How to: Remove stains in light fabric using coffee

Sometimes you take your mysteriously stained $500 jacket (that you only got to wear once!) to the cleaners and they tell you they can't help you. Your jacket has leather AND cloth and the dye on the leather will bleed onto the cloth when the chemicals interact with your jacket. You try spot cleaning to no avail.

That's okay because coffee is here to help you. For real.

There are some guidelines:
  • Don't do this to natural fabrics like cotton unless you don't mind if the whole thing is a little darker. But, of course, if you have horribly stained your light colored fabric you're going to have to make some allowances.
  • Do try other milder solutions first, like spot cleaning, or just using water, or using mildly soapy water.
  • Do believe in magic.
Okay. In my case, milder solutions left it in the condition you saw above. The edges were still dark and there was still color in the whole stain. And I sometimes find when cleaning that like sticks to like and therefore removes like. I theorize this is why my jacket was stain free at the end of this process but we're doing magic not science so let's move on.

How to do it
  1. Look at your jacket and cry.
  2. Then get tough. But not too tough. Put it in a tub filling with plain water.
  3. Submerse. This is a good time to make sure (again) water won't pull the stain out. More importantly, it's going to keep your jacket (or whatever) from getting new stains from unevenly receiving the coffee. Remove it from the water.
  4. Brew some coffee. I actually double brewed because I wanted to make less trips between the kitchen and the bathroom and my French press is travel sized.
  5. Pour the good stuff into the bath water.
  6. Mix it around a bit with your hand until it's dispersed evenly. The level of darkness you see here is actually pretty light. It didn't hurt my coat at all and is about the same darkness as the darkest edge of the stain. That's the level of darkness I was looking for. Even most super absorbent fabrics won't get too dark from this amount of coffee. (But try to test out how your fabric will absorb color.)
  7. Put your jacket in and let it become friends with your stain.
  8. Rub your fingers (or a microfiber towel) against the stain, concentrating on the edges. Your fingers and coffee are made of magic.
  9. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
  10. Hang to dry.
  11. Marvel at your un-ruined cream coat.
  12. Show everyone up close where there used to be a stain and isn't any more. Rule the world.

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  1. Haha "Look at your jacket and cry" And "Rule the world"....I just died laughing! But on a serious note, I had no idea! I've used coffee to dye my hair and eggs, but getting stains out, I never would have guess!! So good to know!

  2. Coffee is magic for so many things! How effective is it for dying hair? Does it last a couple of washes?

  3. I use it in between dye to keep my roots covered. I think it adds more shine than anything but it seems to last a couple washes. I don't know how it would work if you used it overall for hair dye.


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