If you’re a coffee drinker, it’s likely you’re also a coffee spiller. You get that perfect, steaming cup of joe, and before even having a chance to burn the tip of your tongue on it, you’ve somehow managed to get it on your clothes, a library book or worse — your laptop. Allow us to spill the beans on how to avoid having your java wind up all over you and your stuff.


1. White vinegar = anti-stain serum. Sure, coffee stains make you look busy, but nobody likes having them on clothes or papers. If you get a stain on your clothes, mix 1/4 cup water with 3/4 cup white vinegar and dab it on the affected area. If you’re dealing with silk or another delicate material, trying to get the stain out might actually make it worse — best to take it to the dry cleaner. The same water/vinegar solution works pretty well for getting spots out of documents or book pages. Just dip the papers in the solution long enough to saturate the stain (1-2 seconds), then dab them dry with a cotton ball or paper towel.

2. Watch your walk. Two physicists at the University of California at Santa Barbara were determined to find out why walking with coffee in hand is a recipe for disaster. It turns out the human stride has the *perfect* frequency for fueling some seriously powerful coffee waves in a typical mug. These physicists have some advice for coffee drinkers: Instead of looking at your feet when you walk, look at your cup and move slowly. The faster and less focused your movements, the bigger those waves get. So keep your eyes on the prize.


3. Get some armor. Investing in a life-proof mug is one of the most surefire ways to save yourself from the pain and misery that is having your caffeinated beverage go for a little spill. There are definitely mug options out there that are reliable but also won’t make you feel like a toddler carrying a sippy cup.  The bottom of this Mighty Mug ($20) grips to your desk and has a sturdy lid, so odds of a spill are slim. The Mighty Mug also comes in travel and tumbler versions. If you’re extra klutzy, the kuzy keyboard cover ($8) is a great way to shield your laptop from a spill. They’re easy to remove and also great for keeping pesky food crumbs from getting stuck between the keys.

4. Be resourceful. Some coffee shops have little plastic plugs you can use to cover the hole in the lid while you’re walking. But if you run into one that doesn’t, Life Hacker suggests this creative fix: Fold a straw in half and use the creased end as a plug. It might look a bit silly, but you’re on a mission to keep that entire cup of coffee intact.

What’s your strategy for avoiding spills? Let us know in the comments below!

(This post was originally published on Levo League by Micheala Sosby.)