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The coffee stain is one of the most common stains on residential carpets. However, the good news is most of the coffee stains on the carpet are not permanent. This means that even if the stain is old, you can still improve it, if not completely remove it. However, a challenge most people face is that coffee stains on the carpet keep reappearing. If you are looking for methods to treat old coffee stains or you have tried to remove them but they keep returning, this article will help you. 

Here, we discuss effective methods of removing old coffee stains from carpets and how to get out the stubborn ones that keep showing up again.

Why old coffee stains reappear on carpets

When you think you have rid your carpet of coffee stains, it can be disappointing to see that the stains have gone nowhere. When coffee stains reappear on carpet, it can be due to:

  • Wicking – wet carpet fibers act as a candle wick and absorb stain from the padding of the carpet. Although the carpet looks clean immediately after cleaning, the stain shows up at the surface as the carpet dries. The solution is to use less water, leave carpet as dry as possible after cleaning and speed dry the carpet.
  • Browning also occurs when you treat your carpet with the wrong chemicals, especially when they are made of natural fibers. It is important to differentiate between browning and coffee stains so the proper treatment is applied.
  • Furthermore, wicking sometimes happens when the carpet receives too much agitation in the treatment process. 

There are many treatments you can explore for your carpet that will rid it of stains due to wicking.

How to remove coffee stains from carpet

Always inform yourself about your type of carpet, how to clean it and how to prevent color loss or color shifting. Chemical mixtures can bleach out your carpet, void the warranty or even create toxic solutions or fumes.

There are many ways to treat carpets of old coffee stains, both those of synthetic and natural fibers. Cleaning ground in stains from carpet is easy with some procedures. Here are some of the best treatments for getting old coffee stain off your carpet:

Use hydrogen peroxide

Make a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and a dish soap (roughly 1cup/0.5 teaspoon). The dish soap will break the stickiness in the coffee if it has milk or cream. You can apply this treatment in a few steps:

  1. Put water on the spot to soften the stain. Let the water sit on it to loosen the coffee.
  2. Treat the stained spot with the mixture using a light-colored towel. Massage the spot from the outer area to the middle where the coffee stain is more. 
  3. Rinse the spot using water.

You may repeat the treatment until there is no stain left.

Use baking soda

Baking soda is another effective organic cleaner that is effective for treating carpets with old coffee stains. The treatment consists of water and baking soda. Follow these few steps:

  1. Make a fine paste of water and baking soda.
  2. Put water on the spot to soften the stain. Let the water sit on it to loosen the coffee.
  3. Massage the baking soda into the stained area and leave it to dry
  4. Remove the baking soda with a soft bristle brush
  5. Vacuum to remove the remainder.


Use vinegar

Vinegar is another effective organic cleaner for treating carpets of old coffee stains. Vinegar is versatile and serves as a cleaning agent for a number of things. Cleaning vinegar is preferable to use because it is more concentrated. However, you can also use distilled vinegar. You can rid your carpet of old coffee stains in a few steps:

  1. Mix three parts vinegar to one part water
  2. Apply the solution to the stained area of the carpet working from the outer part to the center where the coffee is more concentrated. It is advisable to use a light-colored towel so that you will know when the stain is out.
  3. Rinse the spot. You may repeat the process if need be.

Note: you can also put a wet towel on the carpet and go over it with a clothes iron to try to transfer the stain from the carpet to the towel. This method requires extra care as the clothes iron can burn the carpet if it is too hot or if you place it directly on the carpet. It is recommended to start with a lower setting and try it that way first.


Use salt

Salt is another versatile substance that is almost always in every home, making it convenient to use for a variety of needs. As a coffee stain treatment, salt is effective for preventing coffee stains from spreading the moment the coffee pours on the carpet. Just sprinkle some salt on the stained area immediately after spilling coffee and it will soak some of it back up.

When the coffee stays for some days, you can also treat it with salt in the few steps below:

  1. dab on the spot with a wet light-colored towel to soften the coffee on the spot
  2. sprinkle salt on the spot and let it sit for a few minutes until it soaks up the liquid and the stain.
  3. wipe off the salt with a towel and repeat the process if need be.



Cleaning old coffee stains from carpets is easier if you know the methods to use. You can use vinegar, baking soda, salt, and hydrogen peroxide to effectively treat your carpet of coffee stains.

For wider stained areas or very old coffee stains, you might want to consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner. Regular carpet cleaning has a lot of benefits, including the treatment or removal of older stains.