How to clean upholstery after a coffee spill

Dogs are such an inspiration!

I’m not sure why, but our big yellow lab always needs to be anchored a piece of furniture while she rests. She startles easily so we’ve learned through experience that we need to be careful what we place on the end tables or risk it jumping too.

As was bound to happen, this time I forgot to be careful.

I can’t be entirely sure if it was a startled furniture-anchored canine or the post-nap living room meeting of the two 85 lbs dogs that always results in a playful throwdown, but sure enough I went to get our son from a nap and came back to half my huge mug of coffee spilled onto the armrest of our SÖDERHAMN sofa and the floor.

woe is me, spilled coffee on the couch (and floor)

Luckily, it’s a crazy yellow couch, so you can see all the progress and the final results extremely well. Thank you, kooky IKEA decor!

Let’s get right to it then.


How to clean fresh coffee off your upholstery/furniture:

  1. RESIST scrubbing the furniture. This embeds the stain into the fibers.
  2. Have a clean sponge handy — don’t use one that’s already been washing dishes. I always buy a multi-pack of sponges while at the dollar store so I was in luck.
  3. Spread the mildest laundry detergent you have and teensy bit of cool water on sponge, then blot the coffee stain all over
  4. Lightly spritz upholstery with vinegar and water from a spray bottle
  5. Blot entire soiled area with dry paper towels until what’s blotting off is clear instead of coffee-coloured, and until paper towel is reasonably dry. If it’s still coming out yellowish, lightly spritz again with vinegar/water solution. (You could also use a white tea towel, which is more economical, but it may stain the towel doing so.)
  6. Allow to air dry
Mild detergent and a drop of water

Blotting with a sponge that has a drop of mild detergent and a bit of water will help to break up the coffee spill before the next step.

natural cleaning solution vinegar and water upholstery stains

Lightly spritz entire area, trying not to saturate any more than coffee already has.

blot coffee away with vinegar and water solution

Blotting, never rubbing!


Air dry and … all done! No stains!

That’s it! If a stain remains (thankfully mine didn’t), treat again with vinegar and water and blot as described above.

yellow SÖDERHAMN sofa, one armrest

Why we only have one armrest is a story for another day… but I can assure you we’ve never had more than one! Thanks IKEA! Haha! … Seriously great couch though.

If you haven’t been here before, check out my other solutions for common (and often dog-related) household issues:


Here’s to short-lived coffee messes! Please leave a comment to let me know if this solution worked for you.

About Nikki

I've been writing since I was in kindergarten where I Crayola-markered an epic tale of a tiger and a balloon on a stack of lined papers folded into a booklet and stapled along the edge (carefully, and by my teacher). I love DIY, sewing, folksy music, animals and getting out to look at and listen to nature.
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  1. Pingback: Spills, Soil and Stains: Tops Ways to Remove Grease and Grime From Your Vehicle | Internet Billboards

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