How to Remove a Coffee Stain From Cotton

Coffee spills happen easily, and they can leave an unattractive tan-colored stain on fabrics--particularly cotton fabrics.

These stains don't need to be permanent. You can get them out of cotton with some simple, common products. It is best to treat this stain, like any other stain, as quickly as you can. Even if treatment is delayed, however, you should be able to get a coffee stain out of cotton if you follow the correct procedures.

Blot the stain immediately with paper towels to absorb as much coffee as possible. Place one paper towel on one side of the cotton fabric and another on the other side, if possible. Press them together. Get new paper towels and repeat this with fresh ones until you've absorbed as much coffee from the cotton as you can.

Pour club soda or white vinegar on the coffee-stained area. Blot again, as you did before, with paper towels.

Launder with detergent that does not contain any soaps, and use warm water (check the fabric label).

Let the cotton item air dry. Check it when it has dried to see if any coffee staining remains. If so, launder it again according to the instructions in Step 3.

Things You Will Need

  • Paper towels
  • Club soda or white vinegar
  • Laundry detergent


  • Quick action for fresh coffee stains is important. If you don't have white vinegar or club soda on hand, just rinse the item as well as you can in cold water before laundering.
  • Most fresh coffee stains should come out in the first wash, but older stains may take extra time.


  • advises against drying items in the dryer unless you know the coffee stain has really been removed.