Coffee can taste pretty strong and look even stronger. Its dark, deliciousness leaves stains that last way longer than your enjoyment of that beverage.
An innocent on-the-go caffeine boost quickly turns into an escapade of cleaning and stressing. Fortunately, hope is not lost!
There are plenty of methods to tackle the brown splotches on your car seats. Most methods use a few items you likely already have in your house and only take a few minutes.
As with most stains, tackling the issue as soon as it happens will yield the best results. So if you’ve recently had a caffeine mishap, get to it.
- How to Treat Fresh Coffee Spills
- The Best Method for Removing Fresh Coffee Stains
- How to Remove Stubborn or Old Coffee Stains from Car Seats.
- Method 1: Vinegar and Water.
- Method 2: Baby Wipes.
- Method 3: Glass Cleaner.
- Removing Coffee Stains from Leather or Vinyl Car Seats.
- To Summarize.
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How to Treat Fresh Coffee Spills
Treating stains before they dry will stop those brown pigments from getting too comfortable inside your seat upholstery. For all methods, regardless of the material, immediately follow these three steps:
- Blot the residual liquid using a cloth or whatever absorbing item you have to hand. If you really like your car seats, you might even have to sacrifice a t-shirt for the cause if you have nothing else to hand.
- If you have any water, dampen your cloth or rag and continue blotting. Doing this will dilute the stain.
- Keep at it! Skip this step if you’re dealing with leather. If it doesn’t, follow along.
The Best Method for Removing Fresh Coffee Stains
Okay, now that you’ve dealt with the worst of the spillage, you might be left with some discoloration that can’t simply be blotted away. That’s ok!
For this method, you might need to head home to grab some supplies because you will need the following:
- Warm water.
- Dish soap.
- 2 x clean towels or cloths.
- A vacuum cleaner (optional).
Steps for removing fresh coffee stains with soap and water:
- Depending on your coffee type, you may need to vacuum up the remaining coffee grounds. These little pungent particles will continue releasing dark pigment until removed.
- If you don’t have a vacuum, brush the coffee grounds together and remove them.
- Add a few drops of dish soap to a bowl of warm water, stirring to combine.
- Saturate a cloth with soapy water, and begin rubbing at the stain.
- Rub the stain in circular motions, trying not to spread the color further.
- Once the stain has disappeared, dry the area with a towel.
How to Remove Stubborn or Old Coffee Stains from Car Seats.
Method 1: Vinegar and Water.
White vinegar is one of those items we have lurking in the back of a cupboard somewhere, taking up space and not being used. Hurray! We have found you a use!
Make the mixture.
Grab a bucket, and add roughly a gallon of water—mix in a cup of white vinegar and a decent squirt of dish soap.
Work the stain.
Using a cloth, coat the stained area with the mixture, and begin brushing it with a stiff-britstled brush or toothbrush. Let sit for 30 – 60 minutes.
Using a clean cloth and some clean water, rinse the stain. Then, blot dry with a clean, dry towel.
Method 2: Baby Wipes.
Baby wipes are easy to have on hand in your glove compartment. They’re great for cleaning up any spills and stains and can tackle stubborn marks such as coffee discoloration.
It may not be as effective as a proper deep clean with soap and water, but it’s undoubtedly a good backup if you have no other option.
Method 3: Glass Cleaner.
I know it sounds odd, but glass cleaner can be an excellent alternative method to try when others have not worked. The glass cleaner breaks down the stain differently, helping even stubborn stains budge.
- Try this method on a small, hidden area of your car seat first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric or leave odd marks.
- Saturate the stain with glass cleaner, spraying a liberal amount on.
- Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes to allow the cleaner to get to work. Then, maybe go and grab another coffee?
- Blot the area with a clean towel, lifting the pigment of the coffee stain and the moisture from the cleaner.
Removing Coffee Stains from Leather or Vinyl Car Seats.
These methods were primarily geared toward tackling fabric car seats, but what about leather and vinyl?
Usually, stains are less inclined to occur on leather and vinyl as the material is less porous. However, the discoloration can occur if the stain isn’t tackled in time.
Soap and Water Method.
The soap and water method can be used on leather seats. You need to make sure you’re using mild dish soap and cold water.
Make sure not to use a brush on the leather as it will wear down. Also, make sure not to over-saturate the leather.
Alternatively, the safest method for real leather car seats is to use a leather cleaner. They are specially formulated not to damage or dry out the leather and will ensure you’re not accidentally shortening the lifespan of your leather fabric.
The Linseed Oil and Vinegar Method.
If you are concerned about ruining your leather car seats but don’t have the necessary cleaning products, try this method.
The linseed oil and vinegar combo act as a cleaner and a conditioner, so you’re less likely to dry out your car seats in the cleaning process. You can also substitute olive oil if you don’t have linseed oil to hand.
Follow these steps to tackle stubborn coffee stains on leather or vinyl car seats using linseed oil:
- Mix 2 parts of your chosen oil (linseed or olive oil) and 1 part white vinegar. Create enough liquid to cover the entire stain, depending on its size.
- Saturate a cloth with the mixture and begin gently rubbing the stained surface.
- Leave the mixture to soak into the leather for roughly 10 minutes.
- Using a clean, dry cloth, rub the stain and remove the excess liquid. Et voila! The stain should be gone, and the leather should look good as new once it has fully dried.
The Baking Soda Method.
To tackle stubborn coffee stains on vinyl car seats, head to your pantry and grab some baking soda. This miracle powder can deal with stains commercial cleaners can’t even tackle.
Follow these steps to remove coffee stains from vinyl car seats:
- First, apply a sprinkle of baking soda directly onto the stain.
- Using a toothbrush, gently rub the stain in circular motions, working the baking soda into the stain.
- Blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth to remove the baking soda. The stain should be gone, but if not, repeat these steps.
To finish up, condition your leather or vinyl car seats with conditioner. Cleaning them can cause drying and eventual cracking, so to prevent this, apply specially made conditioning products after cleaning.
Doing this will help extend the lifespan of your car seats and prevent flaking fabric in the future.
In conclusion, you should buy a better ‘to-go’ coffee cup so that you don’t have to embark on a clean-up operation the next time you need a drink on the run.
However, if you have a mishap using a few simple products, your coffee stain should be gone. The dark coffee splotch should be history with a bit of dish soap, vinegar, or baking soda.
We hope these methods helped and your car no longer looks like a Starbucks drive-through nightmare.
Last update on 2023-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API