5 easy hacks to remove coffee stains fast

Coffee stain on a white T-shirt
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

There’s nothing worse than getting coffee splashes on a freshly pressed outfit — especially if it’s a white shirt. Whether you’re using your coffee maker and get accidental splashes, drinking on the move or your hand gets jolted, you’ll need to know how to remove coffee stains from clothes fast. If left to sit there untreated, this can dry and set it, becoming harder to remove — and potentially, ruin your favorite shirt. 

While such marks seem impossible to shift, you don’t even need expensive stain removers to get the job done. In fact, all you’ll need are a few common household products that you’ll already have in your kitchen cupboard. 

Plus, unlike many shop-bought products, these solutions are completely natural, non-toxic and odor-free, which is much more eco-friendly. This is also ideal if you have children or pets in the home.

So if you have unsightly stains, follow these easy hacks to remove coffee stains fast, and save your outfits from ruin.  

1. White vinegar 

A bottle of white vinegar next to a sponge and a spray bottle

A bottle of white vinegar next to a sponge and a spray bottle (Image credit: Shutterstock)

White vinegar is known to be a great cleaning agent, and seems to be the one household item to tackle just about every problem. Removing coffee stains is one — and this can be done in minutes.

By mixing a solution of white vinegar, liquid soap and water, this will create a homemade stain remover. Simply take a bucket or large container to add a quart of lukewarm water. Then, add one tablespoon of vinegar and half a teaspoon of liquid soap before soaking the stained item in the solution. Experts recommend soaking clothing in the solution for 15 minutes to ensure stains are lifted. Gently blot out the stain until completely removed, before rinsing fully and hanging to dry. Then you can go ahead and throw it in the washing machine as normal. 

Also, check out these 7 reasons why you should use vinegar when doing your laundry. Just beware of these 7 things you should never clean with white vinegar to avoid damage.  

2. Baking soda 

Cleaning coffee stain on fabric with baking soda

Cleaning coffee stain on fabric with baking soda (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Traditionally, baking soda has been a staple ingredient for cakes and baking treats, but there are so many other uses and things you didn't know you could clean with baking soda.

From deep cleaning your oven and whitening your laundry, to getting rid of smelly odors, baking soda can also remove most stubborn stains. This is because sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, has a mild alkaline pH, making it a perfect cleaning agent that works quickly to break down dirt and stains easily when mixed with water. 

Simply blot your coffee stain with a cold, damp paper towel before sprinkling a little baking soda over the stain. This should form a paste, which you’ll then need to gently scrub away at the stain with a small brush or blot  away with a clean, dry towel or cloth.  Then, rinse the area with cold water before dabbing dry, or you can throw it into the washing machine at the required temperature. 

3. Salt 

A bottle of table salt tipped on its side and spilled

A bottle of table salt tipped on its side and spilled (Image credit: Shutterstock)

It seems like salt can do so much more than just season our foods. Salt is another household item for removing coffee stains, and readily at hand. 

Simply sprinkle salt over the area, and leave on for a minute to absorb the coffee stain. Then, spray the area with cold water before gently rubbing the salt into the stain with a clean cloth or towel. Next, rinse the item of clothing thoroughly with cold water before repeating the method again, until the stain is gone. 

For more top household hacks, check out these 9 clever ways you can clean with salt. 

4. Baby powder 

Woman pouring baby powder in hand

Woman pouring baby powder in hand (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Baby powder is not just for babies, and is also known to be effective for removing fresh stains. Similar to using salt, baby powder will absorb the liquid from a coffee stain.

Sprinkle a sufficient amount of baby powder to the coffee stain and allow it to seep in for a few minutes. Then gently use a clean cloth or paper towels to brush or blot the spot dry. 

5. Dish soap 

Dish soap in bottle

Dish soap in bottle (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Besides cleaning dishes and making them spotless, dish soap is also great for removing stubborn stains. What’s more, you’re always going to have dish soap at hand — and it’s so easy to use. 

All you have to do is mix a few drops of dish soap to warm water in a small container. Then, dip a clean cloth into the solution, before gently dabbing at the area to shift the stain, working from the outside in. Next, rinse the cloth in clean water before repeating the method until the stain is completely gone. Once the stain has gone, you can rinse clothing thoroughly and hang to dry. 

If it’s an old coffee stain, it might be better to let the solution sit on the fabric for some minutes, to let it seep into the stain. This will make it easier to shift.

A top tip

Avoid throwing any stained items into your dryer. Drying the item on high heat if it is still stained, will make the stain set and even harder to remove. That’s why it’s always best to air-dry the item, to ensure the marks won't set.

Plus, you might want to know these 10 Things you should never put in the dryer.

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Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!