No morning is complete without a steaming mug of hot coffee. Whether you prefer your coffee black or with plenty of cream and sugar, it can still leave behind a nasty stain if you spill it. Coffee stains on cotton fabrics are difficult to remove without the right skills and cleaners. Particularly if your cotton is white, you need to know how to get coffee stains out of cotton so that you can save your favorite shirts.

If you are ready to learn how to get coffee stains out of cotton the fast and easy way, take a look at some of these suggestions.

How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Cotton: Getting Started

Did you know that wet coffee is much easier to remove than a stain that has already set in and dried? The best thing you can do to keep your coffee stains to a minimum is to blot up as much of the stain as possible as soon as it happens. Try not to rub it into the fabric. Rather, you should press and hold the napkin or tissue onto the coffee stain so that it can absorb the coffee. Rubbing it in can cause the stain to sink deeper into the cotton.

As you are blotting up the stain, try applying a bit of salt to the area. This can help to keep the stain from spreading by soaking up the liquid.

If you are very lucky and can catch the stain early, running it under cool water can often remove the stain without any other materials. However, most of the time, you cannot simply take off your clothes and rinse them. A good compromise is to dip your napkin or tissue into a glass of tap water or sparkling water, if available. Blot it further and see how much of the new coffee stain you can get up.

Sometimes, all of this still is not enough to remove a stubborn or extensive stain. This is why you are going to need something more powerful to help.

If you do apply a stain-removing product, you can try just letting it soak. A new stain might benefit from a bit of scrubbing though. Try spraying the cleaner or spot remover onto the stain and gently massage it into the fabric using an old toothbrush.

How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Cotton: 4 Products

Spilled coffee on a cotton cloth

Once you know the basic procedures for how to get coffee stains out of cotton, you need to know what cleaners will aid you in the process. All of the following cleaners are excellent options for your washable fabrics, cotton included. Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each one before making your final decision.

1. Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover

Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover Refill, Stain Remover for Clothes, Enzyme-Based Clothing Spot Cleaner, Free & Clear

If you need to know how to get coffee stains out of cotton clothing the fast and easy way, Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover (on Amazon) might be the best option on the market. It consists of a powerful plant-based formula instead of using harsh chemicals that can bleach fabrics and ruin their colors. The enzymes contained in the Puracy cleaner are tough on stains but simultaneously freshen fabrics while they work.

One of the benefits of this cleaner is that it is highly effective on more than just coffee and cotton. It can remove stains that stem from grass, berries, blood, oil, tomato sauce, and even sweat. Not to mention, it can be used on any number of surfaces including cotton clothing, linens, silk, carpets (see this article if you have a coffee stain on a carpet), car seats, cloth diapers, and more. Use it on colors and delicates without giving it a second thought.

What you won’t find in this cleaner are harsh chemicals, animal by-products, or petroleum-based ingredients. It is never tested on animals. Rest assured that it is safe for greywater and septic systems, as well as the environment as a whole. Even children and pets can be exposed to this cleaner without harm.

How to Use

How can you use this powerful cleaner? It does require a bit of time for Puracy to work its magic on your stains. The best thing to do is to spray down the stain liberally and allow it to sit for as long as possible. The longer the stain remover is on the fabric, the better the result will be. Pre-treat the stain and then wait a few days or weeks to wash it for the best results. You don’t have to worry about immediately tossing it in the washing machine.

Each bottle costs just a few dollars, but it should last you for a while. Their marketing claims that each bottle can treat more than 800 stains.

Perhaps the best part is their customer service. If you are not satisfied with their stain remover, its customer service department promises to make it right.

2. Grandma’s Secret Laundry Spray

Grandma's Secret Spot Remover Laundry Spray Chlorine, Bleach and Toxin-Free Stain Remover for Clothes Fabric Removes Oil, Paint, Blood and Pet Stain

The secret is out when it comes to Grandma’s Secret Laundry Spray. Those who are prone to spills and splashes on their cotton clothing will want to always have a bottle of this delightful cleaner handy in their laundry arsenal. They refer to their product as a “washing machine in a bottle” and it couldn’t be truer!

You can use this spot cleaner on all types of fabric – not just cotton. It works well on carpets, rugs, and even that old leather coat you have hanging in the back of the closet. No matter where the stain is or how long it has been there, this product is certainly one of the most effective on the market. Grandma’s Secret is also effective against all types of stains including:

  • Oil
  • Grease
  • Paint
  • Make-up
  • Grass
  • Clay
  • Tar
  • Rust
  • Betadine
  • Fabric bleed

One of the reasons that so many people love Grandma’s Secret Laundry Spray is because it is environmentally friendly and safe for use. Their non-toxic formula contains no chlorine or phosphates. It is even completely biodegradable.

How to Use

The big bottle is great for applying to stains just before washing them. If you make a lot of messes and frequently need to figure out how to get coffee stains out of cotton, then you might want to invest in this bigger bottle. Simply spray the affected area with the cleaner and then put it through the wash cycle on your washing machine.

