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How To Get Coffee Stains Out Of Carpet

Spilled coffee on your carpet? Well, you no doubt have a big mark that you want to get rid of. Sadly, it isn't going to be all that easy.

Coffee loves to stain things. However, we do have a few methods that we think may help.

Published: November 17, 2022.

coffee stains 1

Why Does Coffee Stain?

Coffee is awful for fabric, including carpet fabric. This is because it is loaded with tannins. These tannins are what give the coffee a bitter taste, and they are unleashed when the coffee is heated up.

These tannins gently work their way into the fabric. This means that the quicker you move the coffee stain from the carpet, the better.

You are going to have a far, far easier time removing wet coffee stains from your carpet than you would have if you were trying to remove a coffee stain that has been allowed to sit on the rug for a good couple of days.

What You Shouldn't Do

Before we dive into how you can deal with those coffee stains, we do tell you what you shouldn't be doing if you are looking to get those coffee stains from the carpet easily.

Don't Rub The Coffee Stain Hard

We have seen a lot of people try to frantically remove coffee stains from their carpets without really knowing what they are doing. This means that they will start to push really hard down onto the carpet, scrubbing away. The problem? This doesn't really work. In fact, there is a chance that it may end up doing far more harm to your carpet than good.

For starters, carpets should never be frantically rubbed anyway. Even if you didn't have coffee sitting on top of them, scrubbing a carpet will start to break down the carpet fibers. This means that you end up with a dull and lifeless-looking carpet.

With the coffee stains on the carpet, you are just making things far worse for yourself. This is because you are going to be pushing those coffee stains deeper into the carpet fabric. This makes it even harder to remove.

As you go through our guide on how to get coffee stains out of carpet, we suggest that you pay attention when we say that you need to be gentle. It really will benefit both you and your carpet in the long run.

Don't Let The Coffee Stain Dry Out

Now, it is not impossible to remove a coffee stain from your carpet if it has dried out. So, don't worry. If you have left it too long to remove that coffee stain, you are not going to be stuck with that unsightly blotch for the rest of your life.

However, once again, you are going to be making things a lot harder for yourself.

If the coffee hasn't dried, then you should be able to blot most of it up with some paper towels or something similar (more on that in a short while). This makes the removing process far, far easier.

That being said, outside of a couple of points, removing dry coffee from your rug is going to be much the same as removing wet coffee. Everything just takes a whole lot longer.

Don't Vacuum Wet Coffee Up

This is another thing that we notice people doing a whole lot. However, please don't do it. Don't even do it if your vacuum cleaner has been rated for liquids.

Firstly, if your vacuum cleaner hasn't been rated to deal with liquids, this whole exercise is pointless. You are just going to be ruining the insides of your vacuum cleaner for absolutely nothing.

If your vacuum cleaner has been rated for liquids, chances are that it hasn't been rated to deal with them on a carpet. This is because removing liquid from a carpet is very, very difficult.

This means that you will be trying really hard to remove that wet coffee stain. This means that you are going to be putting a lot more force on that fabric.

By now, you will already know that this is just not going to be a good thing at all. You will be ruining your carpet.

On top of all of that, you will now have a vacuum cleaner that is rather soggy on the inside, and you will have to deal with that. You have already had a difficult enough time cleaning the coffee stain off of the carpet, why do you really want to make things even worse for yourself? Hint: you don't!


Dealing With Black Coffee Stains

Alright. So we have talked a little bit about what you should avoid doing if you want to remove the coffee stain from your carpet, so how about we dive into what you should actually be doing? There are only a few steps here, and there is a chance that you may not need to go through all of them!

Blot Most Of The Coffee Stain Up (If Still Wet)

As we said before, your life is going to be made a whole lot easier if that coffee stain is still wet.

If the coffee stain is still wet, then your goal is to blot up as much of it as you can.

Remember, you should be blotting here. You should not be rubbing.

While there are some people that will use towels for this job, we find that a really absorbent kitchen paper should work wonders for this. You probably won't need a whole lot. Well, not unless the stain is massive.

At this point, you wouldn't be removing all of the coffee stains. Your job is just to lift up most of it. This means that there shouldn't be any puddles of coffee. If you do your job properly here, then there should be barely anything left to clean in the next steps.

