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How To Get Coffee Stains Out Of Carpet

Chemically speaking, coffee is a suspension of roasted coffee bean particles, oil and water. If there’s cream and sugar involved, there are also proteins and fats in the mix.

Once this blend hits your carpet, your cleaning process needs to conform to the coffee ingredients.

Work The Stain Wet

Whether the coffee stains is old or new, you need to use water in the clean-up. For old coffee stains, experts with Ottawa Rug Cleaning recommend:

  1. Moistening the stain with water, then wetting it again with a mild peroxide solution.
  2. Once the stain is wet, cover it with a clean white towel that’s also wet, and work over the towel with a hot steam iron.
  3. Don’t leave the steam iron sitting flat on the carpet; it may melt the fibers. This combination of moisture, peroxide and heat will draw the stain into the towel.
  4. Keep the towel wet, and keep refolding or replacing it to keep a clean surface directly against the carpet as you iron.

Work Quickly on Fresh Spills

Fresh coffee spills need fast attention. Start by blotting up the stain, then add plain water and work from the outside in and blot until no more coffee comes up.

If the coffee is still visible, consider a mild solution of degreasing dishwashing soap and warm water. You can spray or blot this on, and always work from the outside in.

How To Get Coffee Out Of Carpet Using Vinegar

Many homemade coffee cleaning solutions include either vinegar or ammonia. It’s important to remember to always test for color-fastness when applying either of these products to your carpet as they can remove or alter some dyes.

If your carpet doesn’t respond badly to vinegar, experts with Good Housekeeping recommend a blend of:

  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. clear dishwashing liquid
  • 2 cups warm water


  1. Spray or blot this on, keeping the stain wet and working outside-in. It’s critical to use a white towel or paper towel for this process so you don’t transfer color from the towel to your wet carpet.
  2. Once you’ve cleared the stain, sponge it with cold, plain water to remove the soap and get rid of the vinegar smell.

Cream Or Sugar?

Cream and sugar in coffee can be a treat, but in your carpet they are a combination of fat and protein.

Experts with The Spruce recommend an enzymatic cleaner to break up the proteins.

Consider getting a pet carpet stain remover to help you clear away milk-based products.

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A stronger vinegar solution can also help lift fat from your carpet, but be sure to do a final cleaning with cold water. Vinegar can chemically alter the fiber of some carpets, so apply this old-world cleaning product with great care.

Test For Color Fastness

While nylon carpets generally release stains with little chemical damage to the carpet fiber, wool and silk blend carpets can react badly to any chemical application.

Always test for color fastness before applying vinegar or ammonia to your rug.

Carpet stains can be addressed with the help of a professional cleaner, but if your rug gets bleached or chemically altered, it may need to be replaced.

Final Thoughts

Spills happen. Blot up the coffee as soon as you can, and work the spot with warm water from the outside in to remove as much of the original spill as possible. Whether you’re working an old or new stain, work wet!