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How To Remove Coffee Stains: Synthetic and Cotton Fabrics

By 07/21/2015Coffeecademy, Random

Every coffee drinker will eventually spill a cup on their clothes. If you have coffee often enough, in enough settings, you’ll eventually spill a drop or two — or an entire mug. When you do, though, there’s little reason to fret. There are ways to remove coffee stains from almost any surface. Here is how to get them out of two of the most common fabrics: synthetics and cottons.

Removing Coffee Stains from Synthetic Fabrics

Synthetic fabrics are fairly durable, especially when compared to silks, furs and leathers. Removing coffee stains from any synthetic fabric, including acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, polyester, spandex and olefin is easy. Simply:

  1. blot up excess coffee with a clean, dry cloth
  2. presoak the stain in a solution of 1 quart warm water, ½ teaspoon dishwashing detergent (not laundry detergent) and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar for 15 minutes
  3. rinse the stained area with warm water
  4. use a sponge and rubbing alcohol to blot up any remaining stain
  5. wash as normal

If the coffee stain doesn’t come out the first time, repeat these steps until it does. Most stains, unless they’re old, will come out after one or two times through these steps.

If you typically put your synthetic fabrics in the dryer, don’t dry them until the stain is completely removed.

Removing Coffee Stains from Cottons

Cottons, another hardy fabric, are also fairly easy to work with. There are three ways to get a coffee stain out of a cotton or linen.

The first approach involves the following steps:

  1. blot up excess coffee with a clean, dry cloth
  2. pretreat the stained area with a commercial stain remover
  3. wash immediately as you normally would

If you don’t have a commercial stain remover, you can try this homemade workaround. These steps are very similar to those listed above for getting stains out of synthetic fabrics, but there are a few minor differences. You’ll need to:

  1. blot up excess coffee with a clean, dry cloth
  2. presoak the stain in a solution of 1 quart warm water, ½ teaspoon dishwashing detergent (not laundry detergent) and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar for 15 minutes
  3. rinse the stained area with warm water
  4. use a sponge and rubbing alcohol to blot up any remaining stain
  5. rinse the fabric again with warm water
  6. let the fabric dry
  7. wash as normal

Sometimes this second strategy doesn’t fully remove coffee stains from cottons. If you can’t get a stain out but also don’t want to purchase a commercial stain remover, try this third technique:

  1. use a rubber band to stretch the stained fabric over a bowl
  2. use a temperature-display kettle to pour 200°F water over the stained area

Near-boiling water is safe for cotton, but it can damage some dyes and finishes used on fabrics. You may want test this third method on a small, inconspicuous area first. For style points, use a gooseneck kettle.  Additionally, since 200°F happens to be the perfect temperature for making coffee, you can brew up a pour-over at the same time.

As with all stained cotton fabric, the stained area should not be dried until the stain is fully removed.

No matter what you spill coffee on, there’s a way to try and remove the coffee stain. These are a few ways to get stains out of some of the most common clothing fabrics, synthetics and cottons. If you’ve found these ideas helpful, be sure to like us on Facebook so you’ll know when we publish another post on removing coffee stains.

Author Scott

Scott is a professional writer for Driftaway Coffee. He worked as a barista for eight years, but today prefers to enjoy his beverages from the other side of the counter. When not drinking Driftaway Coffee, Scott usually has a mug of his own roasted coffee nearby.

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