If The Coffee Is Dried

If the coffee has dried out, you are going to need to rehydrate it. It is almost impossible to remove coffee stains that have completely dried. At least, not without a whole load of effort.

Thankfully, this part shouldn't be too difficult. You just need to lightly wet the area. Leave it a couple of minutes, and the coffee should be rehydrated. While it is still going to be much more difficult to remove this coffee stain than if you removed it as soon as the area was stained, it is still going to be far, far easier than if the coffee was completely dry.

Make a Vinegar, Soap, and Water Solution

Now, some people may turn to a carpet cleaner here. However, we have a better method.

vinegar baking soda

You can make your own cleaning solution, and you need just three ingredients:

  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of standard dish soap.

Mix these all up until a container, and you have a cleaner that is already far better than the vast majority of options on the market.

Sponge The Stain

Once you have made your cleaning solution up, it is time to start tackling that stain. For this, you will need two things:

  • A sponge
  • A dry towel

Get a small amount of your cleaning solution onto a sponge. You can now blot the area. Remember, it is vital that you are not wiping too hard here because it can destroy the carpet fibers. Basically, it will make it pretty obvious that you have had to clean the area.

Don't try to clean the entire coffee stain at once. Just dab the cleaning sponge on a small section of it. Every so often, you will want to wipe that area dry with your dry cloth.

If you take things slowly here, then the vast majority of the stain should be removed without too much effort.

Allow The Carpet To Dry

Once you are 100% sure that you have managed to rid the carpet of the awful coffee stain, you can let it dry. You don't need to blot it dry or anything. If you have been following the guide above, then it should be fairly dry anyway. This means that it should probably take under an hour to be dried off properly.

If, after drying, you notice that there is still a small stain there, you can follow this guide again. However, you will need to rehydrate the coffee stain with a dash of water before you do much else.

Alternatively: Use Baking Soda

Alternatively, you can use baking soda. A lot of people do this, but some people may find that it doesn't quite work so well when that coffee stain is really, really embedded into the carpet. Still, it is a method that doesn't require much in the way of thinking.

This method will work best with a fresh coffee stain, but if your coffee stain has dried off, then you rehydrate it.
Once the coffee stain has been rehydrated (or it was already wet), sprinkle a good amount of baking soda over the top of it.

baking soda

Baking soda is super absorbent. This means that it will start to pull the coffee out of the fabric of the carpet.
You will need to leave the baking soda on the carpet for about an hour or so. You can't just leave it on there for a couple of minutes.

After the hour is up, you can vacuum up the baking soda and, hopefully, the carpet stain will be completely removed.

You may also find that baking soda will work incredibly well if the stench of coffee is still lingering on the carpet, even if you have seemingly removed the stain.

This is because the baking soda will start to absorb all those parts of the coffee that will start to let off that stench. So, you may even want to use this method after you have gone down the home cleaning solution route (i.e. the first method that we discussed on this page).

Dealing With Milky Coffee Stains

You don't really have to do anything differently if your coffee has a dash of milk in it.

However, some people have noted that coffee with milk in it can leave a rather foul odor if it is not cleaned up properly. This doesn't really come as a surprise.

Milk is an organic compound, and if you leave it on the carpet for too long (even small amounts of it), it will start to break down. This can give your carpet a rather sour smell.

If you follow the method that we highlighted before for removing normal coffee stains, then you probably won't have to worry about that sour milk smell. However, if that smell is lingering, then there is one method that you can use.

The baking soda trick from the previous section may work, but we recommend that you use some sort of commercial carpet cleaner here. You will want to use a cleaning product that says it is enzyme-based.

coffee stains cleaning solution

If it is, then it will eat away at the organic matter in the milk, allowing you to remove it from the carpet with ease.

We recommend that you opt for a carpet cleaner that has a pleasant scent to it. You deserve it after you have had to put up with that sour smell for so long!


It doesn't take too long to learn how to get coffee stains out of carpet. In fact, as long as the coffee hasn't dried out, you could probably get that stain removed in under 10 minutes.

Remember, if you are going to be removing a coffee stain from a carpet, you need to be as gentle as possible. You don't want to force that coffee too deep into the carpet fibers, nor do you want to push too hard on the carpet, which could ruin it. This really is a case of slow and steady winning the race.

We promise you, if you can dedicate a bit of time to it, there is no coffee carpet stain that you won't be able to tackle!

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