact with us for premium carpet cleaners in Luton.

The main DIY methods described above are tried and tested methods have been demonstrated to work in removing coffee stain from carpets. As these are natural methods avoiding the use of harsh chemicals, you may need to repeat the cleaning process several times to achieve the desired results.

About the author 

Saul Jones

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