Coffee. It may be what you wake up to every morning, or the thing that you enjoy a cup of only every now and then. That beautiful cup that you look forward to every morning can be quite dangerous if spilled. In every scenario, the speed in which you attack the stain will be better for your results. However, there are many scenarios of where the spill can happen and how to go about treating it.
First you should understand why coffee stains in the first place. Coffee beans, which come from the coffea plant, grow in about 70 countries. A typical cup contains milk, coffee granules, and water, with a wide array of sweeteners to choose from. Coffee stains because it contains oils that stick to surfaces and are quick to be absorbed (hint hint: we aren’t kidding when we say stains are most easily removed RIGHT when they first occur.) Porous surfaces (aka pretty much everything) specifically hold these oils and are often discolored by them.
Solid Surfaces + Furniture
Listen up. The last thing you want to do is aggressively scrub the surface. We know you’re frustrated—hello, you just lost your coffee—and maybe in a rush (because we’re 95% sure you spilled it on your way walking out the door for work) but take a deep breath before you react. Scrubbing will only allow the stains to soak in faster.
For hard, sealed surfaces like countertops, plastic or other man-made materials, use Boulder Clean Dish Soap with a soft sponge to slowly see if the stain lifts. You can try using vinegar and baking soda if the dish soap doesn’t work.
If you have a stain on wood, wet a paper towel with a teaspoon of dish soap. Wipe was much of the coffee stain as possible and blot the area with soapy and fresh paper towels. As a last resort, you can try to use white vinegar but don’t let it sit longer then a minute before wiping it away and blot completely clean with paper towels.
From Clothes, Textiles + Carpet
Area rugs and carpet generally get the most traffic in a home. Due to this, the odds of a spill happening in this area are quite common. Same goes for the clothes you wear—they will undoubtedly be near a cup of joe if you’re drinking one. Same goes for fabrics as it does for the furniture—do not scrub.
If the stain is fresh, regardless of if it’s on your shirt or the couch, blot away as much of the liquid as you can. If the item is washable, immediately throw it into the wash and run it for a cycle with Boulder Clean Laundry Detergent. If it’s on a larger item that won’t fit into the washer, repeat the blotting technique with a small amount of mild dish soap and clean, wet paper towels until the stain lifts. This may take a while but the best way to remove the stain is by gently applying pressure so the stain absorbs into the paper towel rather than reversely into the couch or carpet. Pro tip: always use cold water!
Treating Old Stains
Have an old coffee stain that has proven stubborn? This can be tricky, and the process is mostly the same, but we have a few tips to keep you motivated! Try using a mild dish soap firstly, but if that’s not working switch to a laundry detergent that has enzymes. Still not working? Ok. Move on to testing a small area with the following options: lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide.
While keeping all of these instructions in mind, know that it depends on the timeline, what the stain is sitting on or what it has absorbed into. There’s a chance your shirt will be forever ruined or you’ll have to rotate the rug to hide the stain under a side table, but we’re confident you can get the stains out if you try hard and work quickly.