If the first round of treatment does not get the stain out, try it again. This cleaner is effective even on old and set-in stains that have already been through the washer and dryer. A tough stain like coffee might need more than one treatment.

Alternatively, you can try the smaller bottles that are a little bit thicker and more concentrated. This spot remover works similarly but is more effective on stubborn stains.

Keep in mind that you only need a drop or two of either cleaner to remove your set-in stains. With that in mind, both of these bottles should last you for a long time. The larger spray bottle is estimated to last the average person about one full year, even with heavy use.

3. Tide to Go Stain Remover Pens

Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover

Are you someone who often finds yourself staining white cotton fabric while you are on the go? It never hurts to have a stain removing tool in your handbag that you can comfortably use on that beautiful cotton sundress. The Tide to Go Stain Remover Pens are great for use on white cotton fabrics that need to get rid of their coffee stains.

These pens are great because they are so incredibly portable. You can slip one in your pocket, store them in the glove compartment of your car, or stash it away in your briefcase for use just before a big meeting. They instantly remove many fresh stains, but they may not be as effective on set-in stains.

If you are fortunate enough to catch a stain early, Tide pens are strong enough to combat even stubborn stains. They work well on tomato juice, ketchup, barbecue sauce, grape juice, wine, and coffee. No matter what you spill and how dark it may be, Tide pens are great at lifting stains out of cotton.

How to Use

Learning how to remove coffee from cotton clothing with Tide to Go pens is relatively easy. Start by removing the excess coffee from your clothing. Blot it up with a paper napkin or tissue. Be careful not to spread it any further than it already has. Do not rub it into the fabric.

Next, you will press the tip of the Tide to Go pen onto the stain several times. This releases the magic cleaner inside. Rub the pen across the stain to lift it out, releasing more stain remover if necessary. When you are finished, wipe the extra cleaner off the stained area and dry it as much as possible. Drying is extremely important if the fabric will be exposed to sunlight.

4. Carbona Stain Devils Coffee, Tea, Wine & Juice

Carbona Stain Devils Coffee, Tea, Wine & Juice Carbona Stain Devils are a collection of laundry assistance items that are directly targeted toward the type of stain you have. If you spill coffee often, then you will want to invest in their 8th formula that specifically targets wine, tea, coffee, and juice. The formula is uniquely designed to lift these stains out of your fabric, including cotton.

Unlike many of the other top cleaners on this ranking, Carbona is not safe for use on all types of fabric. You should not use it on silk acetate, leather, suede, carpeting, or upholstery. However, water-safe and washable fabrics like your standard cotton are fine.

Unfortunately, the Carbona Stain Devils are a little harsher than some of the other stain removers for cotton clothing. This powder does contain sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate and disodium disilicate. The active ingredient that tackles your coffee stains is 15 to 30 percent oxygen-based bleach. If the powder comes in contact with the eyes, you will need to flush them with water for at least fifteen minutes.

How to Use

Remember that this cleaner can only be used on washable or dry clean only fabrics. It is a little more involved than the other cleaners that can lift coffee stains from cotton. If you are removing a small stain, dissolve two teaspoons into two cups of hot water. In a very shallow bowl, let the stained area soak for approximately thirty minutes.

After it has soaked for a sufficient time, rinse with warm water or wash the fabric as usual. If the fabric is not washable, dab the stained area with a damp cloth to remove all residue from the stain remover.

Large stains or more stubborn stains could use a more heavy-duty treatment. Dissolve the entire container of Stain Devils into two gallons of warm water. Soak the fabric for several hours and then rinse thoroughly with water.

How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Cotton

If you need a crash course in how to get coffee stains out of cotton, these four products should help you to get a head start. They take just a few minutes to prepare your fabric and cleaning solution. Perhaps the best part is that you don’t have to mess with expensive dry-cleaning bills.

You can simply apply these stain removers at home and wash your cotton as you usually would. These cleaners cost only a few dollars, but they can save your favorite clothes from utter ruin. It seems like a worthwhile investment!

Remember to check your fabric to see if the stain remains after you wash it. Do not dry the fabric with heat unless you are positive that the stain is gone. Applying heat to the cotton can cause the stain to set deeper into the fabric and it may not come out at this point, even with the assistance of some of these cleaners. You have the best chances of success if you do not dry the garment first.


Are coffee stains permanent?

No, coffee stains do not have to be permanent. If you catch the stain early, you can often remove it without any cleaners at all. However, old stains may be treated with a store-bought laundry aid that can help to lessen their impact.

Do coffee stains come out in the washing machine?

Coffee stains may not come out with water alone. You may need to pre-treat the fabric to help remove stubborn stains.

How can you best remove old coffee stains?

The best thing to do is to pre-treat the fabric with a store-bought cleaner like Tide to Go pens or Grandma’s Secret Laundry Spray. Then, wash the fabric as usual and air dry to see if the stain is gone.

Last update on 2024-05-01 at 10:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API