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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Stain of the Season – Coffee

By Dr. Laundry December 22, 2006

A cup of Joe, cappuccino or soy latte, coffee gets your day started. For lots of folks, it’s not the last one you may have during the day. Whether driving in your car, reading the newspaper at home, or sitting at your desk (as I am now), drinking coffee is a social ritual for many. However, this routinely relaxing activity can spoil your day with a bump in the road and a spill on your nice white shirt.
Here are some coffee stain removal tips so you can keep your calm.

  • If you happen to spill coffee on your clothing at the office, rinse it right away with cold water. Resist the urge to use that bar of soap in the restroom on the stain. Using bar soap may cause the stain to set, thus making it much more difficult to remove. Wait until you are home again to treat the stain properly.
  • Once safely in the laundry room, if the dried out stained item is a white, bleachable fabric, try a quick pre-soak in ¼ cup of Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of cold water for 5 minutes. Wash the article immediately in the hottest water setting recommended on the label using a regular detergent and an additional ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach or our new Clorox® UltimateCare™ Premium Bleach.
  • If you happened to be wearing a colored or patterned item of clothing when the spill occurred, apply Clorox 2® Bleach for Colors and rub into the stain. Wash the item in the hottest water recommended using regular detergent and more Clorox 2 for Colors to ensure the stain is fully removed.
  • Be sure to inspect the item while it is still wet after washing, and if some coffee still remains, repeat these steps before drying.

Go ahead and pour yourself another cup, or head down to your local coffee shop. With these stain removal tips, you can sip without fear of permanent coffee stains ruining your favorite outfit or your morning routine.