How to Clean Tea or Coffee Stains from Books

Avoid a book’s demise, with this tea stain advice: club soda and a wipe will save the day.

Once, I spilled a cup of coffee on an important document. Panic set in, but then I realized it wasn’t the end. Accidents like these happen to the best of us, even to careful tea and coffee lovers like you and me. If you’ve had this unfortunate incident, too, don’t worry. Follow these steps to make your documents readable again by removing those pesky tea or coffee stains. They might never look brand new again, but with some care, we can get them looking pretty darn close.

Related: How to Clean Pepsi Stains from a Book

How to Clean Tea or Coffee Stains from Books

Method 1: Immediate Cleaning for Fresh Stains

What You’ll Need:

  • A clean, soft towel
  • Cold water or club soda
  • A flat, clean surface
  • An iron

How to Clean Tea/Coffee Stains from Book or Paper

  1. Lift and Drain: Immediately lift the book or document so that the liquid drains downward. Avoid pressing or rubbing as that can cause further damage.
  2. Rinse Gently: If the paper is sturdy enough, gently flow cold water or club soda over the affected area to help drain the remaining tea or coffee, being careful not to rub or scrub.
  3. Absorb Moisture: Place a clean, soft towel over the wet area and gently press to absorb the moisture. Let it sit for a few minutes if necessary.
  4. Dry: Allow the document or book to air dry. If you need to speed up the drying process, you can use a medium-heated iron, placing a cloth between the iron and the paper to prevent direct contact.

Method 2: Remove Old Stains from Pages

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • A soft toothbrush or cloth
  • White paper towels
  • Wax paper
  • Clothing iron

How to Restore Stained Pages to a Better Condition

  1. Prepare the Solution: Mix 3/4 cup of white vinegar with 1/4 cup of water in a bowl large enough to submerge the stained area.
  2. Soak the Stained Area: Carefully dip the stained pages in the vinegar solution, saturating the pages without letting the liquid wick further into the page than necessary.
  3. Blot the Pages: Remove the book from the vinegar solution and lay it on a clean towel. Gently blot the stained pages with white paper towels by placing them on top of and underneath the page. Press together, using fresh paper towels as needed, until there’s no further transfer of moisture.
  4. Lightly Scrub if Needed: For stubborn stains, use a soft toothbrush or cloth to lightly scrub the affected areas. Be gentle to avoid tearing or further damaging the paper.
  5. Iron the Pages: Lay wax paper between the pages that were cleaned and iron each page with a clothing iron set on the low or medium setting. This will smooth out the pages and dry them.

Whether it’s a fresh spill or an old stain, tea and coffee marks don’t have to ruin your books or important documents. By taking prompt action and following these carefully outlined steps, you can restore readability and appearance. Remember, patience and a gentle touch are key. Happy reading and sipping—just maybe not at the same time!

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