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How To Get a Coffee Stain Out Of a Carpet: DIY Solutions + Guide

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Accidentally spilling coffee can happen to anyone (especially with young kids around), so it’s best to learn how to get a coffee stain out of a carpet.

Coffee spilled on a brown carpet.

For us moms, the day always starts early. Thankfully, we can always rely on a cup of freshly brewed coffee to wake us up in the morning.

With coffee being an essential part of our morning routine, spilling some of this hot beverage is inevitable.

This can be a frustrating way to start the day, but don’t let it ruin your mood. Keep reading and learn the best ways to get coffee stains off your beautiful carpet. If you drink tea instead, check out How to Remove Tea Stains From Carpet.

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No Time to Wait: Why It’s Best to Remove Fresh Coffee Stains

It’s tempting to finish your coffee before cleaning a spill. However, it would be more helpful to blot the stain immediately after the accidental spillage.

Doing so will make it easier to remove coffee stains and odor, as well as prevent permanent discoloration on the fabric. It will also save you from having to pay for an expensive carpet cleaner service.

Working immediately on removing the coffee stain from your carpet will also minimize the need to use harsh chemicals and stain removers. 

Although these products are potent cleaning materials, they could negatively affect carpet fibers when used improperly.

A person cleaning the carpet with a yellow cloth to remove a coffee stain.

Follow these steps to remove fresh coffee stains:

  1. Grab paper towels or a clean rag.
  2. Blot the area. Avoid scrubbing the carpet as this motion can spread the excess liquid, possibly making the coffee stain larger. Scrubbing any stain on your carpet can also damage its fabric.
  3. Keep blotting until all spilled coffee is absorbed from the carpet.

What You’ll Need to Remove Coffee Stains From Carpet

After blotting as much coffee as you can from the carpet, it’s time to get to the ultimate task.

Apart from knowing how to get a coffee stain out of a carpet, it’s also a huge help to know which household cleaning materials to use.

A homemade cleaning solution might take a bit more time, although it has several advantages. For instance, DIY stain removers are more practical and less likely to damage your carpet.

So go ahead and check your stock of cleaning materials at home and see if you have these things around:

  1. Clean rag or microfiber cloth
  2. Liquid dish soap
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Any of these household cleaning solutions:

How to Clean Coffee Stains Out of Carpet: Step-By-Step Guide With DIY Cleaning Solutions

Once you’ve blotted as much coffee liquid as possible from the carpet, it’s best not to let the spill dry out before removing the stain.

Cleaning supplies on a wooden table for removing coffee stain from a carpet.

Depending on your choice of household cleaning solution, you can follow these steps to keep your carpet looking good and free of coffee stains.

Baking Soda or Salt

  1. Make a baking soda paste. Use a 3:1 baking soda to water ratio so that you mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water. If baking soda is not available, you can use salt.
  2. Cover the coffee stain with the baking soda paste or salt. Let it absorb residual spilled coffee, so you may have to leave it overnight.
  3. Once the baking soda paste or salt is dry to the touch, you can clean it with a vacuum.
  4. You can repeat the process until no more coffee stain is left on the carpet.

White Vinegar and Dish Soap

  1. In a mixing bowl or a clean spray bottle, mix 2 cups of warm water with equal parts of white vinegar and liquid dish soap. Make sure the cleaning agents are fully diluted.
  2. Spray the solution onto the stain. If you don’t have a spray bottle, dip a clean rag into the solution and apply it to the stained carpet.
  3. Start gently blotting the cleaning mixture onto the carpet.
  4. Keep reapplying the solution a little bit at a time while blotting the carpet until the coffee stain fully dissolves.
  5. Once the carpet is clean, get a fresh rag and cold water. Blot the carpet dry to rinse off the vinegar and dish soap mixture.

Hydrogen Peroxide

First, here’s a quick note. Hydrogen peroxide can act as a bleaching agent when used as a cleaning material. So it’s best used on white carpets to avoid discoloration. (Speaking of bleach, here’s how to remove bleach stains from your clothes.)

To be completely safe, perform a quick spot test by applying a tiny amount in a hidden section of the carpet. Wait until the tested spot is completely dried, and check to make sure the hydrogen peroxide doesn’t leave a mark on your white carpet.

Once you’re certain hydrogen peroxide is a good option to clean your carpet, follow these steps:

  1. Dilute 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide in 3 tablespoons of warm water.
  2. Spray or apply the solution with a clean white cloth onto the coffee stain.
  3. Keep blotting using the hydrogen peroxide mixture until the stain is gone.

Whichever cleaning material you use, it’s best to clean the coffee from the edges of the stain into the center. This way, you’re cleaning the stain without making it bigger.

How to Get Old Coffee Stains Out of Your Carpet

With how busy moms can get, it’s easy to forget about a spilled coffee and not remember it until the stain has dried up.

A person using a green cleaning spray to remove a coffee stain from a carpet.

While dry stains can be more stubborn and tougher to remove, there’s still a chance to save your carpet with a few added steps.

To remove dried old coffee stains:

  1. If the coffee spilled had cream, milk solids may be left on the carpet. You can gently scrape them off using a rounded spoon with non-sharp edges. If it was just black coffee, proceed to the next step.
  2. Spray or blot the old stain with warm water to loosen the dried coffee stain, making it easier to remove.
  3. Keep blotting the stained area with a clean cloth to remove as much stain as possible.
  4. Then, clean the carpet as you would with a fresh coffee stain. Choose any DIY cleaning solutions mentioned above and follow the appropriate steps to remove the stain.

Are the DIY solutions not working? Try this alternative method:

  1. Dilute enzyme laundry detergent in warm water. Follow the recommended detergent-to-water ratio on the label to be used for one laundry load.
  2. Dampen the carpet with a clean cloth and water to loosen the old coffee stain.
  3. Apply the diluted detergent with a clean cloth and blot the carpet until all the coffee stain is lifted.
  4. Don’t forget to rinse the carpet. Use a clean cloth dampened with cold water and blot up as much soap residue as possible.
  5. Avoid stepping or walking over the fabric as you let the carpet air dry.

A stubborn coffee stain on your carpet can be frustrating. But it’s important to remain patient and never rub the stain to prevent damaging the fabric.

If any of the DIY solutions and the alternative method aren’t enough to remove the stain and its odor, you may have to consider calling a professional carpet cleaning service.


Are coffee stains permanent on the carpet?

Coffee stains are less likely to permanently ruin your carpet as long as you act fast and clean it sooner rather than later. Even dry and old coffee can still be removed from any fabric by dissolving the stain in clean water and using the correct cleaning material.

Is hot or cold water better for coffee stains?

Hot water is known to set certain types of stains, so the general recommendation is to dissolve stains in cold water. However, for old coffee spills, it should be safe to wet the stain with warm water — not hot water.

Do stains get worse over time?

Yes, stains can be tougher and might be impossible to remove the longer they sit in carpets, clothes, and any upholstery. Coffee and other colored spilled liquid will be fully absorbed by carpet fibers the longer you wait to treat them.

Spilled Coffee? No Problem!

Yellow gloves with a spray bottle used to get coffee stain out of a brown carpet.

Spilling coffee on the carpet is an understandable cause for panic because of its striking color. However, don’t let such accidents worry you too much. If you move quickly to clean fresh coffee stains, there should be no lasting problem.

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