How to remove coffee stains from wood: The seven best methods using household items

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Coffee stains can become a permanent feature on wooden surfaces, harbouring ring marks and spills for years to come. While acting fast on spilt liquid is one way to reduce the long-term damage, the strong colour of coffee can be tough to remove with standard cleaning solutions. Luckily there are plenty of everyday items which will get the job done in an instant, and these are the seven best ways to use them.

How to remove coffee stains from wood

Clothes aren’t the only victims of stubborn coffee stains, in fact, the rigid fibres of hardwood can make it a particularly absorbent surface for liquid spills.

The good news is that you can remove the deep-brown marks with a simple cocktail of some standard pantry items.

White vinegar soak

White vinegar has staked its claim in household cleaning, and stain removal is just one of its many uses.

To banish deep-rooted coffee stains from wood, pour one teaspoon of undiluted white vinegar directly onto the stain.

Leave it to sit for two minutes before clearing the area with a clean paper towel.

Baking soda polish

This cleaning cocktail requires just three key ingredients and will leave coffee-stained wood gleaming in no time.

Mix equal parts of baking soda and non-gel toothpaste together to form a thick paste.

Using a white cloth, apply the solution in a circular motion while working it into the stain. Leave the mixture to sit for 15 minutes and wipe clean with a fresh rag.

Buff the area with furniture polish to remove the remnants of the paste and add extra shine to your wooden surface.

“Real” mayonnaise

While mayonnaise is best known for its unique flavour, the combination of lemon juice, oil, eggs, and vinegar makes for the perfect natural cleaning solution.

The fat and acids work together to draw out water and liquid stains, while giving the wood a gentle polish using the oil.

Place a small amount of this popular condiment onto the affected area and buff gently with a clean cloth.

For more stubborn stains, leave the mayonnaise to sit overnight and wipe it away in the morning.

Salted oil

The combination of table salt and olive oil works to dry out liquid stains, while polishing the wooden surface all at once.

Mix one tablespoon of salt into a small bowl and add a few drops of olive oil to create the coarse paste.

Use a clean cloth to rub the solution into the stain and leave for 30 minutes before wiping it off.

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Shaving foam

Shaving cream contains active ingredients, such as surfactants and cleansing agents, that are like the ones found in other household soaps.

To clean coffee stains with shaving cream, just rub the affected area with the foam and wipe it away with clean water.

Repeat this as often as necessary until the stain is drawn out, but be sure to use a white foamy product rather than a blue gel.

Denture tablets

These artificial tooth cleaners have long been used for household cleaning too, but how do they work to remove coffee stains?

Dissolve a few tablets into some hot water and apply the liquid with a clean cloth.

You may need to wipe the stain a few times, so keep working the solution into the wood until you see a visible difference.


Dark and set stains can be particularly hard to clean, leaving visible marks no matter how much you scrub them off.

Once the worst of the stain has been removed, make use of WD-40 to refresh the tone of your wooden furniture.

Spray the WD-40 multi-use product directly on to the stain and wipe away with a clean cloth.

The natural shine of your hardwood surface will be restored while rejuvenating its rustic appearance.

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