The sheer amount of time that many people spend with a coffee cup in their hands makes the probability of spilling that coffee at some point pretty high. The dark brown liquid leaves ugly stains on clothing and carpets, and will also discolor your coffee pot over time. While substances like lemon juice and vinegar can be quite effective to clean coffee stains, the most effective product is Oxiclean. You can find Oxiclean on the cleaning supplies aisle of any grocery store in tubs; it’s a white powder.
- Before you treat your clothing, make sure that it’s not dry clean only; if it is, then you should consider letting the professionals handle it so that you don’t ruin it. Read the care directions to see how the articles should be laundered. If you’re not sure if it’s safe, test it out in a small area before tackling the main task.
- Treat a fresh coffee stain immediately with a regular laundry pre-treatment stain fighter, then wash as normal. Most of the time the stain will come out immediately, saving you the trouble of further cleaning.
- For stains on clothes, simply soak the garment in OxiClean and water for several hours or overnight. Wash as normal the next day.
- For stains on carpets, first blot up as much as you can, provided it’s fresh. Saturate the area with OxiClean and water and let it sit for ten minutes or more. Old stains should be scrubbed, but carefully so that you don’t spread it around. Then you just blot it up using paper towels or clean cloths, repeating the process if necessary. Once the stain stops growing fainter, you know you’ve cleaned it as much as you can.
- If OxiClean doesn’t work or you don’t have any, you may also try this with a white vinegar and water solution. Mix one two parts water with one part vinegar and spray or pour it on the stain. Let it set, then blot, scrubbing gently if necessary.
- To clean your coffee pot, there’s a simple trick involving crushed ice. Put some in your coffee pot, up to about a quarter of the way up (cubed ice can do too, but it doesn’t work as well), and swirl it around. The ice scrapes the sides as it goes around, scraping off the stain. This will work better if you do it often instead of letting stains build up.
Although coffee stains are frustrating, they don’t have to ruin your clothing or carpeting. The most important thing to do is to take care it immediately, before the stain has a chance to dry. If that’s not an option, treat it as soon as you can, and whatever you do don’t wash and dry it until you have treated it in some way. Once it’s been through a dryer the stain will almost certainly be set. Materials such as leather may require cleaning by professionals, and dry clean only items should be handled by the dry cleaner.