How to get coffee stains out of carpet – fresh or old

Spilled your cup of joe mid-bed to desk dash? This is how to get coffee stains out of carpet in 3 quick steps whether it's fresh or dried on.

Cup of coffee with milk on grey carpet
(Image credit: Getty Images | Photographer: Basak Gurbuz Derman Creative :1159882161)

If, like most of us, a cup of joe plays a key role in your daily ritual, then it's fairly crucial that you know how to get coffee stains out of carpet successfully. After all, a morning sans latte, espresso or flat white – caffeinated or not – is a recipe for disaster in itself but, when you've really had no time to wake up, it's no surprise that your precious coffee sometimes ends up on the floor... If you've come this far without spilling coffee on your carpet or rug, we applaud you.

Whether it was the dog's fault, if rushing round to leave the house on time is to blame or if you were being overzealous in the classic WFH bed to desk dash to make that morning meeting, spilling coffee on the carpet is far too easily done but there is no need to panic, there are plenty of good carpet cleaning solutions.

Of course, cleaning coffee stains isn't solely reserved for frantic mornings, you may have a dried-on stain from a weekend ago where you, now regretfully, offered post-dinner espressos to your party guests, so you may find yourself cleaning a carpet vigorously to lift stains at any hour. Thankfully, coffee stains don't have to be permanent.

Are coffee stains permanent on carpet?

Fresh or new, act fast and you'll be able to lift coffee stains from your carpet with ease. It's all about staying calm, and selecting the best cleaning agents and methods depending on the extremity of your situation. 

Susan Fermor a spokesperson from Dr. Beckmann, the pros in textile and household cleaning, says, 'A spillage on a carpet may seem like a huge inconvenience, but if you act quickly, the stubborn stain will soon become a distant memory.'

Continue to use your best coffee maker by all means, but take note to deal with any pre-caffeinated consequences.

'Coffee spills can be extremely hard to remove, but if you treat the area fast and efficiently, you’ll soon eradicate the stain. There are many different methods to try when removing coffee stains from a carpet, but if tackled incorrectly this can leave an everlasting mark.' Fermor continues.

1. Soak up excess coffee

Blotting is a must with most stain removal techniques. Avoid using tissue paper or anything that will break up and leave more mess, a clean cloth is ideal as Fermor advises, 'Start by using a cloth to soak up as much of the coffee as you can'. We are always stocked up on generic microfiber clothes which you can find on Amazon

2. Dab with a cleaning solution

Former recommends you 'then mix together a home remedy of dish soap and white vinegar, alongside warm water and dab at the stain using a clean cloth.'

Some recommend blotting the space with rubbing alcohol or using a mixture of 2 cups lukewarm water with 1/4 cup lemon juice, adding a little dish soap also. It depends what you have to hand.

'Doing this as soon as possible after the spillage will have the best results, but this is also an effective method on coffee stains which have been left for some time.'

3. Rinse and repeat 

You'll then want to rinse and blot the area dry, this will allow you to see whether your efforts have paid off. It depends on the level of spillage and whether your stain was fresh or old, but if there is still a faint mark left, repeat the previous method or move on to double up with a dedicated cleaning product.

Former adds 'To ensure the best results, we’d recommend using a dedicated carpet cleaner, Dr. Beckmann’s Carpet Stain Remover is available at a wide range of retailers and online on Amazon and is great to have in the cupboard ready and waiting. The product uses an oxi-power formula and unique 2 in 1 brush head attachment to remove those tough coffee stains and odors from carpets with ease!'

How do you get old coffee stains out of carpet?

Sure a dark-colored carpet will be more forgiving, but if you don't tend to coffee stains, you'll always know they are there and no one wants that. 

For dated coffee stains (we're all guilty) we'd recommend the home remedy of dish soap, white vinegar and warm water, following it up with a dedicated cleaning product like Dr. Beckmann’s Carpet Stain Remover. There's a reason why it's the UK’s number 1... Of course, prevention is key, but for anyone who likes to hurl their coffee cup around like there's no tomorrow (or rather, carpet) rest assured that there is hope for whatever type of carpet you have installed. 'If you treat coffee stains properly and act promptly, the stains should lift out of the carpet’s fibers, so they don’t permanently leave an everlasting mark in your home.' 

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Former Deputy Editor

I'm Cam, the former deputy editor of Real Homes who worked on the site from 2020 to 2023. As a renter myself, sharing a home with two friends (and my cat) in London, I know all too well the challenges that this can pose when it comes to creating your perfect setup. As someone who has always loved everything interior design-related, I cannot rest until a home feels right and I am really passionate about helping others get there too, no matter what their living situation, style, or budget may be. It’s not always the easiest to figure out, but the journey is fun and the results are so worth it.

After interior design, travel, art, and photography are my next big passions. When I’m not writing or editing homes content, I’m usually tapping into other creative outlets, exploring galleries in London or further afield, taking photos, scribbling, or drawing!