You can get a coffee stain out of the carpet in 10 minutes with a stain remover, dishwasher solution, an iron, or with vinegar. For deep cleaning, you can use a sodium metabisulfite sulfite solution.
Since we love our coffees, it’s impossible to start the day without the impactful dark drink. But accidents are frequent and spilling coffee on the carpet is as bad as it gets. Our office simply cannot take the hit as coffee stains tend to ruin the appearance of the entire room.
When I spilled coffee on my carpet, I had to quickly look for solutions. A sodium metabisulfite sulfite coffee stain remover did it for me. In the meantime, my research led me to pinpoint other techniques people recommend for dealing with the brown stains.
4 methods you can rotate if you want to learn how to get a coffee stain out of the carpet
You can remove coffee stains from your carpet with a bit of effort. As expect, the most demanding coffee stains are those on white, cream, or gray carpets. Black or blue carpets aren’t as complimented to deal with. However, coffee stains can resurface on white carpets when you think they’re gone
Fresh vs. dry coffee stains
Carpet coffee stains are never easy to clean. However, if you act soon after the spill, your final results might be a bit better than expected. If dry coffee stains support a bit of rubbing, wet coffee stains have to be first deal with using by blotting the stain. You can use dry paper towels or dry clean white towels to blot the coffee stains.
Pro tip: please refrain from rubbing wet coffee stains to avoid damaging carpet fibers.
- The stain remover method
The first and most popular carpet coffee stain removal method is the one using a stain remover. General stain removers such as Vanish Carpet, Oxyclean, or a solution with hydrogen peroxide are often named among the first contenders. My advice is to use a solution with sodium metabisulfite sulfite which comes in powdered form and which you can keep in the office storage room at hand for any other possible coffee or tea spills.
Step 1 – Blot the carpet
You need to blot the area as soon as you realize coffee spilled on the carpet. This will make getting the stain out a bit easier.
If the coffee stain is already a few days old, there’s nothing to blot.
Step 2 – Apply a stain remover
A specialty coffee stain remover is always going to be a better solution to deal with your coffee stain. Of course, the results vary considerably depending on the temperature of the coffee when it stained the carpet and even depending on its caffeinated or decaffeinated profile.
The way I removed the fresh coffee stain on my carpet was by using a sodium metabisulfite sulfite powder. I mixed it with a half bottle of hot water in a window cleaning sprayer. I added about a tablespoon of coffee stain remover.
Step 3 – Use a soft brush for better stain remover penetration
At this stage, you can use a plastic brush to gently spread the coffee stain remover over the stain. You want to avoid scrubbing hard with the brush as you just want to spread the stain remover and let it act for a few minutes.
Pro tip: Test the process on a small piece of carpet before (many offices have spare carpet pieces in the storage room where you can spill a bit of coffee and try to remove the stain).
Step 4 – See the stain disappearing
In some cases, you’ll see the stain starting to dissipate as coffee stain remover acts within minutes.
Step 5 – Come back the next day
In case the coffee stain has not disappeared, come back the next day and repeat the process.
Step 6 – Remove residue
As the water from the coffee stain remover evaporates, it turns into powder again. You can clear the powder or the white residue with a vacuum cleaner.
- Removing carpet coffee stains with an ammonia solution
Regular household ammonia can be used to alternatively get the coffee stain out. If your carpet is not made out of natural fibers such as wool, ammonia will act to remove the stain on its own, without any scrubbing.
To be fair, I haven’t used ammonia myself. But I’ve seen a friend darken an entire piece of wood with it so I know it’s potent. You can mix a tablespoon of ammonia in a cup of lukewarm water and spray it on the stained carpet. Alternatively, you can soak a clean white towel in the ammonia-water mix, apply it over the stain and place a heavy book on top while it’s acting to remove the stain.
- Use an iron to remove coffee stains
You can use an iron and hydrogen peroxide to alternatively remove coffee stains from the carpet. If your stain is dry, you need to spray water all over it to make the area wet again.
Then, you spray a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution over the area. Next, you place a wet clean white towel over the area. On top of the towel, you will add the hot iron for up to 30 seconds. This will start to transfer the stain to the towel. You can repeat the process a few times.
- Use an enzyme stain and odor remover for coffee with cream steams
Coffee with cream has a protein content which might prove a bit more difficult to clean. As with coffee with sugar, your stain might actually come out a bit easier by using an enzyme stain remover which also removes the coffee smell. You need to mix the stain remover with water, spray it to the carpet and allow it to dry before removing any residue. This process might need repeating to completely clear the coffee and cream carpet stain.
