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How to Clean Coffee out of Carpet: 3 Fail-Proof Solutions

Did you ruin your coffee break by spilling your cuppa everywhere? We can help.

When you need that cup of coffee in the morning, there’s nothing worse than spilling it all over the carpet. Not only are you left with a stain to clean, but you don’t even have the caffeine boost to motivate you.

Coffee stains are tricky — they tend to spread if you’re not careful while cleaning. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide on how to clean coffee out of carpet. So let’s get cleaning.

Key Takeaways

  • Act quickly and blot the coffee spill with a white cloth or paper towel without rubbing or scrubbing to prevent spreading the stain.
  • Dilute the coffee stain with cold water and blot again, then apply a stain remover and follow the directions on the bottle.
  • For old stains, dampen the stain with cold water, and use either a dishwashing detergent solution (for wool carpets) or an ammonia solution (for non-wool carpets).
  • Dry the carpet thoroughly after cleaning to prevent mold, and use baking soda to remove lingering coffee odors.

How to Clean Fresh Coffee out of Carpet

When you spill coffee, cleaning it right away will be more effective. This method is for fresh coffee stains, and it’s not too difficult.

  • Time: 20 minutes (plus drying time)
  • Difficulty: Easy

What You’ll Need

  • White cloths or paper towels
  • Cold water
  • Stain remover
  • Fan (optional)
  • Vacuum or hairbrush

1. Blot the Moisture

When you spill the coffee, act quickly, and grab a white cloth or paper towel. Apply it to the stain to absorb as much as possible.

Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as doing so will make it worse, and the stain will spread. Instead, press down into the carpet to soak up all the moisture. If the towel fills up, switch to a new one and continue until most of the liquid is gone.

2. Dilute the Coffee

Once no more coffee transfers onto your cloth, grab a fresh one. Get some cold water and pour a small amount onto the stain. Don’t overdo it — you want to dilute the coffee, not soak the carpet.

Blot the stain with a clean cloth to soak up as much water as possible. Repeat as necessary.

3. Apply a Stain Remover

When you feel like the water has done its job, it’s time to apply a stain remover. You can use which brand you prefer. Just do a patch test if you haven’t used the product before.

Follow the directions on the bottle. Spray the stain, but avoid over-spraying it. Cleaner stuck in your carpet can accumulate dirt, making the rug look filthy.

Rinse it with some water and blot it with a towel. Repeat this step a few times until the product is gone.

4. Dry the Spot

Whenever you apply water or other liquids to your carpet, ensure that you let it dry out completely. Don’t leave it with a wet base — doing so could cause mold or mildew. Turn on the ceiling fan or leave a paper towel on top.

Once dry, you can finish off with a vacuum to restore the texture. If you don’t have one, use a hairbrush to separate the fibers.

How to Get Old Coffee Stains Out of Carpet

Old coffee stains are a little more stubborn than fresh ones. But we’ve found a way to help.

  • Time: 10-30 minutes (plus drying time)
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

What You’ll Need

  • Clean cloths
  • Cold water
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • Cup (optional)
  • Spoon (optional)
  • Carpet stain remover
  • Ammonia (optional)
  • Fan (optional)
  • Vacuum or hairbrush

1. Dampen the Stain

Before you start, it’s essential to soften up the stain. Apply a small amount of cold water onto the spill. Let it sit for five minutes to loosen up the coffee.

Then grab a clean cloth and begin to soak up the liquid. Continue dabbing it until you see the coffee transfer to the towel.

If the stain comes out, you can simply follow the third and fourth steps from above. If not, you may need something stronger.

2. Dishwashing Detergent Solution (for Wool Carpets)

If you know that your carpet is wool or wool blend, try to mix mild dishwashing detergent with water. Combine around three drops of soap into a cup of water. Grab a cloth, soak it in the solution, and begin to sponge the spot.

Work in a blotting motion from the outside toward the center. Then let it sit for about five minutes before grabbing a new cloth to extract the liquids.

3. Ammonia Solution (for Non-Wool Carpets)

Try an ammonia solution if your carpet isn’t made of wool or a wool blend. You do this by combining one tablespoon of ammonia with one cup of water.

Find a hidden corner of your carpet and do a patch test. Not all materials do well with ammonia. Doing a patch test will ensure that you don’t do significant damage to your carpet. Apply a small amount in your testing area, wait 20 minutes, and proceed if no reaction is visible.

For the treatment, grab a cloth and soak it in the ammonia solution. Then blot the spot gently to cover it. Leave it to work for approximately three to five minutes.

Next, take two new towels — one dry and the other soaked in water. Alternate between the two cloths, blotting with the dry, then with the wet one. This should rinse out the solution.

4. Dry and Finish

Take a new, dry towel once most of the soap or ammonia solution is gone. Then proceed to blot the spot until most of the liquid is gone. You may have to use more than one cloth.

Once finished, leave the carpet to dry thoroughly. If you have a wet vacuum, you may use that instead.

How to Clean Coffee and Cream Spills

If you enjoy your coffee with creamer, you’re left with a tougher stain to the protein in the milk. But we can help you remove it without leaving behind any trace.

  • Time: 25 minutes (plus drying time)
  • Difficulty: Easy

What You’ll Need

  • Cloths or towels
  • Water
  • An enzyme-based carpet stain remover

1. Blot the Spill

If the coffee and cream spill is fresh, grab a dry cloth or paper towel and begin by blotting the spill. Try to dab firmly into the fibers, without scrubbing, to get as much liquid out as possible.

