We get it. Everyone loves a good cup of Joe, and no one wants to be confined to the kitchen while drinking it. Coffee is all well and good, so long as it’s in your mug or in your mouth and not on the carpet. Never fear! Here’s how to clean up a coffee spill on your carpet.

What You’ll Need

Fortunately, coffee stains can typically be remedied with common household materials. What’s most important is addressing the stain quickly and efficiently. Here are all of the supplies you’ll need—and some helpful alternatives.


The first thing you’ll need to clean up a coffee stain is something to absorb the stain. Here are a few options:

Best: A clean, dry rag is most effective when soaking up coffee stains. The fibers in the material of the rag will help to absorb all of the moisture.

Okay: Paper towels can also be used to soak up the coffee stain; however, you may have to use quite a few to entirely absorb the spill.

Worst: Damp rags or paper towels should not be used in this phase. Adding moisture to the coffee spill will cause the stain the spread.


After you’ve absorbed the coffee spill, you’ll need to use a solvent to clean up the perimeter of the stain.

Best: Specialty carpet cleaner (in either spray or powder form) is ideal for spills on the carpet. Be sure that the carpet cleaner you use is labeled as safe for your type of carpet.

Okay: If you don’t have a commercial carpet cleaning solvent, warm water and laundry detergent or dish soap will work. Make sure to work the solvent into a lather before applying it to the spill. You can also try these common home solvents:

Club soda
White vinegar
Hydrogen peroxide

If you decide to use one of these household solvents, be sure to test it on a small area of carpet before applying to the stain and dilute as necessary.

Worst: Don’t ever use chlorine bleach on your carpet. It’s difficult to determine how bleach will interact with the fibers of your carpet and you make end up making the spot even worse!


After you’ve thoroughly cleaned the spill, you’ll need to completely dry the area. Leaving the area wet can cause the spot to be discolored or even lead to mold problems in the carpet padding.

Best: A clean, dry rag is perfect for soaking up the remaining moisture in your coffee spill. For a bonus, use a small fan to completely dry the area.

Okay: Paper towels can also be used to soak up the rest of the moisture in the area, but you’ll need to apply a significant amount of pressure to ensure that all of the moisture is out of the carpet padding.

Worst: Leaving the carpet to dry on its own is not advised. If the damp area takes too long to dry, it could become musty and leave a foul odor.

How to Clean

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to get down to it! Here’s how to clean up a coffee spill on your carpet.


The first step in cleaning up your coffee spill is absorb. Using your absorber, soak up as much of the coffee as possible. Coffee stains are known for spreading, so try to work from the outside of the spill inward. This will help you to isolate the spill and keep it from bleeding out onto your clean carpet. Apply firm pressure to the spill and soak up as much of the coffee as possible. Keep absorbing the coffee with your materials until you cannot get any more liquid out of the carpet.


For this step you’ll need your carpet cleaning solvent—either homemade or store bought—and a clean towel, rag, or sponge. Dampen the towel with the solution so that it is saturated, but not dripping. Use the rag to gently blot the stain.


Finally, use your “dryer” to soak up all of the excess moisture from the space. Place the towel over the wet area and stand on it so the pressure of your body weight helps to thoroughly soak up the moisture from the carpet and padding. Continue to dab the area until it is completely dry. Use a fan to dry the area if necessary.

Old Coffee Stains

If you’re just now stumbling on an old coffee stain, there’s hope for you, too. Follow these steps to treat your old coffee spill:

Make a paste out of baking soda and water.
Using your finger or an old toothbrush, cover the stain with your baking soda paste.
Thoroughly work the paste into the affected area.
Let the mixture dry (drying time will vary based on the amount of water you use in your paste).
Vacuum up the paste from your carpet and use a scrubbing brush or rag to fluff up the carpet.

Sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, coffee spills are too much for amateurs to handle. If you’re having trouble getting a coffee stain—or any stain—out of your carpet, you may want to enlist the help of a professional carpet cleaner.

If you need professional carpet cleaning services in the Des Moines area, contact Springer Professional Home Services! Whether you’ve got a tough stain or just want some regular maintenance done, Springer has all of your carpet needs covered. Ask us about how our Forever Kleen Program can help maintain the look of your carpet!