Carpets and spilled coffee is not a good combination but the key is to act as quickly as possible to avoid any spills leaving a permanent stain. Here are a few steps you can take to limit the damage, however, if the stain is noticeably large and won’t budge, it’s always best to call out a professional carpet cleaner, especially if it’s an antique or valuable carpet.

Act fast

As soon as you can, try and blot up the spilled coffee using a cloth or paper towel. Soak up as much liquid as you can but don’t rub the affected area – rubbing just works the stain in deeper. There are a lot of cleaning solutions available but some of them can be quite harsh, so always try it on an inconspicuous sample area first before applying.

Home remedies

Try adding 1/3 cup of white vinegar - or a teaspoon of washing up liquid - to 2/3 cup of warm water and apply with a sponge to the stain. If the coffee had milk or cream, you can add a laundry detergent to the mixture. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to dab at the stain, repeating the process until the stain is removed. If that doesn’t work, you can try using a shop-bought carpet stain remover, remembering to do a test spot first. When you’re satisfied the stain has been removed you can lightly soak the affected area with clean water and then cover it with a clean cloth to soak up any excess liquid. Putting something heavy on top of the cloth will help to absorb excess water further.

Older or stubborn stains

The longer the stain is left unattended the harder it is to remove. If it’s an old carpet or rug that you’re considering replacing anyway, then it’s no great loss. If the stain has been there for some time, on an expensive, laid carpet or precious rug, then it’s always best to call out professional carpet cleaners to let them assess the damage and advise you on what can be done.