The Baby Powder Hack People Use To Clean Coffee Stains (& Does It Really Work?)

Baby powder is a cornstarch or talc-containing agent traditionally used to help prevent diaper rash, and it is sometimes used by adults to keep their own skin dry. As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes, talc is also used in a number of other topical and cosmetic products, due to its ability to absorb moisture. Because of its capabilities, baby powder is often employed in other unique hacks. There are even ways you can use baby powder around the house, including gardening, pest control, and removing oil stains from clothing.

Many blogs and home-remedy fans are touting baby powder as a way to remove coffee stains from fabrics, too. The idea here is that baby powder may be able to absorb spilled coffee so that you can then lift the liquid with a clean cloth or towel before it turns into a stain that may be impossible to remove in your washing machine. While scientific studies are lacking to confirm that baby powder definitively removes coffee stains from fabrics, this is a low-risk solution you may consider trying for times when you've spilled coffee on your clothes and you don't have a portable stain-removal product on hand. It may also help with coffee stains on other fabrics, such as furniture and rugs.

How to use baby powder to potentially remove coffee stains

This method is intended for fresh coffee stains on clothing and other fabrics, not dried old blemishes. To use baby powder on coffee spills, consider applying the product directly on top of the moisture. You can use as much powder as you want to help completely cover the area, leave on for up to a few minutes, and then brush the powder away with a clean, dry cloth. 

At this point, in theory, the baby powder will have absorbed the coffee and lifted some of the initial stain. If you're dealing with a coffee spill on clothes, you will need to put them in the washer as soon as you can. For coffee spilled on cloth furniture, rugs, and carpeting, you may need to follow up the baby powder trick with a thorough cleaning of liquid soap, water, and white vinegar. Baking soda is also said to work similarly on coffee spills, so you may try one or the other as a way to lift the initial coffee accident before you can address the stain with a thorough cleaning.