The following instructions explain in detail how to remove
coffee stains from carpet, but the truth is you might only lighten
them. Sometimes they simply won't come out, so after the cleaning
instructions we'll briefly look at your other options.
Perhaps it seems too obvious to mention, but the sooner you
get to the spill the more likely you are to get it out or lighten
the resulting stain. Spills do not necessarily enter the fibers
themselves right away, so carefully clean up the spilled coffee
as quickly as possible. Try not to spread it around. Press clean
rags or white paper towels gently on it to soak it up, but don't
rub them across the carpet. A wet-dry vacuum cleaner can work
even better than a cloth because it will suck it up without pushing
the liquid around. But in any case grab whatever you have and
Step by Step
1. To start the cleaning process, mix a teaspoon of dish detergent
in a quart of warm water. Avoid the overly fragrant detergents;
classic Dawn or Joy work well.
2. Apply this mixture a little at a time, wetting the whole
of the stained area with a spray bottle. If you don't have a
sprayer available, drip the cleaning mixture onto the area carefully.
Work it in a bit with your fingers.
3. Blot the spot with plain white (undyed) paper towels or
clean white cotton rags. Get it out before the liquid can spread.
Repeat these first three steps until you have used up the mixture.
The instructions continue below,
but here is a video that shows another technique for removing
4. Now mix three ounces of plain white vinegar in six ounces
of water and apply this to the stained area several times. Blot
up the excess moisture each time as described above. If you are
still seeing transfer of the stain to a clean part of the cloth
when you have used up the mixture, start over and use the detergent
solution and vinegar mixture one more time.
5. Rinse the spot with tap water numerous times, blotting
it up each time. Sniff the carpet to see if all the detergent
and vinegar has been removed.
6. Blot up as much moisture as you can with white paper towels.
You can also place a pile of paper towels over the spot and weight
them down with something (anything heavy that won't be affected
by getting wet) for ten minutes or more. This will pull more
of the moisture out.
7. Place a fan where it will blow over the spot for a few
hours to complete the drying. Sometimes there is still a small
amount of coffee that is staining the carpet deeper down. Fast
drying will prevent this remaining residue from migrating to
the top of the fibers where it could become visible once again.
If the coffee stains in your carpet cannot be removed in this
way, a professional carpet cleaner might at least lighten them
a bit more, due to the high temperature and suction used in a
truck-mount hot water extraction machine. You can also hide the
area by moving furniture around. Other options for repairing
the spot are covered on this page: What
to Do About a Permanent Stain.