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According to a 2020 survey by the National Coffee Association, 62% of Americans drink at least a cup of coffee every day. That’s a lot of java! With that much consumption, there’s bound to be a lot of spillage in cars across the country. Coffee stains in your interior are unsightly and frustrating, but with a little knowledge and the right tools, most can be improved or even completely removed. The video above features AMMONYC‘s Larry Kosilla as he goes through the step-by-step process for properly removing coffee stains, addressing common mistakes and detailing exactly what you’ll need to take the project from start to finish. We’ve listed everything you might need for the project just below. Always remember, each car is different (and so is each coffee), which means the process may vary slightly from vehicle to vehicle and stain to stain.
When it comes to liquid stains, you’ll be doing a lot of blotting during clean-up. You’ll probably want a decent handful of terry cloths to help with this, and this listing from Amazon will get you 24 of them for just 20 bucks.
Obviously, any old spray bottle will do the trick for this job, but just in case you don’t have one around the house, this is a super affordable option with a “comfort grip” trigger.
White vinegar has all kinds of cleaning uses, for more than just coffee stains. You’ll want to always make sure you mix it with water though, or else it could potentially hurt more than it helps. You probably already have some of this sitting around the house, but in case you don’t, you can pick some up here.
A light brush agitation can do wonders when trying to get a coffee stain out of your car’s carpet. These brushes feature an ergonomic, comfortable grip and stiff, durable bristles. At two for under $10, they’re a solid deal if you don’t already have one of these laying around.
Any enzyme detergent can help lift coffee stains, but good old-fashioned Oxi Clean is as good an option as any. You’ll want to, of course, mix this with water and then put the solution into your spray bottle for use. After you spray, make sure you let it sit for 10-15 minutes to give it time to work before you start to blot the area dry.
Fine bristle brushes like these can be used to agitate and lift stains to make them more easily cleaned. These brushes are specifically made for car detailing and have many uses beyond cleaning coffee stains.
A wet vac can be a huge help when cleaning up any stain. Using a wet vac after cleaning can help to remove any excess cleaning fluid and dry the area. You may be tempted to try to use a smaller portable vacuum for this, but we’d recommend something a little more task-specific for this job. This Armor All vacuum is a traditional wet/dry utility vac with a 2.5 gallon polypropylene tank and a 10-foot cord that plugs into a standard electrical outlet. The vac includes a 6-foot x 1¼-inch hose, a reusable cloth filter, a foam wet filter, a 2-in-1 utility nozzle with brush, a crevice tool, a deluxe car nozzle, a blower nozzle with adapter, and a detail brush. If you’re looking for a vacuum that has what it takes to suck up some liquid, this is a great option.
Looking for more choices? Check out the Best Car Vacuums
in a cup or a spray bottle. Add the mixture to the stain and blot again with a clean towel. Allow the vinegar solution a few minutes to work before lightly rinsing with cold water. Blot again until dry. [00:01:30] If the coffee contained milk or cream, blot the area immediately to avoid spreading as we did earlier. However, now we must focus on the protein stain from the milk first, before we tackle the dye from the coffee itself. First, add a teaspoon of enzyme detergent, such as OxiClean, to a cup of water or spray bottle. Spray the area and allow it to work for 10 to 15 minutes. Blot the area afterwards and use a light brush agitation if needed. [00:02:00] Then, we focus on the coffee or tannin stain once again. By repeating the vinegar and water technique we just showed. If a slight discoloration persists, use a designated car interior fiber cleaner along with a soft bristle brush to help lift the colored stain, then of course blot dry. When done, be sure to use a wet vac to remove any
excess cleaning fluid and to help dry the area. Removing coffee stains is like a mini chemistry class, [00:02:30] so it can be a little bit confusing, but just remember two things: get the spill quickly and adjust your approach if milk and cream is present. For more how to car care videos, visit Autoblog.com/Details. I’m Larry Kosilla from AmmoNYC.com. We’ll see you next time. [00:02:47]