Sunday, December 3, 2023

Does Coffee Stain Clothes? (Plus How to Remove It)

by Mads

There’s nothing more disruptive than spilling your coffee on your clothes. We’ve all been there at some point or another, and it makes us wonder whether coffee stains clothes or not. So here’s the answer that you’ve been searching for: “Does coffee stain clothes?”

Coffee does stain clothes and leaves a brown mark due to the natural dye contained in coffee. Fortunately, coffee stains are not permanent, and you can remove them by following the correct steps. It would be best to treat the stain immediately because fresh stains are easier to remove than older and dry stains.

Everyone loves coffee until it is spilled and stains your clothes. The brown coffee stains can be ugly and tend to be on the darker side of the color scale. But don’t let those brown spots freak you out. Coffee stains can be removed and require quick action as untreated stains can become permanent.

If you’re on the go and cannot wash immediately, at least flush the stain with cold water and pat the fabric dry until you can go home and treat the strain.

What Causes a Stain From Coffee?

Nobody likes their clothes stained, especially when it’s a prominent stain. But what element in the coffee is responsible for creating the stain you see on your clothes?

Here’s what you need to know

Coffee contains “tannin”, a natural dye found in many plants. This acidic colored substance is the leading cause of coffee stains on clothes.

The tannin in coffee creates brown spots on the clothes, followed by a brown ring around the stain.

You can use several tannin removers, as well as home remedies such as vinegar or bleach to remove the tough coffee stains.

However, the persistence of the coffee stains depends on the types of fibers in the clothes. For example, nylon and cotton are more prone to solid stains.

Are Coffee Stains and Marks Permanent?

Coffee spills and accidents can happen all the time, and no one would relate to this better than coffee lovers. The real question that arises here is whether the coffee stains leave permanent marks on your clothes or not?

Fortunately, coffee stains are not permanent, and you can remove them. However, the effectiveness of cleaning depends on the longevity of the stains and correctly treating the stain.

Treating the stain quickly can prevent the pigment from getting deeper into the garment and make it easier to remove without any detergents. However, the longer the stain is left to dry out, the more effort is needed to remove the stain from the garment.

The longer the stain is left untreated, the less likely it is to be removed. Therefore, it’s best to treat the stain immediately.

How to remove coffee stains

What you will need

To remove the brown coffee marks and stains from your favorite piece of clothing, all you would need is:

  • Dry towel
  • Laundry detergent
  • White vinegar

Steps to remove coffee stains

Coffee stains may sound horrible, and a coffee spill can become a nightmare but not anymore.

These simple steps to remove coffee stains can help make life much easier for you. All you need to do is follow the steps below.

How to Remove Stains From Washable clothes

For clothes that don’t come with specific instructions and are easily washable, the steps are as follows:

1.   Blot the Stain

Blot the stain with a paper towel or any dry towel to absorb any excess coffee to prevent further soaking into the fabric and avoid rubbing.

The rubbing causes the stain to set and spread into the clothes, making it harder to get rid of the stain.

2.   Flush the Stain With Cold Water

Use cold water to flush the stain. Try this by putting the cloth under cold running water from the faucet and the wrong side up as it forces the stain to flush out from the fabric.

3.   Wash the Cloth

Use any detergent, whether liquid or dry, and let it sit for four to five mins on the stain before washing it out.

If the stain is old, you’d need to soak the cloth with water for a little longer.

4.   Use White Vinegar (If Required)

After washing, if the stain persists, use white vinegar to remove the stain. Next, use a soft brush to scrub the stain and clean like you usually would.

5.   Let it Dry Out

After rinsing the fabric, recheck for any stains still left. If stain is still visible, repeat steps three and four; otherwise, let the fabric dry.

How to Remove Stains From Dry Clean Clothes

Some clothing items are strictly dry clean only, and you shouldn’t wash them in the standard way.

Coffee stains on dry clean clothes require you to immediately blot the stain with a dry towel (no rubbing the stain). Next, use any damp cloth to sponge on the stain and then blot with a towel again. Finally, head towards the dry cleaners and inform them about the stain.

If you’re using a home dry cleaning kit, use the most appropriate stain remover that you have before putting it in the dryer bag.


Coffee does stain your clothes, but fortunately, these stains aren’t permanent.

You can remove fresh stains very quickly, which is why even when you’re out, you should flush the stain with cold water instead of letting it dry. Flushed stains are easier to wash than dried stains.

Old coffee stains can also be removed but may require you to repeat the steps multiple times as the stain is no longer on just the surface of the cloth compared to the fresh stains.

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