If you're part of the large coffee-drinking population, then chances are you've already had tons of experience with coffee stains. Maybe you were a little too groggy and uncoordinated while pouring your morning brew, or maybe your coffee take-out cup wasn't sealed properly before you took a sip—but there it is: a coffee stain on a pristine shirt. If this has ever happened to you, then you know firsthand how difficult that stain can be to remove.
To get the coffee stain out completely, you'll need to soak the clothing. But for fresh stains, some water or rubbing alcohol might just do the trick. If that doesn't remove the stain completely, and you're left with a faint brown splotch on your clean shirt—then don't fret, because we've got you covered. In this article we'll guide you through the best way to remove coffee stains from your clothing:
First things first: dried coffee stains are a bit more difficult to get out than wet coffee stains. If you can, flush the stain under some cold water and see if the stain comes off. It's best if you run the water through the backside of the fabric to prevent the coffee from penetrating the cloth completely. If there's any liquid soap nearby (such as hand soap or dishwashing soap), you can apply this onto the stain and gently rub it in. Let it sit for three to five minutes before rinsing. If the stain doesn't come off—or if you're in out in public and can't exactly soak your shirt under some water—then you can derail the stain from setting into the cloth by blotting it with a napkin or applying some salt to soak up the liquid. Move on to the next step to learn how to deal with old coffee stains.
For old or dried-out coffee stains, you'll need some liquid laundry detergent. Alternatively, you can use liquid dish soap if liquid laundry detergent isn't readily available in your home. Apply some of the liquid detergent onto the stain and gently rub it in. Then, soak the cloth in water. Every five to ten minutes, you'll need to rub the stained part of the fabric with your thumb and fingers to try to loosen the stain. Feel free to use more liquid detergent during this process. After half an hour, check the stained area to see if the stain has been completely dislodged. If a light brown splotch still remains, add more detergent and soak for an additional ten to fifteen minutes in warm water before rinsing.
If that fails, then it's time to pull out the big guns: powdered laundry detergent and vinegar. You'll want to mix some of the powdered laundry detergent with equal parts white vinegar and water until it turns into a thick paste. Be cautious if you're using this mixture on colored fabric—vinegar is an acid and might discolor the cloth, so spot test the paste on a tiny part of the garment before applying. If it's safe to use, gently scrub the paste into the stained area using an old toothbrush. Once you feel that the stain has been removed, rinse the fabric thoroughly.
In case you need a bit more convenience, or you want to supplement the powdered detergent method, you can also buy a stain remover from any grocery or hardware store. Apply the stain remover to the coffee stain and let it stand for five minutes, or however long the instructions say. Don't forget to apply the stain remover on both sides of the stain so that the liquid penetrates the fibers of the clothing from all sides.
Don't dry machine-dry the stained garment until the stain is completely gone from the cloth. This rule applies to all food stains, and not just coffee stains. The heat from the dryer will make the stain "set" into the cloth, and then it'll be even more difficult to remove. If any hint of the stain remains, repeat the process above until it's completely gone, and then air-dry. Air-drying won't make the stain set the way a machine dryer will, not to mention, faint stains will often reappear once a garment is dried. If this happens, just repeat the stain-removing process and air dry again.
If a faint stain remains after all that trouble, your last hope may just be your washing machine. Throw the garment into the washer and see if the machine finishes the job for you. If the stain persists, don't despair! As long as you don't use the dryer on it, you can keep washing and air-drying the garment until the stain has vanished completely.
If you're drinking coffee daily, then knowing how to remove coffee stains is probably vital information for everyday life. However, it might be in your best interests to hire a cleaning expert to save you time spent on the lengthy process of stain removal. Here at HomeFresh, we take pride in helping homeowners in Singapore keep their homes clean, comfortable, and stain free. Call us now and book one of our expert cleaners!