How to remove coffee from carpet

May 9th, 2024 | Carpet

Removing coffee stains from carpet presents a formidable challenge for carpet cleaners due to the presence of dairy oils and plant based tannins abundant in coffee. Upon contact with carpet fibers, these tannins swiftly form bonds, not only on the surface but also penetrating deep within the fibers. The longer the stain remains untreated, the more stubborn it becomes.

How to overcome pre-treated coffee stains.

Professional carpet cleaners understand the importance of using the right chemistry to achieve optimal results. However, homeowners often attempt DIY stain removal solutions, which can actually make the stain more challenging to remove. Common issues include detergent residue, destabilization of carpet dye and distortion of carpet fibers. These issues can result in the carpet appearing bleached or severely damaged, leading clients to mistakenly attribute the damage to the professional cleaner, despite it being caused by their previous DIY attempts.

When arriving at a job where DIY solutions have been used previously, it’s crucial to inform the client of the potential outcomes. Clients may seize the opportunity to renew their carpets through insurance, even if the damage was caused by their own DIY attempts. While the stain treatment process remains the same, it’s essential to protect yourself against any unforeseen circumstances. A further recommendation is, if you suspect a stain of prior treatment, rinse the area with clean water to remove detergent residues before attempting a stain removal treatment.


All the equipment needed to clean a tea stain off carpet
  • White terry towel – Minor spills can be blot treated with the aid of a terry towel, using the absorbency to transfer the stain off the carpet. By using a white towel, no other pigment will bleed onto the carpet.
  • Wet Extraction Machine – Larger spills should be treated using a wet extraction machine. This will minimise the risk of wick back and ensure an effective solution.
  • Coffee Stain Removal Chemical – For removing coffee from carpet the highly active formula in the Actichem CTR makes it incredibly effective. This specialist chemistry quickly and effectively penetrates each discoloured fibre and neutralizes the coffee stain.
  • Spotting Brush – When agitating a carpet, don’t use the brushing motion as it will damage the carpet fibers. The best method is to tamp or firmly roll the brush over the stain as demonstrated in the video.
  • PPE – All the necessary PPE needs to be use when working with chemicals.

The Process

Before with coffee stain
Spraying CTR onto coffee stain
Agitate with a spotting brush


2. Agitate

Dwell for 10 minutes
Extract with wet extraction machine

3. Dwell for 10 mins

4. Extract


  1. Application – Spray apply the Actichem CTR to the coffee stain, making sure the fibers are completely wetted out. If the coffee has penetrated deep into the carpet ensure that sufficient solution is applied to reach it.
  2. Agitation – Agitate the coffee stain by tamping up and down with a spotting brush to maximize penetration.
  3. Dwell – Allow 10 minutes dwell time.
  4. Extraction – Rinse and extract the carpet with a wet extraction machine.
  5. Shadow Removal – If there is a shadow left, apply Conquer O2 and absorb or vacuum extract excess moisture, leaving the treated area slightly damp with Conquer O2. The oxidising and encapsulating action of Conquer O2 will continue to work over the next few hours as it dries completely, removing the remaining stain.
  6. Residual Removal – The dry Conquer O2 residues will be brittle enough to be removed the next time the carpet is vacuumed.


  1. Application to delicate fibres and fabrics
    Do not spray the spotting directly solution onto the surface, but dampen a clean white absorbent towel and blot onto the surface.
  2. Using Oxyboost Plus.
    A hot Oxyboost Plus solution can be used in place of Actichem CTR. Mix 15g Oxyboost Plus into 1Lt hot tap water. Add 10-30ml prespray and stir well. Use immediately.
  3. Replacement for Actichem CTR
    If the Actichem CTR is unavailable or not responding then try the Conquer O2. Being an oxidising agent enhanced with destaining polymers, the Conquer O2 provides a great alternative to remove tough stains.

Where To Buy

Actichem CTR is a coffee and tannin stain remover for carpet & fabric cleaning.

Actichem CTR is a high activity formula for neutralising and removing coffee and tannin stains. This professionally researched formula includes a special blend of low pH compounds proven to remove tough tannin staining, coffee marks, cellulosic browning discolourations, water marks, and many dye and beverage stains.

Additional Resources

Carpet Handbook

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