Clean Up Coffee Spills on Carpet

Many of us enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. It is a great way to start the day, and you can’t really beat a piping cup of morning joe. Unfortunately, coffee can also be a real mess maker too. We have all done it. You are walking around all groggy, at the crack of dawn, with your eyes half open only to trip over the dog’s toy and spill that fresh cup of coffee right on the carpet. Sometimes we get lucky and it is just a few drops, but other times the whole cup flips out of your hand only to dump the entire contents on the floor. We all know how dark and stainy coffee can be, so this is one of those common messes that looks impossible to remove. For this reason, most people will have trouble with it due to fear of making it worse, or just plain lack of knowing which technique or product works best to clean it.

The nice thing about it though, is that coffee stains just look bad, and if you have the right stuff, and follow the correct procedure, it can be quite easy to completely remove any signs of coffee from your once nice-looking carpet. It doesn’t matter if it is a fresh spill, or one that has been set it or even attempted clean with another product. You will just use a slightly different method depending upon the age and quantity of the spill. Additives like cream and sugar may pose problems with other solutions, but if you use the simply good suggestion below, it will not matter if it was straight black, or some fancy frappy concoction from your local barista.  If you go searching the Internet for options on this chore, the advice will be weak, and the methods will be no more revolutionary than what you might come up with yourself. For the sake of being thorough and helping those that would prefer to try stuff around the house first, we will list commonly suggested techniques and products first, and then follow that up with an easier, safer, cheaper and more effective way to do the job.


Common Suggestions

For this job, there is really only one technique out there, but some experts will modify it slightly to make it sound unique. Basically, you are instructed to blot up as much moisture and coffee as possible, and then continue by cleaning with some sort of soap, stain fighter or detergent. Special care is always recommended to prevent spreading, and no guarantee will be given for actual results. Based upon the soaking of liquid mentioned in most cases, these techniques are most likely better used when the accident is fresh. Although a coffee stain is easy to take out of carpets and rugs when you do it the right way, it is also quite easy to make it permanent or make it bigger when you go about it the wrong way.

Most of you have probably tried your favorite carpet cleaner already and found that it did not work. The color may be lighter, but the spot may be larger, and more locked in. If done quickly and properly, the traditional way can work for certain types of carpeting, but you may be forced to deal with a faded stain instead of one that has completely disappeared.

Step By Step Instructions:

  • Using a clean cloth that is absorbent, blot the location to soak up as much java as possible.
  • Work from the outside in and make sure to press down instead of rubbing to limit spreading.
  • Flush with plain water by spraying on or pouring on.
  • Blot again with something absorbent.
  • Add carpet shampoo or detergent and work into spot to remove remaining color.
  • Apply water to rinse again.
  • Blot with dry cloth to lift stain and dry carpeting.
  • Cover with towel or shammy and walk over it to soak moisture and dry fibers.

This technique relies heavily on this being a freshly spilled mug. You are basically trying to get the wet coffee out before it has time to become a stain. Acting quickly will make the job faster and more successful, but the amount left over will determine overall results. There is always going to be some color that will stick to the rug, and the lighter the material, the more difficult it will be to make it go away. If you wait, or are working with light colored carpet, you will need to rely heavily on the soap that you choose. If the dark color has dried and bonded with the fibers, then all the blotting in the world will not take a coffee stain out of your carpet.

Simply Good Method

Because there had to be a better way to tackle this common mess, we would like to explain a few fast, easy and effective ways to clean spilled coffee, and make any possible stains completely disappear. To prepare for the task, the first thing you will want to do is determine the size and severity of your spill. Once you have adequately scoped the situation, you can gather your arsenal. For a small stain, you will only need one thing, some Quick n Brite. If your about to tackle a larger spill, then you will also want to have a Super Shammy on hand. Each method may also benefit from water as a rinsing or dampening agent, and you will need a couple of towels as tools to do the application, removal and drying as well.


  • If there are only a few drops of coffee on your carpet after your clumsy morning episode then consider yourself lucky. This will be a quick and easy mess to clean up.
  • Grab a dry terry cloth towel and gently blot the coffee spots to remove anything that is still wet, on the surface, and removable. Be sure to visualize where the spotting was because it may be difficult to find when you go to do the final cleaning if you soak up most of the coffee, or if you have a tan colored carpet. This step will make your job faster and easier, but you are welcome to skip it if you like punishment.
  • After you have blotted up any stray liquid, then it is time to get out the Quick n Brite. A heavy solution spray should be all that you need for little drips like this. 3 Tbs into one quart of water makes a nice spray bottle of this stuff for almost no money at all.
  • Simply spray the cleaner generously onto the affected area. Once on their, work it in just a bit with your fingers or a damp terry cloth towel. Using warm or hot water can improve performance.
  • After that, just let it sit for about five minutes. As it is on there, it will break down the coffee and release it’s bond with the material. The dark stainy substance will get more slippery as it is lifted up and off the fibers, and this process will make it super easy to clean off.
  • After sitting, use a dry terry cloth towel to buff the stain out. You will see right away that the coffee is lifted out of your carpet, and transferred to the towel you are using.
  • After just a single application most will be left with a ridiculously clean carpet with absolutely no trace of coffee. In some rare instances, or for a tougher or darker stain, you may need to re-apply by repeating the steps. Because it also neutralizes odors, you will be negating any yucky smells that may have developed at the same time you get the stain out.
  • Works on any carpet or rug. Same technique will work for upholstery and clothing too.

