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Best Ways on How to Clean Coffee Stains from Carpet

coffee stain.

A hot cup of joe may be one of the best ways to begin the day, but a coffee spill on the carpet is easily one of the worst. Nobody wants to deal with a fresh coffee stain on a manic morning. You can risk running late and getting into trouble at work or take a chance and let the problem sit, potentially making the coffee stains permanent.

It all makes for a stressful situation. But with an informed approach, you won’t have to make compromises with your carpet or time. Save your rug and your day by following these tips on how to clean coffee stains from carpet the easy way.

How to Remove Fresh Coffee Stains from Carpet

Soak up as much coffee as possible with a clean cloth. Mix a cleaning solution of two cups of water and ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap, and spray the spot. Blot with a clean white cloth until the stain disappears, respraying cleaner as needed. Rinse with cold water before blotting the excess moisture or vacuuming with a wet vac.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Remove Coffee Stains from Carpet?

Applying hydrogen peroxide to stubborn coffee stains oxidizes melanoidin, the brown stain-causing component in coffee. It breaks down the polymeric antioxidant compound, robbing it of color. The same action makes it effective against numerous dye components in stains, including those in blood and red wine.

How Do You Get Old Coffee Stains Out of Carpet?

Try applying 6% hydrogen peroxide or a salon product like 20 Volume to old coffee stains and letting them sit for several minutes before blotting up. To save money, you can cheat by buying 12% peroxide (aka 40 Volume) and diluting it. These mild bleaching agents are generally safe for most synthetic carpet fibers.

Hydrogen Peroxide + Steam

One of the quickest ways to try to clean out old, dried coffee spills is by pouring hydrogen peroxide on the stain and lifting it with steam. Spray hydrogen peroxide on the coffee stains. Cover the stains with a damp white towel, and set a steam iron over it. Steam the stained area for about 30 seconds. Repeat as necessary, moving the iron around to cover every bit of the stain until it is all gone.

Warning! Don’t apply a dry iron to the carpet. The heat can melt and permanently damage the plastic fibers.

Hydrogen Peroxide + Ammonia

Ammonia is a high-alkaline compound, an effective cleaning solution against oils, protein stains, and other organic marks. Against melanoidins, studies have also shown that alkalinity can enhance hydrogen peroxide’s decolorizing capabilities more than a neutral or acidic pH.

Blot as much coffee as possible from the carpet. Spray the stain with 6% hydrogen peroxide, and spray again with ammonia. Let the cleaner sit for several hours. The dried coffee stain will gradually fade. Reapply as needed if it remains after letting the carpet air dry. Remove excess moisture with a wet vac.

Tip: As with any cleaner, including hydrogen peroxide alone, spot test in an inconspicuous area if you’re concerned about color-fastness. Let the carpet stain remover combination dry to ensure it won’t leave a lasting mark. 

Cleaning Coffee Stains from Different Carpet Materials

Synthetic Materials

Synthetic carpet materials (e.g. polyester, olefin, nylon, acrylic) can tolerate most carpet cleaning methods. Despite being generally less durable than nylon, polyester doesn’t stain as easily from coffee, so you should have the easiest time managing any accidental morning spills without damaging the color. Regardless, these man-made materials can hold up to nearly any DIY or commercial carpet cleaning solutions.

Wool Carpets

Organic materials degrade from harsh cleaners, especially alkaline stain removers. Do not use ammonia or bleach on wool. Instead, a white vinegar and mild dish soap mix can make a simple stain remover that won’t degrade the fibers. Use it like dish soap and water or a hydrogen peroxide cleaner. Blot the stain and alternative with the spray cleaner until the stain disappears. Soak up excess moisture with a wet vac or paper towels.

How to Get Out Coffee with Cream and Sugar

When you take your coffee with cream and sugar, you add an extra odorous protein ingredient to consider. Your mild dish liquid solution can likely get fresh coffee stains out. Otherwise, try an enzyme cleaner or enzyme laundry detergent with protease components that will break down and release the cream part of the stain.

How to Remove Coffee Stains from Car Carpet

Remove coffee stains from carpet in the car with the same dish liquid and hydrogen peroxide sprays that work inside the house. For an old coffee spot, spray hydrogen peroxide, and let it sit until the coffee stain fades. Blot with a clean cloth or suck up the excess water with a wet vac.

Does Baking Soda Remove Coffee Stains from Carpet?

Baking soda is mildly alkaline and absorbent, two essential traits that can help remove fresh coffee spills and much more from fabrics. After blotting as much stain as possible, sprinkle baking soda to pull the remaining coffee from the carpet fibers. After drying, vacuum the baking soda and reapply, if needed, to suck up any additional moisture.

What’s the Best Carpet Cleaner for Coffee Stains?

A fast response, dish liquid, and hydrogen peroxide will be your best tools in removing spilled coffee stains of all sizes. An enzyme-based stain remover or detergent is one of the most powerful solutions, especially for mixed coffee beverages. Otherwise, commercial cleaners like Folex can tackle old and new spots alongside numerous other organic stains.

Do Coffee Stains Come Out of Carpet?

Hot coffee can be more challenging to remove from the carpet than cold brew because it can degrade the stain-resistant carpet treatment and more readily bond to the fibers. Several factors, including the time you let it sit, the stain’s volume, the rug material, and perhaps even the brew method, can affect the ease of cleaning. But with these cleaning tips and a little more care with your cup in the morning, you can make your coffee-stained carpet a thing of the past!


Anita's Housekeeping Editors