If it’s been on the carpet for a while and is dry, apply water to dilute it. Then proceed to blot it.

2. Dilute With Water

Apply a small amount of cold water to the spill. Then proceed to dab it firmly and watch that the coffee transfers onto the cloth. Repeat this a few times; add a little water and blot.

3. Apply an Enzyme-Based Stain Remover

Because of the protein content in the cream, it’s best to use an enzyme-based stain remover. These will work to break down all the proteins, preventing odors and bacteria. Most pet stain removers work excellently for this as well.

Follow the directions on the bottle. Most will tell you to apply a generous amount onto the stain. Let it work for a couple of minutes, then rinse.

Later, pour some water over the cleaner and use a cloth or paper towel to blot the moisture. Repeat this until most of the product is gone and the area is mostly dry. Then let the carpet dry completely to avoid mold.

Alternative Cleaning Solutions

If the above cleaning methods don’t appeal, or you can’t get your hands on certain products, here are some other hacks to try.

1. Lemon Juice and Water

Lemon juice is an all-natural stain remover. It acts as a whitening or bleaching agent when on its own. You can trust this natural agent to remove stains from clothing, cups, and carpets, among others (1). It’s so strong that you should only use it on white or light colors as it causes discoloration.

To create a lemon juice stain remover, get yourself a fresh lemon or two. Squeeze about a quarter of a cup of juice and mix with two cups of lukewarm water. Transfer it to a spray bottle and apply it instead of a commercial stain remover — but do a patch test beforehand.

2. Club Soda

You’re always ready to tackle a coffee stain if you’ve got club soda hanging around in the fridge. Just make sure to use plain soda — your carpet doesn’t care for flavors or additional colors.

Club soda is the only ingredient required. You can transfer it to a spray bottle or pour it directly onto the stain. Let it work for a couple of minutes before using a cloth to blot it.

3. Vinegar and Dishwashing Detergent

If you prefer using vinegar, like many of us, you’ll love this one. Mix one tablespoon of vinegar with one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent. Then add two cups of lukewarm water.

Give the mixture a good stir and transfer to a spray bottle. Apply to the stain, let it sit, and blot it with a cloth. This stain remover works excellently on other items, too — just ensure that you do a patch test.

How to Get Coffee Smell out of Carpet

What about that lingering coffee odor? We all love the smell of coffee, but after it’s been sitting in the carpet fibers for a while, it doesn’t smell so cozy.

  • Time: 10 minutes (plus waiting time)
  • Difficulty: Easy

What You’ll Need

  • A vacuum
  • Baking soda

1. Prep the Carpet

Once the carpet is dry following the stain removal, go over it with your vacuum. Make sure you get as much dirt out as possible, as this could interfere with the treatment.

2. Sprinkle With Baking Soda

After vacuuming, grab your baking soda and sprinkle it liberally across the carpet. Try to cover as much as possible. Then leave it for a couple of hours — if you can, let it work overnight.

Baking soda can neutralize odors, whether it’s coffee, vomit, or pet hair (2).

3. Repeat With a Vacuum

When the baking soda has done its job, vacuum the carpet. Make sure you do a thorough job so no powder is left to linger. Once finished, your carpet should smell fresh again.

Quick Tip

If you used a vinegar stain remover, it might be good to do a baking soda treatment afterward. Vinegar has a very distinct smell that not everyone finds pleasant.


Are Coffee Stains on Carpet Permanent?

Coffee stains on your carpet are not permanent. You can remove them with soda, white vinegar, ammonia, cleaning detergent, and lemon juice.

What is the Best Homemade Carpet Stain Remover?

The best homemade carpet stain remover is white vinegar, baking soda, and water. You can add a few drops of dish soap or lemon juice to increase the potency.

Does Steam Cleaning Remove Coffee Stains?

Steam cleaning does remove coffee stains from carpets and rugs. It also lifts coffee stains from upholstery and other soft furnishings. Just remember to dry the carpet after steaming to prevent mold growth.

Will Hydrogen Peroxide Remove Coffee Stains From Carpet?

Hydrogen peroxide does remove coffee stains from carpet as long as you apply it to lighter-colored carpets. It will fade color from darker flooring, leaving permanent marks.

Mix one tablespoon of three percent hydrogen peroxide, like this Topical Solutions Three Pack, with three tablespoons of warm water. Apply it to the stain and dab it away with a paper towel.

Does Oxiclean Remove Coffee Stains From Carpet?

Oxiclean does remove coffee stains from carpet effectively without causing any damage to your floor covering. It also removes coffee stains from clothes, curtains, and soft furnishings.

Does Hand Sanitizer Remove Coffee Stains?

Hand sanitizer does remove coffee stains because it contains alcohol, which is an excellent detergent. However, it will struggle to lift old coffee stains, so you may need something stronger.

Wanna Grab a Coffee?

Spilling coffee on the carpet can be really frustrating. It’s a tough stain to get rid of as it tends to worsen when using the wrong technique. Knowing how to clean coffee out of your carpet is key to getting the best results.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy once you know the basics. Remember to extract as much of it as possible before diluting it with water. Then finish with a stain remover and let the carpet dry.

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About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy Anthony is a cleaning expert, author, and contributing writer for Oh So Spotless, a leading online resource for all things related to cleaning, organizing, and maintaining a spotless home. With over 15 years of experience in the cleaning industry, Amy has gained extensive knowledge and expertise that have made her a trusted authority on best practices, efficient techniques, and innovative cleaning solutions.