How to Remove Coffee Stains From Carpet
LAST UPDATED: APRIL 9, 2023
In this post, I’ll show you EXACTLY how to remove coffee stains from carpet in two steps or less.
The first step is to try to remove the coffee stain by cleaning the stained area with a spotter. A spotter is a cleaning agent that is used to lift a stain away from the carpet fibers.
Sometimes the natural pigments in coffee (melanoidin pigments) can permanently attached to carpet fibers resulting in a permanent stain. When this happens, a stain removal method should be used to break down, decompose, or destroy, the melanoidin pigments that are permanently stuck in the carpet.
Professional carpet cleaners use stain removal methods all the time to remove many kinds permanent carpet stains. I'll show you exactly how we do it in step two of this article.
Step 1 - Spot Removal
Step one is simple - clean the coffee (milk, cream, sugar, pumpkin spice, etc.) out of the carpet. The goal is to remove as much of the stain/contaminants as possible simply by cleaning the affected area.
This step is called spot removal and it can be done many different ways and with many different types of spotters.
If your coffee spill is fresh, immediately use a white towel to absorb as much of the liquid coffee from the carpet as possible. This should be done before cleaning the stained area with a spotter. I recommend standing on the towel and using your whole body weight to try and absorb as much coffee as possible.
Three Spot Removal Options:
Use a store bought spotter with a white cotton cloth to blot up and remove the coffee from the carpet.
1) The instructions generally don't require the spotter to be rinsed from the carpet after using. This can sometimes cause problems with re-soiling among other issues.
2) simply blotting the coffee spill with a cloth tends to remove less coffee from the carpet than other methods.
You will need:
Use a mini portable carpet cleaning machine with a professional spot and stain formula.
This method uses the suction power of a mini extractor to suck, extract, and flush the coffee out of the carpet.
Mini extractors also allow you to rinse the cleaning solution/soap out of the carpet with water.
You will need:
Use my homemade spotter recipe (DIY Spotter) - it's highly effective, cheap, and easy to make. Check out this article to learn more about it: How to Remove Spots From Carpet Like a Professional Carpet Cleaner. I recommend using DIY Spotter with a mini wet/dry vacuum to extract the coffee contaminants from the carpet.
If a permanent brown stain remains in your carpet after completing step 1, proceed to step two to learn how to remove permanent coffee stains from carpet!
Step 2 - Remove Permanent Coffee Stains From Carpet
After completing step one, you may be left with a premanent brown stain that looks something like this:
If we could zoom into this stain to a microscopic level, we would see millions of tiny coffee dye molecules (melanoidin pigments) that have become welded to the outer surface of the carpet.
This coffee stain could be cleaned with a spotter 100 times and these melanoidin pigments will never let go of the carpet fibers.
Instead of removing the melanoidin pigments from the carpet, we are going to use an electrochemical reaction to destroy them.
The main ingredient for this reaction is 6% salon grade hydrogen peroxide (also know as 20 volume clear developer).
This stain removal method is color safe so it is safe to use on colored carpet. Hydrogen peroxide is strong enough to break down melanoidin pigments from coffee but it is not strong enough to break down the synthetic dyes that carpet manufacturers use to dye carpet.
You will need:
1) Ensure the stained area is completely dry before you begin.
2) Spray 6% hydrogen peroxide liberally over the stained area. The carpet does not have to be soaked but all of the stained carpet fibers should be coated in hydrogen peroxide.
3) Next apply a few sprays of household ammonia cleaner. Household ammonia cleaner is a high pH cleaning solution that accelerates the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. It essentially activates the hydrogen peroxide, allowing the peroxide to break down the brown melanoidin pigments.
Step 4 - Allow the hydrogen peroxide and household ammonia to sit in the carpet for at least 8 hours, or until the stain disappears.
Step 5 - After 8 hours, the coffee stain will have disappeared completely, or will have lightened significantly. Once 8 hours has passed, the solution in the carpet will be mostly water, as the hydrogen peroxide breaks down into oxygen and water and the ammonia evaporates.
If the coffee stain is still visible after 8 hours, absorb the remaining liquid from the carpet with a white towel, allow the carpet to fully dry, then repeat steps 2 to 5. The stain in this demo took 3 repetitions for the stain to fully come out of the carpet.
Step 6 - When the coffee stain is gone, use a white cloth to absorb the remaining solution from the carpet, and allow the carpet to dry.
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Remove Coffee Stains From Carpet Video Instructions
Do not dilute the 6% hydrogen peroxide or household ammonia.
Do not use this method on fine materials such as wool, silk, or other natural fibers. Contact a professional cleaner when cleaning these delicate items.
test this method in an inconspicuous area on your carpet before using. This can be done on a piece of scrap carpet, or in the corner of a closet.
Do not use this method in direct sunlight. Close the blinds in your home before using hydrogen peroxide on your carpet.
When using household ammonia, it is best to open a window for ventilation. Household ammonia has a pungent odor and can be slightly irritating on the eyes.
Keep your children, and pets in another room while using hydrogen peroxide and household ammonia cleaner.
Household ammonia does not have to be rinsed from the carpet after cleaning because it completely evaporates (turns into ammonia gas) and escapes to the atmosphere.
Hydrogen peroxide does not have to be rinsed from the carpet because it completely breaks down into oxygen and water.
Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia will leave zero residue in the carpet after using (which makes this method very safe for children, people, and pets)
Never mix household ammonia cleaner with bleach. This mixture produces a toxic gas called chloramine that can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
Use these methods at your own risk!
Let me know if you have any questions by using the contact me page, or by commenting on the YouTube video above. I'm always happy to help!