While I’m no longer a caffeine drinker, early morning coffee is a staple for many people. As such, it’s pretty much a guarantee that we’ve had to deal with a coffee stain at some point. They can be a stubborn stain to effectively remove as attested by this question from Mary:

I have a stained t-shirt (coffee), and I’ve tried everything to remove the stains… pretreating, etc. The stains are still there! Do you have a magic trick for getting them out?

Melissa Says:

Hi Mary! Fresh coffee stains are definitely the easiest to get out—rinsing thoroughly with cold running water will often lift all of the stain away. If it doesn’t, a little dish liquid or detergent applied right to the stain and agitated will take the rest out. Unfortunately, it sounds like we’re talking about older stains here—hopefully not on a shirt that has been run through the dryer since exposure to heat will set a stain. But fear not—there are still a few things we can try!

I would start by mixing up a solution of oxygen bleach and water according to the package instructions, and soaking the item for up to 24 hours. If that doesn’t do it, you can try soaking the stain in a 2 to 1 solution of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap (I like to mix the solution in a bottle with a squirting top and then squirt and saturate the stain directly). Work it in a little bit with a soft cleaning toothbrush or even your fingertips. Use caution: This can damage delicate fabrics, but if the alternative is throwing out, you might find this to be worth it! Only soak the stain for an hour or two, then rinse in cool water and wash the shirt immediately as you normally would to remove any remaining traces.

Good luck!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


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