Quick n Brite works amazingly well, and it is safe to use on any carpet. Unlike many carpet cleaners offered in stores, this one does not work by using bleach or any other harsh chemical. You never run the risk of making a bigger mess or flat out ruining your carpet when you use Quick n Brite. It is hard to believe, but this safe and natural alternative will actually make this and hundreds of other cleaning jobs easier and quicker to accomplish. It gives you the safeness of a home remedy, combined with cleaning power equal to the most effective products out there. Buy it for those clumsy dribbles marking the path from your kitchen to your living room, and then keep it around for to discover the other things it cleans just as well.


If you are extra clumsy, and were not able to stop the cup from tipping, then you probably have a much larger spill to clean up. If it is a fresh stain, then you will want to get a Shammy right away. The quicker you get at the spill with your Shammy, the smaller the rest of your job will be. Unlike regular towels, this synthetic one can actually draw up moisture right down to the floor boards, so you will take out more, and leave less hidden organic material to cause problems later. It also holds more and prevents dripping as you transport so it really makes the first step easier.

  • Place the Shammy over the spill and press down to absorb the coffee. A Super Shammy is like a sponge cloth, so it is super absorbent, but will never drip, so it is ideal for cleaning up spills.
  • It may take more than one shot with the Shammy to get up all of the coffee, so once it is full simply wring it over the sink, rinse it clean, and then go back and do it again. Don’t worry, because contrary to what you might think, a Shammy is actually more absorbent when slightly wet, so there is no need to get a new one in order to keep soaking up the coffee in your carpet.
  • Once all of the excess liquid is eliminated, then you can start cleaning the stain.
  • After the initial stage, cleaning a large spill is done in much the same way a small one is. You may want to opt for full strength liquid instead of the spray bottle with diluted cleaner though. This will help to clean it in less steps, since it is a bit stronger.
  • Simply pour the cleaner on the area of your carpet that is currently brown with coffee and work it in.
  • You would want to let it sit for at least ten minutes this time to ensure it has enough time to work.
  • Once it sits, use a dry terry cloth towel to buff the area clean.
  • A larger spill may require 2 or three applications in order to completely clean the area, but many will be spotless in just a single application. If the stain was super big, you could also use a steam cleaner to eliminate the stain. Just add liquid Quick n Brite like you would any other carpet cleaning solution, and be amazed at how much better it cleans and how soft and fresh it leaves your carpet.


  • Set in coffee stains will be harder to remove, but not at all impossible. As a rule of thumb, the quicker you clean it, the easier it will be to eliminate, but when you are using Quick n Brite, you can be sure that no coffee stain is too tough, and no shade of carpet is too light. For set in stains, the only difference is that you will probably have to clean the area more than once in order to get it all the way clean. This is not always true, but in general, set in stains take more work than fresh ones.
  • For set in stains or ones where you have used other cleaners without results, go with full strength Quick N Brite to start off.
  • Apply the paste directly to the stained area using a cloth dampened with warm water.
  • Work it in and then let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Get the towel damp with water again, and come back to wipe the area clean.
  • Most stain should transfer, but some may remain on there, but loosened.
  • If you still see black coffee on your carpet, flush the area with warm water poured from a cup, or sprayed heavily with a spray bottle.
  • Apply another round of cleaner with your damp towel and work in like before.
  • Let sit for 10-20 minutes.
  • Take a dry terry cloth towel and buff are to lift out removing stain and dry area. Firm vigorous movements will take care off any stubborn grime and also ensure that you clean down deep to get less visible dirt.

This is an environmentally friendly cleaning solution that is totally safe around children and pets. It has no harsh chemicals in it and it is 100% biodegradable. Try it for yourself, and discover how easy cleaning spilled coffee can be.

If you try this and it works, leave a comment to let everyone else know. If you try it and it doesn’t work, we want to hear about that too. For any questions or comments that come up as you are trying to rejuvenate your rug, please let us know by using the box below to send us a message. We would be happy to walk you through it, or provide pointers for your similar but slightly different problem.

Quick n Brite

Super Shammy

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