How To Remove Coffee Stains From White Clothes: 7 Simple Steps

In this article, we explain how to remove coffee stains from white clothes.

How to remove coffee stains from white clothes.
Coffee stains are rarely permanent

As much as we love coffee, it can be a nuisance if it spills. However, a spilled cup of coffee doesn’t mean that you need to throw your clothes straight into the bin, no matter how bad it looks; coffee stains are rarely permanent. 

If that were the case, we would be throwing out clothes all the time! Coffee stains can be removed from your white clothes with a few everyday household items and some patience, leaving them as good as new. 


  • Microfibre cloth 
  • 1,000ml of warm water 
  • Half a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent 
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar 
  • Rubbing alcohol 

7 Steps On How To Remove Coffee Stains From White Clothes

Step One: Blot The Stain

If you’ve just spilled your coffee, the first thing to do is blot up the excess coffee with a clean, dry cloth. Do not rub it in to prevent the stain from spreading further. Blot it instead.

Try to act quickly. Ideally, the clothing should not be allowed to dry for fear of setting the stain. It’s best to quickly treat coffee stains on clothing, but hope isn’t all lost if you don’t act immediately. 

If the stain has dried in, you can wet the area the stain is in by putting it under the tap or dapping it with a wet cloth. Then add some laundry detergent onto the stained area and rub the stain before allowing it to sit for approximately 15 minutes. 

Step Two: Check The Label

Your clothing should have come with a laundry label. Before moving on to the next step, check it first. 

If the clothing says dry clean only, then bring it to a dry cleaner as soon as possible. They should be able to remove the stain for you. 

If your clothing can be washed by hand or in a washing machine, then move into step three.

Step Three: Make Up A Solution

vinegar, cleaning, cleaner
Soak clothing in a vinegar solution

Make up your solution of warm water, detergent, and white vinegar in a basin. Soak the clothing in the mixture for at least 15 minutes.

This method of removing coffee from white clothing is suitable for white cotton and white or light-colored synthetic fibers such as spandex, acrylic, nylon, polyester, and others. Materials like silk should be tackled with a water and vinegar solution without the detergent. 

Step Four: Rinse

Once the 15-minutes are up, remove the clothing from the mixture in the basin. Then, rinse the stained area with warm water. Then check the stained area to see if it looks any different. 

Step Five: Grab Rubbing Alcohol If All Else Fails

A person pouring rubbing alcohol on a piece of cloth.
Blot stain with rubbing alcohol

If the stain hasn’t left after it’s been rinsed, you can blot the stain with rubbing alcohol. Again, be sure to blot the stained area rather than rubbing the strain in or spreading it. 

Step Six: Repeat All Steps (if needed)

If the stain is stubborn and somehow still there after the rubbing alcohol, you need to repeat the process from step two onwards. This could take another one or two times before you see the stain begin to fade away. 

Step Seven: Put On A Wash

Once the stain has lifted, you can wash your clothes as normal. The coffee stain should be completely gone at this point. 


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  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies.