How to Remove a Coffee Stain from a Wool Rug

How to Remove a Coffee Stain from a Wool Rug

Don’t panic! It’s surprisingly easy to remove a coffee stain from a wool rug, even if it’s old. You just need to follow these instructions.


If you’re reading this, one of two things has happened: 

  1. You’ve just spilled coffee all over your wool rug.
  2. Someone spilled coffee on your wool rug at some point (we’re not pointing fingers), and unfortunately, it sunk into the rug and formed a stain.

Whichever scenario applies to you, don’t panic! Believe it or not, if you had to choose a type of rug to spill coffee on, wool actually wouldn’t be a bad choice. 

But we’ll get to that in a minute if you’re interested - right now, you probably want to know what to do about the coffee someone just spilled all over your wool rug. Let’s start there.

What to do as soon as you spill coffee on a wool rug 

To avoid a stain, you’ll want to follow these steps right away.

  1. Grab some towels: Get some clean, white paper or cloth towels from nearby.
  2. Dab - DON’T rub - the coffee off of the rug: Rubbing the coffee with your towel will only press the liquid further into the fibers. Instead, use your towel to lightly dab the coffee and let the towel absorb the liquid into itself. Start from the outside of the spill and work your way in to prevent the liquid from spreading. If one of your towels becomes saturated with coffee, take it to a nearby sink and replace it with a fresh one. Keep dabbing until you can’t get any more moisture to transfer.
  3. Apply spot cleaner: After you’ve lifted all the liquid off of the rug with your towels, apply a spot cleaner to the place where the spill was. We recommend the Sisal Life Cleaner. Stop as soon as you’ve covered the affected area. If you don’t have spot cleaner on hand, try dampening a fresh cloth with a mild soap and re-dabbing the area with it.
  4. Dry the area: Some spot cleaners may ask you to let the cleaner sit for a few minutes. If that’s not something your cleaner specifies, then try drying the wet area right away with a fan or hair dryer. By the time the area dries, no trace of the spill should remain.

What NOT to do when you spill coffee on a wool rug

No matter how severe the spill looks, you should NEVER wash a wool rug in a washing machine, shampoo or steam clean it, or even hand wash it in a tub. Wool is very porous, which means it hangs onto any moisture that seeps into it for a long time. 

If your spill is severe, you could also try Host Dry Carpet Cleaner. Shake the dry cleaning product over the rug until you’ve covered the spill entirely, then brush it into the fibers in all directions. After you’ve brushed the cleaner into the carpet, pack the area with another handful of cleaner. Wait until the area dries, then vacuum off the cleaner.

How to remove a coffee stain from a wool rug

Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, you can’t always catch every spill the moment it happens. Fortunately, however, wool is relatively waterproof and stain-resistant, thanks to a natural substance called lanolin.  

The trick to getting old coffee stains out of wool rugs is to rely on these qualities in a somewhat counterintuitive way: you have to get the rug (a little) wet to coax the old stain out. Make it happen by following these steps:

  1. Grab what you’ll need: Gather four clean, white paper or cloth towels, some cold water, and either a stain-cleaning product like Sisal Life Cleaner or a mixture of one tablespoon of white vinegar, one tablespoon of dish soap, and two cups of warm water stirred together in a small bowl.
  2. Slowly wet the stain: Slowly pour your cold water into the stained area. Be careful not to oversaturate the area or wet any part of the rug that isn’t stained. Stop as soon as the stain begins to change color in response to becoming wet.
  3. Apply your spot cleaner: Once the stain is wet, add a small amount of your spot cleaner. If you have Sisal Life Cleaner, simply squirt the area you wish to treat a few times with the spray bottle.

    If you don’t have an official spot cleaner, dip a fresh dry cloth into your vinegar and soap solution instead of applying it directly to the rug.

  4. Dab to absorb moisture: Begin gently dabbing - never pressing or rubbing - the stained area with your cloth. Start from the outside of the stain and work your way toward the center. You want the towel to start absorbing the moisture you’ve just added to the rug. When one towel becomes saturated, switch to a clean one. Continue this process until you’ve absorbed all the moisture around the stained area.
  5. Continue as necessary: Continue the process in step 4 until you’ve fully lifted the stain out of the rug. Reapply water and spot cleaner as necessary, being careful not to oversaturate the rug each time.
  6. Rinse with cold water: Next, dip a fresh cloth in some cold water until it begins to absorb the water. Then, gently blot the stain with the cloth to rinse the stain remover out of the rug.
  7. Dry: When you’re confident you’ve removed the stain remover from the rug, dry the affected area by dabbing it one more time with a dry, fresh cloth.

This process should remove most stains from your wool rug. To prevent stains in the future, try treating your wool rug with Sisal Rug Stain Guard. For more information about how to wash and care for your wool rug, check out our complete wool rug cleaning guide.

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