Coffee can – and will – stain your clothes. Here’s how you remove it

Your favourite morning cuppa can wreck your shirt with just one spill. The earlier you catch the stain, the better for your clothes.

We’ve all been there: ready for a big meeting at work, our best clothes on, bag ready with important papers, when you stopped for a cup of coffee before heading out. Your pet padded into the room and brushed past you; startled, you choked on your coffee and got a lot of it down your shirt.

Yikes! It’s a disaster! Coffee tends to stain everything in its path – clothes, teeth, furniture – and lends a beige colour to whatever it comes in contact with. If you’ve been brushing your teeth regularly but noticing that your pearly whites are now light brown in colour, you can safely blame your coffee for the same. However, coffee spilled on the clothes is a serious problem – it can leave behind a permanent stain and ruin your best clothing.

So what should you do? Follow our go-guide on how to remove coffee stains:

First things first. Blot the stain gently, do not rub. Use a clean tissue paper to do so.

Rinse in warm water. Stretch the fabric and hold it directly under a stream of warm water (not boiling hot) for about a minute. Let the water run through the stain and out the other side of the fabric. It is important to get to the back of the stain to remove it completely.

Apply liquid detergent. Pour a small quantity of stain removing liquid detergent on the stain and gently rub over it with a finger. Now let water run on the stain again and rub the fibres gently till all the detergent is washed off. By this time, the stain will have become much lighter or will have disappeared altogether. If it hasn’t gone completely, wash the garment in the washing machine using a stain removing agent, as directed.

Kitchen remedies work, too. If you think that simple kitchen ingredients can work on coffee stains, you can try those – but be careful, as these ingredients might be abrasive on the fibres. Always test a small area of the fabric before proceeding so that you are sure that the ingredient does not leech away colour or cause fraying.

Some kitchen remedies to remove coffee stains:

  • Wet the stain with water and apply baking soda directly on the stain. Let the soda settle for at least one hour before washing in warm water. This remedy works best with fresh stains only, but do not use it on delicate fabrics.
  • Vinegar can be diluted in plain water and sprayed directly on a fresh stain. Wash off with cold water and you will see the stain is visibly lighter. Repeat if necessary.
  • Fizzy soda is also great at lifting coffee stains. Simply pour some on the stain, rub and keep pouring and rubbing till the stain is gone.
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