5 Easy Methods to Remove Coffee Stains From Your Furniture

How to get coffee stains out of furniture

Design: Liz MacPhail Interiors; Photo: Ryann Ford

For many of us, coffee is a daily necessity in life. And while the occasional coffee spill is inevitable, stains don’t have to be. The good news is that coffee stains are relatively easy to remove, with one caveat: you have to act fast. Before you furiously scrub a coffee stain with a wet washcloth though, beware of which cleaning methods work, and which do more harm than good. (Scrubbing = more harm, no good.)

Don’t let a little spill ruin your day or your furniture. Instead, follow along with the foolproof methods we’ve broken down for you below. You can think of removing a coffee stain as a trial-and-error process; always start with the easiest solution before moving on to the next method.

Here to rescue our furniture from clumsy coffee spills is Alicia Sokolowski, founder of AspenClean, an eco-conscious cleaning products company and house cleaning service. With the help of Sokolowski, we’ve detailed step-by-step how to remove a coffee stain from your furniture, whether it’s fresh or dried, on fabric or wood. 

Meet the Expert

Alicia Sokolowski is the founder of AspenClean, an eco-conscious cleaning products company and house cleaning service.

Things You'll Need:

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle
  • Laundry detergent
  • Oxygen bleach stain remover (optional)
How to get coffee stains out of furniture

Design: Morse Design; Photo: Heidi Harris

How to Remove a Fresh Coffee Stain From Fabric Furniture

“Fresh coffee stains need to be removed ASAP,” Sokolowski says. “The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to remove the stain.”

  1. Blot the stain gently using a clean microfiber cloth, concentrating towards the center of the stain. Do not scrub. Blot as much of the stain as possible before moving to the next step.
  2. Flush with a cup of cold water. Blot the water gently.
  3. Repeat until all coffee of the stain has been lifted. Air-dry it with a fan or dryer set at low temperature. Do not apply heat, including lamps, as heat will set the stain.

How to Remove a Fresh Coffee Stain From Hard Surface Furniture

This one’s easy: simply wipe the spill with a microfiber cloth. 

How to Remove a Dried Coffee Stain from Fabric Furniture

The longer a coffee stain has to set in, the more difficult it will be to remove. It’s not a lost cause though—far from it. There are three methods to removing a dried coffee stain from fabric furniture, so start with the first (and easiest) before moving on to the other methods. 

  1. Make a cleaning mixture with warm water, laundry detergent, and vinegar, using a few drops of detergent, 1/3 cup vinegar, and 2/3 cup of warm water.
  2. Dip a clean cloth in the mixture and rub it into the stain. Wait a few minutes, then flush it with cold water, making sure to remove all the soapy solution from the upholstery. Blot with a dry clean cloth. Air dry completely away from direct heat.
  3. If the soapy water doesn't quite do it, sprinkle some baking soda onto the stain. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum up the baking soda.
  4. If, after using baking soda, the stain still hasn't completely disappeared, use an oxygen bleach stain remover. Mix a tablespoon of oxygen bleach with 2 tablespoons of hot water and rub the stain with the mixture. Before trying this method, test the stain remover on a small, inconspicuous area. 
How to get coffee stains out of furniture

Design: Maggie Griffin Design; Photo:Brian Bieder

How to Remove a Dried Coffee Stain From Hard Surface Furniture

“While these seem like stubborn stains, they’re actually easily managed,” Sokolowski says. For dried coffee ring stains on tables, kitchen counters, or even on coasters, choose one of these two cleaning options.

  1. Wipe down the surface with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. 
  2. Alternatively, simply spray on some all-purpose cleaner on the stain and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. 

How to Remove a Fresh Coffee With Cream And/Or Sugar Stain From Furniture

“All stains that include tannins—like coffee, tea, red wine—are even more difficult to remove if they are mixed with other substances, like cream and sugar,” Sokolowski says. For those spills, break out the strong stuff.

  1. If your coffee stain includes cream or sugar, use a detergent that contains enzymes. (Sokolowski suggests AspenClean’s Unscented Laundry Pods.)
  2. Either break a pod or mix a teaspoon of detergent with a cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the stain, then wait 15 minutes.
  3. Splash the stain with cold water, and blot with a clean, dry towel.

How to Remove Stains From Your Coffee Cups

Thought those dark rings of coffee stains in your beloved mugs were permanent? No way, according to Sokolowski. They’re very easy to remove with this simple method.

  1. First sprinkle baking soda in the cup, then add enough water to the cup to form a paste.
  2. Scrub with a sponge for a couple of minutes, then rinse.