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How to Remove Tea or Coffee Stains from Clothing

Are you wondering how you can get those tea or coffee stains out of your clothes? Read on for the best methods and cleaning products!


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coffee stains

From rushed morning commutes, to carrying a tray full of drinks for colleagues, there are so many ways for coffee stains and tea stains to end up on your clothes. Luckily it’s not hard to learn how to remove tea and coffee stains quickly and effectively, and there are several methods that you can try.

Remember – before using any stain removal technique or product, check the wash care label on your garment for guidance. If possible, test the method on a small area of the fabric first to prevent any unintentional damage.

You can use a laundry detergent to deal with those dark tea and coffee stains you dread removing. It’s simple, and you don’t need to waste precious time mixing any of your own, homemade solutions!

coffee stains on clothing

The 5-Step Kitchen Sink Method for Removing Coffee and Tea Stains

One of the easiest ways to remove a coffee stain or tea stain is to pour warm water directly through the garment.

  1. Begin by holding your stained fabric over the sink, or pin it in place to make full use of your hands.

  2. Next, warm some water in a kettle, so that it is warm to the touch, but not boiling.

  3. Slowly pour the warm water directly on the stain, so that it is able to drain through the fibers of the garment and out the other side.

  4. After about 15 seconds stop pouring and apply a few drops of laundry detergent directly onto both sides of the garment where the stain is present.

  5. Rub the detergent until it lathers. Then continue to rinse the garment until all of the detergent has dissolved.

The 3-Step Soak and Wash Technique for Tea or Coffee Stains

If your stain is stubborn – or if it covers more surface area than the kitchen sink method can adequately deal with – you can try soaking your garment in stain remover before throwing it in the wash.

While you should always read the care instructions on your cleaning product, many stain removers work in similar ways:

  1. Simply fill a bucket, container, or sink with warm water and detergent, following the instructions on the label to determine the dosage.

  2. Let your garment sit in the solution for a few hours. This process will loosen the stain and prepare the garment for the washing machine.

  3. Once a few hours have passed, wash the garment as usual in warm water.

Other Methods of Fighting Tea and Coffee Stains

Unfortunately, you may not always be able to find the time to soak and wash your garment immediately after the coffee or tea stain occurs. Here are some quick fixes that can be used immediately to lessen the stain.

Remember – If you decide to make your own natural stain remover, always test it on a small, unnoticeable area of the fabric first to avoid damaging your clothes.


Most kitchens and restaurants will have a cupboard stocked with vinegar. Vinegar can serve as a great stain remover when in a pinch. Mix one teaspoon of vinegar into a few cups of water and spray or pour the liquid over the stain. Next, gently blot the garment and you should see the tea or coffee stain lifting.

Baking Soda

You can also try to use baking soda to remove your coffee or tea stain. Do so by wetting the tea- or coffee-stained garment with warm water. Pour about a teaspoon of baking soda on the stain and rub it into the fabric. Allow the baking soda to settle for as long as possible before rinsing it off.

There’s no need to daunted by the prospect of spilling your tea or coffee anymore ­– in 5 steps or less you can remove those coffee or tea stains with ease!

  • Pour warm water directly on the garment.

  • Then apply a few drops of laundry detergent to help remove the tea or, coffee stain.

  • If you need a quick solution to remove a coffee stain, grab some vinegar and mix with water.

  • Always follow up any stain removal with a wash using a good quality laundry detergent like OMO Liquid.

Frequently asked questions on removing tea or coffee stains

What if the stain is old or set-in?

If the stain is old or set-in, you can still try the vinegar and water solution, but you may need to apply it multiple times and let it sit for longer periods of time. You can also try using a stain remover that is specifically designed for coffee or tea stains, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Can I use bleach to remove tea or coffee stains?

No, you should not use bleach to remove tea or coffee stains, as this can cause the stain to set in permanently and can also damage the fabric. Instead, use a stain remover or the vinegar and water solution.

How can I prevent tea or coffee stains in the first place?

To prevent tea or coffee stains on clothing, be careful when drinking and avoid spilling. You can also use a spill-proof mug or cup with a lid, and avoid wearing light-colored clothing when drinking tea or coffee. If a spill does occur, treat the stain as soon as possible to prevent it from setting in.

Originally published