Removing coffee and beverage stains from carpet can be a fairly difficult task. Even if you are successful at removing the stain, it can reappear through a process called “wicking”. With any carpet stains, wicking is a phenomenon can cause the stain to reappear after the stain has been “removed”. This is because the stain remains in the backing of the carpet and moisture allows the stain to travel upwards to the top of the carpet fiber. Wicking will be a subject in a future blog post.
Tannins are a natural acidic vegetable dyes that are found in plants. Coffee, wine, cola, tea, and other beverages can contain tannin. If, for example, a hot coffee were to spill on carpet, the heat from the beverage can open up carpet fibers, and allow tannins and other chemicals to penetrate deep through the fabric. This can make the stain very hard to remove if a day or two has passed.
How do you remove coffee or tannin stains? First, clean the spot with a detergent; use a carpet brush to work the detergent into the spot and let it dwell. Then extract the spot with water. Next, apply a mildly acidic carpet spotter such as X-Ray and perform the same procedures above. Mildly acidic products can dissolve tannins, making them easier to remove. X-Ray also contains peroxides, which helps to remove the discoloration.
For more instructions and information about cleaning specific types of spots and stains, refer to the Carpet Care Method Bulletin 1401, Multi-Clean’s Carpet Spotting Guide, or the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). Always consult your carpet manufacture for the appropriate cleaning techniques and your carpet warranty information.
For a listing of Multi-Clean carpet care products, please visit Multi-Clean’s Carpet Care Products Webpage.