Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Tuesday's Ask the Experts: Coffee stains in carpet

February 9, 2010
Tuesday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: How do you remove old coffee stains from carpet?
The answer
Coffee can be difficult to remove due to the natural tannin dye. There are three methods commonly used.
A home remedy is to apply vinegar and blot with a white towel. Diluting a carpet acidic rinse liquid 1:5 works on most easy spots. Commercial coffee stain removers are normally effective on difficult or pre-cleaned spills. However, the active ingredient, sodium metabisulfite, can bite your nose and is considered hazardous to breathe.
One way to permanently set a coffee stain is to use a high-pH cleaner, so if the spot has been repeatedly cleaned, you may be out of luck.
Often, ... — Gary Clipperton, National Pro Clean Corporation
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