Invest in a sturdy, travel coffee cup, and avoid using foam cups that spill easily.

How to Clean Coffee Stains From a New T-Shirt

by Mimi Bullock

Spilling coffee on a nice, new t-shirt can result in dangerous burns and hard-to-remove stains. Unless you're dealing with a set-in stain, cleaning a white t-shirt is fairly simple; however, laundering a colored t-shirt may present a challenge. If you toss the stained shirt in the general laundry pile, your new garment may bleed dye on other clothing during washing. For the safest cleaning treatment, wash the t-shirt separately and as soon as possible after staining.

Blot the stain with a white towel to remove excess coffee. Wipe the stain with a warm, wet cloth or dab club soda on the spot.

Soak the t-shirt stain with a stain treatment spray, as soon as you can. Allow the product to set for one minute before laundering.

Wash the shirt solo to avoid dye transfer. Select the cold water setting on your washing machine, or wash your new t-shirt by hand in a clean sink of water. If washing by hand, allow the shirt to soak in the water for 30-minutes first.

Add laundry detergent to the sink or washing machine. If hand washing, swirl the water and detergent together then add the t-shirt. Soak the shirt, and scrub the stain lightly with a laundry brush.

Rinse the hand washed shirt in cool water, and then hang it to dry. If using the washing machine method, place the shirt in the dryer after washing, but look at the stain before placing the shirt in the dryer. You can cause the spot to set-in, if you dry the stained shirt. Cotton t-shirts may shrink when exposed to heat.

Items you will need

  • Paper towel
  • Towel
  • Club soda
  • Stain treatment spray
  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry brush


  • Add fabric softener to the washing machine to keep your new shirt feeling softer for longer.

About the Author

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images