Tips On Removing Coffee Stains


How To Remove Coffee Stains

Oh, how well I remember Grandma’s coffee cup! Her very favorite one for many years (probably until I broke it washing dishes) was a “jade” Fire-King. I think they were free premiums in boxes of soap during the 40’s or 50’s and there was a whole set of them.

Today, Fire-King dishes are very pricey antiques – kind of shiny-colored-glassy, pretty. I didn’t truly appreciate it then, but today it brings back happy memories when I see them in antique shops – at $18 each for well-worn and chipped cups! Someday, I’ll buy one and keep it in my China cabinet to remind me of Grandma.

As I recall, Grandma’s was a light colored green on the outside but the inside? Well, that was stained almost black from the many cups of coffee poured in and sipped out. In fact, you could see the coffee stain from outside the cup! Yes, after every use it was hand washed in hot soapy water, rinsed and wiped. But the stain remained – part of the very “fabric” of the cup.

I’m not sure Grandma would have removed the coffee stains if she could. It had something to do with “seasoning” or being “seasoned.” Kind of like using cast-iron skillets – they need to be “seasoned” so that food will not stick to the cooking surface.

With my fine China today, I will not tolerate stains of any kind – certainly my China cups do not have coffee or tea stains even though they are used frequently.

The dark sediments or pigments in coffee are notorious for causing stubborn and sometimes, impossible, stains that are hard to remove. As more and more espresso stands pop up, there are more and more drops of coffee showered on blouses, sweaters and shirts. You can’t always pull over in the car, strip off your shirt and dunk it in cold water!

Removing Coffee Stains From China

To keep coffee from staining your China or everyday cup (stoneware, Corelle or Mel Mac), rinse the cup with cold water when you are done drinking coffee. If it’s my day off, I keep my kitchen sink half full of soapy dish water and place all of my dishes into the sink as I finish with them. Then, when I get around to it, I rinse them off and put them into the dishwasher. Dishwashing soap (liquid or powder) is very good at removing all food and drink stains.

When Grandma wanted to remove tea and coffee stains, she used common household baking soda. Just pour a tablespoon into a small bowl, add water sparingly – enough to make a paste, then rub on the stain with a soft clean rag or a damp household sponge. Those stains will be gone!

Vinegar and salt are also old-fashioned remedies for removing coffee stains. Mix a paste of salt and white vinegar. Apply to the stain with a soft clean cloth or damp household sponge. Use a little elbow grease; the gentle abrasiveness of the salt plus the acidic power of the vinegar should take the stain away. Be sure to rinse with clean water.

Removing Coffee Stains From Fabrics

If you’ve dribbled coffee on your good shirt, blouse, dress, skirt or pants and can’t treat the whole stain right away, try blotting with cold water. This actually happened to me the other day.

Fortunately, I was at a restaurant when I dripped coffee on the front of my rayon/nylon blend top. I excused myself to the bathroom where I placed a wad of paper towel under the stain and daubed the top of it with a towel that I had moistened with cool water. It didn’t look like it was going away, so I used a little of the liquid hand soap and – very carefully – rubbed it into the fabric. Then I reapplied water, a little more generously, and blotted it with dry paper towels. Worked like a charm! There is absolutely no coffee stain remaining!

Unless the stain appears on silk, Cashmere or other delicate fabrics, the cold water and liquid soap blotting should work very well if the stain is not old and set. If it is on an expensive fabric, probably you are better off to take the garment to the dry cleaner and ask them to get rid of the coffee stain.

Coffee Stains On Kitchen Counters

Coffee stains also appear on kitchen counters and floors. Even though coffee is an organic stain, I’ve always used a Clorox and water solution to bleach and disinfect my Formica kitchen counters. Fill your kitchen sink about half way with warm water, add a little dishwashing detergent, then dip a household sponge or cleaning rag into the solution and squeeze it out. Wipe the counters and any stained spots on your vinyl or linoleum floors.

You may need to allow a little of the bleaching solution to sit on the stain but it should be either removed completely or noticeably lightened. If it is lightened but still visible, repeat until it disappears. Then rinse well.

“B” Is For Baby Wipes And Beer!

Baby wipes have multiple uses besides pampering baby’s delicate skin! You can use them blot up tea or coffee accidents from your carpet. They actually absorb the liquid and removed the stain if treated right away. Try it on your clothing, too.

Professional carpet cleaners recommend pouring beer on carpet and rug stains. They say that beer will virtually lift the stain out if you pour it directly on the stain. Use a soft clean cloth and rub it in with a light touch. The coffee stain should be removed. Follow with a rinsing of cool water.

It’s interesting to note that vinegar is recommended to remove coffee AND beer stains. If the beer or coffee is on your washable clothing, soak the item in a solution of 3 cups vinegar to 1 cup water for several hours or overnight. Then launder as usual and, if possible, dry in the sunlight. When All Else Fails –

Try Commercial Coffee Stain Removers

Among commercial stain preparations, Clean’n’Brite, Winsol, and Shout brand stain removers make great claims – that are probably true – about their stain removing success. Before trying a commercial stain remover, check the label on clothing to be sure the manufacturer state the material may be laundered. If not, you’ll have to take it to the drycleaner. Be sure to make a note of the type of stain because the drycleaner will need to have that information in order to treat the stain. It’s also a good idea to take it to the cleaners as soon as possible so the stain won’t have time to really set into the fabric.

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