Coffee stain on textiles. Mechanisms of staining and stain removal

  • Erik Kissa


Coffee stains on textiles are mainly caused by the water-soluble and acidic colored substances in coffee. The acidic nature of coffee stain has been shown by ultraviolet and visible spectroscopy of coffee as a function of pH; ion-pair formation with a cationic surfactant and titration with Hyamine 1622 and a surfactant-specific electrode; and precipitation of the colored components in coffee with barium hydroxide as a barium salt. The permanence of coffee stains on textiles depends on the nature of the fibers. The affinity of coffee stain to fibers, indicated by resistance to detergency, increases in the order polyester<cotton<nylon. Coffee stain has little affinity to polyester fibers but adheres to cotton and even more firmly to nylon. The strong affinity to nylon and the pH dependence of staining suggest an ionic interaction of carboxyl and phenolic groups with amine end-groups in nylon. The ionic attraction is augmented by nonionic interactions that are enhanced by the oligomeric or polymeric nature of the staining substances. In accord with the dominantly acidic character of coffee stain, an alkaline medium is needed for the dislodgment of coffee stain from nylon fibers. Bleaching of coffee in solution with perborate, activated with sodiumn-nonanoyloxybenzenesulfonate, or Oxone® (DuPont, Wilmington, DE) obeys pseudo first-order kinetics. Oxone, a peroxysulfate triple salt, is a more powerful oxidant for coffee stain than sodium perborate, but its use is limited by the bleach fastness of dyes.

Key words

Bleaching of coffee stain coffee color coffee stain on textiles mechanisms of staining mechanisms of stain removal oxone sodium perborate stain resistance of nylon 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Kissa, E., J.M. Dohner, W.R. Gibson and D. Strickman,J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 68:532 (1991).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kissa, E.,Textile Chemist and Colorist, Vol. 27, in press (1995).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kissa, E., inThe Analytical Chemistry of Synthetic Dyes, edited by K. Venkataraman, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1977.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wurziger, J.,Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 4th edn., Vol. 13, Verlag Chemie, Weinheim, 1977, p. 429.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Viani, R., Ibid., 5th edn., Vol. A7, VCH Verlagsges, Weinheim, 1986, p. 315.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wasserman, G., H.D. Stahl, W. Rehman and P. Whitman,Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, 4th edn., edited by Mary Howe-Grant, Vol. 6, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1993, p. 793.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Clifford, M.N., and J.J. Wright,J. Sci. Food Agric. 27:73 (1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Trugo, L.C., and R. Macrae,Analyst 109:263 (1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ikan, R., T. Dorsey and I.R. Kaplan,Anal. Chim. Acta 232:11 (1990).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Van den Hoop, M.A.G.T., H.P. Van Leeuwen and R.F.M.J. Cleven,Ibid.:141 (1990).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Vickerstaff, T.,The Physical Chemistry of Dyeing, 2nd edn., Oliver & Boyd, London, 1954.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bird, C.L., and W.S. Boston (eds.),The Theory of Coloration of Textiles, The Dyers Company Publication Trust, West Yorkshire, England, 1975.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Kissa
    • 1
  1. 1.Wilmington

Personalised recommendations