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How to remove coffee stains from wood

Updated February 21, 2017

Coffee spilt on wood can be wiped up immediately with almost no telltale staining. Allowed to set, the coffee may leave a tough stain on wood floors or a treasured piece of furniture. Most coffee stains can be removed using household supplies without sanding or using harsh chemicals on wood. Distilled white vinegar, for example, is a weak acid that dissolves coffee stains without harming the wood.

Wet a wad of paper towels in water and pour 1.5 ml (1/2 tsp) of liquid soap or a mild detergent onto the towels.

Wipe away as much of the coffee stain as possible and blot the area with a fresh application of paper towels.

Pour 3 ml (1 tsp) of white vinegar onto the stain and let it set for a minute. Wipe away the vinegar and dissolved coffee with clean paper towels. Let the wood air dry completely.

Polish or wax the wood to restore the natural shine. Pour 3 ml (1 tsp) of wood polish or remove the equivalent amount of a wax paste from the package onto a clean buffer cloth and rub into the wood in a circular motion. Allow the polish or wax to dry, typically half an hour, then buff with another clean cloth to shine. Repeat until the wood achieves the appearance you desire.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Mild liquid detergent
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Wood polish or wax
  • Clean buffing cloth
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.