We Tested Three Methods for Removing Coffee Stains and This One Won Out

published Sep 27, 2017
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Are you a frequent coffee drinker? Then you’ve probably also experienced the struggle of getting a coffee stain out of your favorite shirt—nothing like a big brown spot in the middle of an otherwise perfectly crisp white shirt to make you dread doing the laundry (not to mention, paranoid about coffee cup lids and too-full mugs).

But while getting out coffee stains can be a struggle, there are products and cleaning solutions out there that can help. Some are straightforward, others are a little strange, but regardless, there are quite a few methods people swear by, so we decided to test out some popular methods and products to see how they stacked up.

We tested out three different methods for removing coffee stains—one, a commercial stain removing product with positive reviews, and the other two, internet-popular home remedies that use ingredients you likely already have in your pantry right now. Here’s what we tried:

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Method 1: WineAway Spray

The popular commercial product we tested to get out coffee stains was actually WineAway (available on Amazon) which may be branded for getting out wine stains, but is also supposed to work for getting out everything from blood, ink, fruit punch, pet accident stains, and yes, coffee. Tons of people swear by this stuff, so I wasn’t too skeptical, but still, was interested to see if it lived up to the hype. To test it, we sprayed the stain until it was saturated, let it sit and then laundered as usual.

Method 2: Egg Yolk & Rubbing Alcohol

I will admit, I thought this one seemed weird and pointless (wouldn’t egg yolk just make the stain worse?!), but it’s all over the internet, so it seemed worth it to test it out. To use this method, you’ll need one egg yolk, some warm water, rubbing alcohol, a small scrub brush or toothbrush, and a clean cloth.

In a bowl, mix 2 spoonfuls of warm water and a splash of rubbing alcohol. Separate the yolk from one egg and mix the yolk into the water and alcohol mixture. Mix well. Then, apply the mixture to the stain with a small scrub brush or toothbrush in a circular motion until the stain lifts. Blot with a clean cloth, then repeat if necessary. Launder as usual.

Method 3: Salt & Club Soda

Based on the fact that salt and club soda are stain removal staples, I figured it would be between this one and the WineAway. The instructions for this one were simple: sprinkle the stain with salt, pour club soda over it, and let it sit overnight. Then, launder as usual. I was a little skeptical of the fact that there was no real scrubbing or blotting involved, but I figured the club soda being poured over the salt was meant to cause some sort of reaction that would draw the stain out so it would just wash away in the machine.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The Winner:

In the end, there was only one clear, stain-free winner. While we haven’t tested it on the other types of stains, WineAway (despite the fact that you might assume it only works on wine—or even if you were skeptical it would work at all in the first place) does seem to work really well on coffee. From our test, it’s clear that the stain treated with WineAway saw the best results, while the other two home remedies didn’t seem to work as well (the egg yolk and rubbing alcohol combo came close, but still left a stain)—or at all, in the case of the salt and club soda method.

Do you have a favorite method that wasn’t tested here? Let us know!