Does Coffee Stain Clothes? (Plus 8 Tips to Clean it)

Hey there! is reader-supported. When you purchase through the links on this page I may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Coffee is the drink of choice for most people whether in board meetings, on dates, and even at home. Accidents are bound to happen and as such sometimes we end up spilling the coffee.

Apart from the risk of scalding ourselves from the hot drink, spilled coffee can also leave ugly brownish marks on surfaces.

Does coffee stain clothes?

Yes, coffee contains tannin, a natural dye, that forms brownish stains on clothes. Fortunately, coffee stains are not permanent but they are hard to remove if they are left to set. Fresh coffee stains are easy to remove by flushing cold water through the back of the stain.

8 Tips To Remove Coffee Stains from Clothes

The first thing you want to do when you accidentally spill coffee on your clothes is to absorb the excess coffee with a dry towel. Avoid rubbing the coffee as you are likely to set the stain further into the garment.

Run some cold water through the stain to lift it from the fabric. It’s even better if you can run the water through the back of the stain. This stops the stain from penetrating the garment so that it is easier to remove.

Stained clothes should not go in the drier as the stains will set and prove harder to remove. Ensure the stain is completely gone before drying the fabric.

Here are eight ways to remove coffee stains from clothes:

1. Cold Water

Lightly douse the fresh stain with cold water on the fresh stain and use a dry paper towel or fabric to dry the water. Alternatively, use a damp cloth to blot the stained area and dab with a dry towel. Continue until the stain is removed.

2. Laundry Soap

Run some water on the stained area and apply a small amount of laundry soap. Rub the soap into the fabric using a toothbrush or your palms. If the stain does not go, rub some more detergent on the stained area and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Run some more water and rub the stain again with soap and hopefully the stain will vanish. Rinse the area with water and dab with a dry towel.

3. Dish Soap

On countless times I have used dishwashing soap as a secret weapon for stain removal. Dish soap breaksdown the oily stains and lifts them from garments. Squirt some dishwashing soap on the stained area and rub the area with your palms or a toothbrush.

For old coffee stains, leave the dish soap to soak in the stained area for 30 minutes and then rub the area. Rinse with cold water and dry the garment.

Dawn dish soap can save your day when stubborn coffee stains won’t go. You should neither mix the dish soap with bleach nor use it in the washer. Dish soap in the washing machine will make a lot of suds that take numerous rinses to vanish.

Coffee is also notorious for leaving behind residual flavors in plasticware and here is our article on how to get rid of the coffee taste in plasticware.

4. White Vinegar

Vinegar contains mild acetic acid which works on coffee stains. For the best results, use white vinegar on white clothes as it can fade the colored fabrics. Colored vinegar is likely to stain garments.

If the stain is on a small area of the garment, add one tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of warm water. Add a teaspoon of laundry soap and sprinkle the solution on the stained area. Let the vinegar sit for a few minutes and then run some water to rinse the area. Wash the dress as normal.

You can wash older coffee stains straight in the washing machine without soaking using a half-cup of vinegar as a substitute for laundry soap. Add vinegar to the soap compartment and run a normal wash cycle.

For stubborn stains, soak the dress in equal parts of warm water and vinegar for 15-30 minutes, and then apply rubbing alcohol on a towel to wet and remove the remaining parts of the stain. Wash the dress with your hands or in the washer with no laundry soap.

5. Baking Soda

To remove coffee stains from clothes using baking soda, start by running some water on the stain and then apply a small amount of baking soda on the stained area. Let the baking soda sit for 10-20 minutes and then wash the garment as usual.

For very stubborn stains, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of diluted(1 tablespoon per cup of warm water) white vinegar in a small bowl. Apply the paste on the stain and leave to sit for 10-20 minutes. Wash the dress as normal.

Baking soda is also one of the products that remove coffee stains from stainless steel items such as sinks, mugs, and pots. You can read more in our post about the best tips to remove coffee stains from stainless steel.

6. Egg Yolk

Materials: 1 egg, rubbing alcohol, warm water, two towels, spoon, and a small bowl


  • Add two tablespoons of warm water and two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol to a bowl
  • Remove the egg yolk and add it to the bowl
  • Beat the mixture to a uniform consistency
  • Soak part of the towel in the mixture and wet the stained area
  • Rinse with warm water and dab with a dry cloth

7. Club Soda

Pour some club soda directly on the stained area and use a dry towel to lift the stain and dry the fabric. Alternatively, run the soda for the inner side of the garment and then proceed to dry it with a towel.

8. Enzyme Presoak

Enzyme presoak for laundry is a prewash treatment that breaks down the proteins in stains. Efficient enzyme presoaks contain at least one of the stain-removing enzymes. Ensure the fabric is washable.

To remove coffee stains using an enzyme presoak, mix the product thoroughly with water and then submerge the garment in the solution. Soak the garment for about 30 minutes and then follow the regular care instructions for the garment to clean it.

2 Ways to Remove Coffee Stains from Clothes at Work

Nobody wants to spend a whole at the office with an unsightly coffee stain on your garment. As we earlier discussed, you want to blot the coffee as soon as it lands on your garment and then sprinkle some water on the stained area so that the stain does not set.

Here are two hacks to remove coffee stains from clothes at work

1. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers are usually readily available in office bathrooms and they contain alcohol which can remove some stains. Start by blotting excess coffee from the fabric and then running some water on the fresh stain to wash some of it off.

Apply a few drops of the hand sanitizer on a paper towel and blot the stain to lift it from the fabric. Rinse with water and dry with a towel.

2. Dish Soap

Most places of work that have a kitchen are likely to have dishwashing soap. Lightly douse the stained area with water and then dab the stain with dishwashing soap on a towel. When the stain has vanished, rinse with some water and dry with a towel.

Does Coffee Stain Jeans?

Yes, coffee can stain jeans the same way it can stain other garments. You can use the methods that we have highlighted above to remove coffee stains from jeans or any washable fabric.


Patrick is first a coffee lover and then a trained barista. His bucket list includes sky diving and sipping on Java in the Himalayas.

Recent Posts