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Baking Soda Is The Key Ingredient To Help Eliminate Coffee Stains

coffee spilling on the floor
coffee spilling on the floor - Banksphotos/Getty Images

When you've brewed the perfect cup of coffee at home, the last thing you want is to spill it on the carpet, the couch, or worse, your own shirt right before heading out the door. But when this disaster strikes, know that all is not lost. There are a few common household pantry staples that can come to your rescue in a pinch. One that works extremely well can be formed into a quick paste and save the day: baking soda.

Simply take a bit of baking soda and combine it with water to form a paste. Scrub a bit of the paste into the stain and keep at it until you see the stain begin to lift. Rinse or pat with cold water, and you're good to go. If you don't have time to make a paste, sprinkling the baking soda directly onto the stain can work as well. You can bust out a specialty scrubbing brush, or use a toothbrush to scrub out the stain. In fact, toothpaste is also a clever option for stain removal! Just as it cleans your teeth, it can clean up those stains as well. And if you happen to have a toothpaste on hand that includes baking soda as an ingredient, even better.

Read more: The Best Way To Clean That Nasty Grease Off Of Your Kitchen Cabinets

The Science Of Baking Soda Stain Removal

baking soda with cleaning supplies
baking soda with cleaning supplies - FotoHelin/Shutterstock

How does baking soda pull it off -- literally -- acting as one of the best natural ways to remove stains? The secret is in the science. Baking soda is the layman's term to describe sodium bicarbonate. Yes, baking soda is just a type of salt! Sodium bicarbonate is an alkaline ingredient, meaning its pH is a bit higher than neutral, or slightly basic (meaning the opposite of acidic.) As a basic substance, it naturally reacts to acidic ingredients, such as coffee, and successfully removes the stain!

So why not just use another basic substance like soap? Baking soda is even more effective than soap because of its coarse texture. The coarse baking soda acts abrasively on the stain when you scrub it out, unlike soap. But just remember an important key to lifting a coffee stain efficiently and thoroughly is to act quickly. Wait too long and the stain will start to set into the fabric, whether it's your freshly pressed shirt or newly upholstered piece of furniture.

More Clever Uses For Baking Soda

baking soda with wooden spoon
baking soda with wooden spoon - Skhoward/Getty Images

Now that baking soda has saved you the headache that is a coffee stain, feel free to put your baking soda to even more work. This same baking soda hack can remove stains from just about anything -- even ridding your Tupperware of pesky stains. But baking soda has superpowers beyond stain removal as well.

There are a few clever, unexpected ways to cook with baking soda beyond making your favorite baked goods. For example, just as the baking soda balanced out the acidic coffee and removed the stain, it can do the same for lessening acidity when making a sauce. If you find your tomatoes too acidic and overwhelming, gradually add in just a bit of baking soda and let the chemical reaction balance out that flavor to your liking. From cooking in the kitchen to cleaning the home, you'd be smart to have some baking soda on hand, especially when the inevitable coffee stain comes along.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.