This is how to remove coffee stains with a homemade stain remover
If you can’t find a specialized coffee stain remover, there are a few other options you could try. My advice is to invest in a specialized coffee stain remover as this is what professional use. But if you don’t find one, you can try out the various other products.
Use vinegar to remove coffee stains
It’s nearly impossible not to have an apple cider vinegar around the home or in the office kitchen. You can try mixing one spoon of vinegar with 1 spoon of clear dishwater clear dishwashing detergent with warm water and spray it over the stain.
You can use the spray bottle of the regular cleaning agent you find in the bathroom. However, make sure you rinse it well before adding the vinegar-washing detergent mix to avoid spray another residue over the stain.
After the solution acts for a few minutes, you can begin to blot it using a clean sponge you find in the kitchen or bathroom. Repeat the process until the stain is completely gone.
Clear coffee spills with lemon juice and water
Lemon juice, water, and bicarbonate of soda can be used to clean the stain. In my experience, this leaves a white mark on the carpet and it would be best to test out on a small piece before going fully into deep cleaning. Alternatively, you can cut the soda out and simply try lemon juice and water if the stain is not deep.
Try baking soda
Using baking soda on its own is also possible without dishwasher detergent. You need to create a paste from baking soda and water. You add one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of water. You mix them well until the large bubbles start to disappear. Using a soft brush, you apply the mixture on the coffee stain. Once fully removed, you can blot residue.
Repurpose shaving cream
If you’re out of idea and all other products fail, you can repurpose your shaving cream. This is one of the methods which requires a bit of scrubbing as shaving cream tends to float on the carpet rarely penetrating the fibers.
You spray the shaving cream on the carpet. Using a brush, you gently scrub with in all directions. The shaving cream is left on the coffee stain for at least 15 minutes (a maximum of 30 minutes). To remove the shaving cream and the stain, you can blot it with a towel. Alternatively, you can vacuum the shaving cream off if you have a potent vacuum cleaner.
Try an over cleaner
An oven cleaner might be the most potent solution of them all, and this is why I left it at the end of the post.
Start off by pouring 1 cup of clear water with a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide on the coffee stain.
Using protective gloves, you can spray oven cleaner over the coffee stain.
Pro tip: apply lightly and the first test on a synthetic piece of carpet as oven cleaners are very potent.
Types of coffee and the difficulty levels of cleaning their stains
An espresso is purely black, made without milk or extra water. It’s the biggest enemy for your carpet’s integrity.
An Americano mixes coffee with hot water and it already becomes easier to remove when it stains carpets.
A flatwhite adds steamed milk to espresso. As a result, an enzyme-based cleaner might get the coffee stain out.
Coffee and steamed milk make up the espresso. While not as dark as a regular espresso, this type of coffee might only be removed by a specialized coffee stain remover or an enzyme-based stain remover.
Irish coffee is made with whiskey and sugar. As a result, it’s best to act quickly as sugar will help the coffee stain settle deeply compared to a simple espresso. Start with a specialized coffee stain remover instead of a general-purpose stain remover.
Tips to deal with coffee stains in carpet
- In general, it’s best to use a coffee-specific stain remover instead of a general stain remover
- Avoid using bleach due to discoloration
- Coffees with sugar are harder to remove as it helps the stain set
- Rub liquid laundry detergent with a white towel if you want to act quickly
- Use an enzyme laundry detergent for coffee with cream
- You can use a damp sponge if you don’t have wet white towels at hand
- Use citric acid with lemon-based cleaners for extra potency
- Vinegar with salt (for added abrasion) might be a good option when scrubbing is needed
- Use protective gloves for most types of stain removers
- Make sure you only use towels you don’t need for blotting
- If the stain isn’t fully gone, try flipping the carpet and repeating the process
- If you can soak the carpet in the stained area, do it in water with dishwasher soap and vinegar (only works for black coffee stains)
- If you only have enzyme detergent at hand (eg. OxyClean) mix it with water and apply it on the coffee stain (only works with coffee and milk stains)
Now that you know how to get coffee out of the carpet, you can try it on your own. With all of these methods, it’s best to try on small pieces of carpet first, to avoid making more damage and eventually ruining the carpet.
As most carpet professionals recommend, latte stains or any other coffee+milk drink stains, it’s recommended to first deal with the milk protein marks and use an enzyme-based cleaner.
For all other pure coffee stains, you can rely on a coffee stain remover. Remember not to brush hard with any of these cleaning solutions as you might help spread the stain further. You may even physically damage the carpet’s fibers if you insist on the brushing.
To avoid any accident, my advice is to always store a coffee stain remover in your closet if you’re working from home or in the storage room in your office facilities. A powdered coffee stain remover of up to 2.2lbs (1kg) is going to last for years as it can deal with up to 10 large coffee spill stains.