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How to remove a coffee stain from your car

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Commuters love their coffee. That's why you'll find coffee stains in almost every car. Find out how to clean coffee stains in this post.

orange county coffee

I've heard that Orange County people consume 5 times more coffee than the average American, and that's probably why we see stains like this in almost every car we clean.

What's important to remember is that all coffee stains are not equal. The type of material and mixture of milk and cream will dictate the cleaning method. For the purposes of this demonstration, we're gonna focus on carpets.






coffee spill in car

If an accident should happen, blot the area by simply laying the towel over the spill and add pressure with your fist or palm, no rubbing. This technique will contain the spill and not spread it. Depending on if the coffee was black, or if it contained milk or cream, this will change your approach. If the cup of coffee was black, or if it had no milk in it, mix 1/3 household white vinegar to 2/3 water in a cup or a spray bottle. Add the mixture to the stain and blot again with a clean towel. Allow the vinegar solution a few minutes to work before lightly rinsing with cold water. Blot again until dry.



blot the areaIf the coffee contained milk or cream, blot the area immediately to avoid spreading as we did earlier. However, now we must focus on the protein stain from the milk first, before we tackle the dye from the coffee itself. First, add a teaspoon of enzyme detergent, such as OxiClean, to a cup of water or spray bottle. Spray the area and allow it to work for 10 to 15 minutes. Blot the area afterwards and use a light brush agitation if needed. Then, we focus on the coffee or tannin stain once again. By repeating the vinegar and water technique we just showed. If a slight discoloration persists, use a designated car interior fiber cleaner along with a soft bristle brush to help lift the colored stain, then of course blot dry.


vacum car

When done, be sure to use a wet vac to remove any excess cleaning fluid and to help dry the area.

Removing coffee stains is like a mini chemistry class, So it can be a little bit confusing, but just remember two things: get the spill quickly and adjust your approach if milk and cream is present.


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