With over 1,500 chain coffee shops in London, not to mention the numerous independents, it’s no secret that we Brits love our caffeine. It’s inevitable that in every workplace, at some point, tea or coffee will be spilt. Not only will precious, well-needed caffeine go to waste but a second of clumsiness can often lead to a long cleaning process if not handled correctly.

Alongside the notorious red wine and chocolate stains, tea and coffee stains can be incredibly tough to remove. Fortunately, we have some tips and tricks on how to get these stains out of almost anything. 

Firstly, are tea and coffee stains permanent? The simple answer is no, as long as you act quickly and follow the right methods, you can easily cover up your accident and leave no trace of your catastrophe.

Linens

There is nothing more abhorrent than seeing bright white linens stained with tea or coffee and this is something cafes and restaurants have to witness on a regular basis.

To remove an old, dry stain use your fingers or a soft sponge to gently run some liquid laundry detergent into the stain with a tiny bit of water to help the soap bubbles along.

Allow this to sit for 5 minutes and rinse with cold water, if the stain is still there, repeat these steps until the stain has gone. 

If the stain is new and still wet, soak your linen in cold water and gently run the water over the stain until it is gone. Don’t soak all the fabric as this could cause the stain to run and become larger.

Carpets

The most common tea and coffee stains lurk on carpets and how to remove these stains from carpets can vary depending on how long the stain has been there.

Unfortunately, few coworkers will admit to a spill straight away as most of us have far more important things to get on with while at work. So let’s discuss how to remove drink stains from carpets.

If the stain is fresh, gently blot with a cloth or paper towel working from the outside of the stain into the centre.  Don’t ‘scrub’ as this could work the stain deeper into your carpet.

Taking care not to soak the carpet, pour small amounts of cold water onto the stain and continue to blot. Repeat until the stain has lifted.

If the stain is dry, you can create an amazing tea and coffee stain remover by mixing a tablespoon of white vinegar with a tablespoon of washing up liquid and two cups of water.

Sponge the mixture on a little at a time and blot, alternating between this mixture and a dry cloth or paper towel. This also works if you are looking for how to remove old tea and coffee stains from wool carpet.

If the cup of tea or coffee contained milk or cream, repeat the above process with a cupful of laundry detergent and one cup warm water. This will remove the bacteria from the dairy and prevent nasty smells.

Cups

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a sound investment buying clean white, matching cups and mugs for the office as tea and coffee quickly stains them, especially with how many cups are consumed during a working day.

Thankfully, bicarbonate of soda can work wonders. Just add a teaspoon or two to the bottom of your stained mug and a dash of water so it turns into a paste-like consistency. 

Scrub with a sponge and some elbow grease, rinse and your favourite mug should be as good as new.

Upholstery 

Visiting clients won’t be impressed in your waiting area if your sofa and armchairs are covered in stains. It can be an eyesore and make people reluctant to sit on them.

Fresh stains should be blotted, just like fresh carpet stains. After the spill is removed use a little water to flush the stain away and dry, ideally with a hairdryer but we understand few offices will have this so a clean towel will suffice. This will ensure there is no water staining.

To remove a dry stain mix ? cup of warm water with ? cup of white wine vinegar and use a sponge or cloth to work this in. Using circular motions, rub this in gently from the outside inwards. 

Flush with cold water, being careful not to soak the area, blot the area and dry thoroughly.

Wooden Floors or Furniture 

Desks are often victim to tea and coffee rings and wooden floors will inescapably suffer from drink spillages in the workplace.

Wet stains can simply be wiped away with a damp cloth or mop. Dried stains can be a little tricker so this is when you need to reach for your trusty white wine vinegar. 

Apply 1 teaspoon of the vinegar on the stain and allow it to sit for a few minutes, this should dissolve the stain. You should then be able to wipe this off with ease.

Keyboards

It’s happened to the best of us, spilling a hot drink on our desk and flooding our expensive equipment with liquid. Staining may be the least of your worries but it is important to know what to do when this happens.

If your keyboard is wireless, take the batteries out, if the keyboard is integrated with a laptop or plugged into the mains, unplug everything.

Turn the keyboard upside down to prevent any liquid from seeping further into the electronics. Once as much liquid as possible has fallen out, dry the keyboard with a cloth or towel. Don’t use tissues as lint could enter into the equipment and damage it further.

Leave your keyboard for 24 hours and don’t plug it back in or put the batteries back. Then, test your keys to see if any are sticking, if so, remove the keycaps and rinse them under warm water.

It can also be helpful to take a photo of your keyboard beforehand so you have a reference of where each key belongs.

Use cotton buds to carefully clean under the keycaps, you can use warm water but do not soak the cotton buds.

Leave everything to dry for at least 24 hours again and reassemble your keyboard. Hopefully, then everything should be in full working order if you acted quickly enough.

Now next time there is a fateful spill in the office, you should know how to tackle this quickly and effectively. Many people put off cleaning up a spill as they assume that  a professional job or replacing the item is the only answer.

Armed with the right tools and the right knowledge, you should never have an excuse for a tea or coffee stain again!