You’re sitting on the sofa, enjoying a nice cup of coffee when disaster strikes, you somehow spill your drink and it ends up all over the carpet. Your cream floor now has a distinctive brown stain, and it doesn’t look pretty.
Thankfully you don’t need to rip up the offending carpet and replace it with a new one or rent an expensive carpet cleaning machine. Instead, you can grab a steam iron, a cloth, and a bottle of stain remover and tackle the problem yourself. This quick and effective method will enable you to mop up the mess in next to no time. Don’t worry, we’ll take you through this straightforward process a little later on.
Why Does Coffee Leave A Stain?
Coffee leaves a pleasant lingering taste in your mouth, but unfortunately, it can also leave a lingering brown stain behind if you spill it. Coffee leaves a stain due to the natural dye (tannin) inside the beans. Tannins are common, and you probably come into contact with them on a day-to-day basis.
You’ll find tannin inside coffee, red wine, chocolate, and certain types of tea and fruit juices. Several plants species, such as wattle and pine contain tannin too. Natural tannin is a type of polyphenol – it coats your teeth and penetrates fibres, hence the noticeable stain that appears after a spillage. If you’re unlucky enough to spill your beverage on your clothing, on the sofa, or on the carpet, you’re going to need to do a clean-up job to remove the stain.
Tackling Old Coffee Stains
New stains are difficult enough to shift, but what do you do with a mark that’s been there for days, weeks, months, or even years? If you’ve just moved into a new office or property or found an old stain when you’ve moved a piece of furniture, you’re probably feeling a bit put out! No one wants to be greeted by an unwelcome coffee stain.
At first glance it might seem like mission impossible, the stain may look impenetrable (as if it’s soaked straight through to the underlay), but looks can be deceiving! With a little effort, you will be able to return your carpet to its former glory.
Search online and you will find a variety of DIY carpet cleaning methods. The cleaning solution/cloth/steam iron concept that we will talk about today is one of many but, unlike some of the others you will see online, it is highly effective.
You will see solutions involving all sorts of household liquids including vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon, soda, and washing up liquid. You might have some of those ingredients in your cupboards at home and you could try and mix your own DIY carpet cleaner, but is it worth the hassle?
You will have to spend time measuring out each component, you will have to find a suitable container and you will need to clean your surfaces after too (depending on how messy the mixing is!).
We’ll talk about ready-made cleaning solutions in more detail shortly, but you’ll find a wide range on offer in a variety of stores. A ready-made cleaner is convenient and affordable and will save you time and effort to boot, plus the results will be better. DIY cleaning solutions offer varying degrees of success, so you might go to the effort of mixing your own only to find it doesn’t work well.
Never Use Bleach To Remove Stains
Bleach is a powerful chemical cleaner, ideal for pouring down the toilet, cleaning the bathroom, and disinfecting floors and surfaces. It certainly leaves things cleaner and fresher, but despite its reputation as a hardcore stain remover, it should never be used to clean soft furnishings, fabrics, or carpets.
Bleaching will undoubtedly remove the pesky coffee stain, but it will also strip the colour from your carpet. You will be left with a very noticeable scar on your carpet that will look worse than the coffee stain you started with!
Ready-made Stain Remover
Instead of brewing your own cleaning potions (with no guarantee of success), or ruining your carpet by using bleach, why not just purchase a proven stain remover from your local store?
You’ll find a huge range of cleaning products on sale, from budget buys to famous brands. Cleaning solution manufacturers have spent time and money developing their products, and they are rigorously tested to ensure they do the job.
Chances are, you have a whole host of cleaning products cluttering up your cupboards already, so take a deep dive under the sink before you head to the shops.
If you do have to purchase a bottle it won’t cost you much, nowadays you can pick up a powerful cleaning solution for just a couple of quid. Supermarket own brands are bargain buys (and are often just as good as the big brands).
Coffee Stain Removal
Once you’ve got your ready-made cleaning solution, you’re almost ready to tackle that stain. You just need two more things before you get started – a cloth and a steam iron. The stain remover helps to break down the mark, but the steam iron is the real hero. The keyword here is “steam,” unfortunately a standard iron without a steam function just won’t do.
You’ve got your cleaning solution and your steam iron; the last part of the jigsaw puzzle is a clean cloth. You should be able to buy a cheap, decent size cloth from most supermarkets or homeware stores (such as your local pound shop). You’ll need to look for a white cloth, as colours can transfer from the cloth to your carpet, thus making the stain even worse.
The cleaning solution/cloth/steam iron removal process
You’ve got your three components – a white cloth, a steam iron, and your cleaning solution. Now you’re ready to blitz that nasty coffee stain. Here’s how to do it:
1. Moisten the stain
You can use a water-filled spray bottle if you have one, if not just moisten the stain with water as best you can (you’re aiming for damp rather than wet). The dampness will relax the fibres of the carpet and allow you to tackle the stain more easily. Leave the damp area alone for ten minutes for maximum impact.
2. Use the cleaning solution/stain remover
Spray the coffee stain with your chosen ready-made cleaning solution. Again, the carpet should be liberally covered but not soaking wet. Leave the solution for ten minutes (do not be tempted to start scrubbing at the mark, by leaving the solution to stand you will make removal much more straightforward). If you scrub or rub the mark with a cloth you will just smear the stain and possibly make it more noticeable.
3. Wet the cloth and cover the stain
Soak your cloth and then wring it out a little (you want it to be wet but not dripping). This part is important as you’ll be laying the cloth over the stain to protect your carpet from the iron.
4. Turn on the iron and prepare to steam
Once your cloth is in place it’s time to switch on your iron. Turn it to the lowest possible steam setting (better to start low and build up if/when you need to).
5. Iron over the cloth
Carefully place the iron onto the cloth (which will be covering the stain) for approximately twenty to thirty seconds. The steam will filter downwards and magically form a seal between the cloth and the carpet. Watch as the steam causes the cloth to absorb the coffee, leaving your carpet stain-free.
- If the stain is on the large side, you can clean it bit by bit. Just follow the method above, repeating the process for each area.
- For stubborn stains, you might need to repeat the process. Don’t lose heart, coffee is tough but with the second round of cleaning, you should be able to remove every trace of the beverage from your carpet.
- Remember, the key is to carefully suck up the stain with the cloth rather than rub at it.
Other Ways To Remove Coffee Stains From Carpets
The cleaning solution/cloth/steam iron removal process we’ve described above is simple and effective. It doesn’t cost the earth and you probably have all the things you need to do the job tucked away in a cupboard.
However, if you do have a carpet cleaner handy (or can borrow one from someone) you can always use it to sort out the troublesome stain. Carpet cleaners typically have motor-powered bristle brushes to tackle stubborn marks. Water combines with a cleaning solution to douse the stain, allowing the brush to lift dirt and grime from the carpet fibres.
If you have a sizeable area of carpet to clean or have a few stains you want to tackle, a carpet cleaner can save you time and do a good job. However, if you’re just trying to eradicate one stain you may as well give our cleaning solution/cloth/steam iron method a try. It’s cheap, easy, and should leave your carpet looking stain-free and fresh.
Ready, Steady, Clean
Now you know what to do if you do spill your coffee. Accidents happen, but with our simple cleaning concept you can mop up easily. Right, that’s enough coffee chat, I’m off to make myself one!