Are you a chocolate fan? I am, and my clothing always demands a taste, too. That’s how I know how stubborn these kind of stains can be.
See, what makes it so hard to get chocolate stains out of clothes is also what makes chocolate delicious: fat! Plus it has tannins that are notorious for causing stains. (Think: red wine and other food stains.)
Successfully removing this combo is all about dissolving the fat and oils, so the tannins come away, too. My home remedies below target those exact things. So, roll up your sleeves and lets get rid of those chocolate stains and smears!
• Act fast: As with any type of food stain, the faster you treat it the better your result. If it’s a messy chocolate stain, scrape away any excess with a spoon.
• Test first: Then, spot test whatever stain remover or home remedy you plan to use so you know it won’t damage your clothing.
• Blot: Avoid rubbing stains when you’re treating them—blot, so you don’t spread them.
• Use a white cloth: Undyed cloths or white paper towels don’t have dyes that can be transferred onto whatever you’re cleaning.
How to Get Out Chocolate Stains
One of the following
- Liquid dish soap
- Liquid laundry detergent
- White vinegar
- Oxygen bleach
- Turn the clothing inside out and run cold water through the stain to push out as much as you can.
- Apply your stain remover to both sides. Some home remedies that work for this are liquid dish soap, liquid laundry detergent, a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water, or 1 teaspoon of oxygen bleach dissolved in 1 cup of cool water.
- Wait while the treatment loosens the stain. For liquid soaps, this may take 15 or more minutes—don’t let them dry in place. For the vinegar water or oxygen bleach solution, it may take a half hour or more.
- Every now and then rub the area between your fingers to loosen the stain and check progress.
- When the discoloration is gone, rinse the spot under cold water from both sides for several minutes.
- Blot the area with a clean towel and let it air dry then check the stain. Keep it away from heat and sunlight until you're sure the stain is gone.
- Repeat if you need to, otherwise launder it as you usually do.
Removing Dried Chocolate Stains on Clothing
Once the tannins in chocolate have been set with heat, it’s a lot harder to get out. That’s why looking for and treating stains when you’re sorting laundry is so important. But, hey, who doesn’t get in a hurry now and then, right?
When I need to get a set in chocolate stain out, I use the following methods. If one doesn’t work, a quick rinse gets the fabric ready to try the next one. The same thing about not using heat applies, though: keep the stain wet, out of the dryer and away from direct sunlight until it’s gone.
- Run cold water through the back of the stained area.
- Apply a home remedy for old, set-in chocolate stains to both sides of the stain:
- A paste of equal parts baking soda and dish soap, or
- A paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide plus a couple drops of dish soap (light colored clothing only), or
- A cotton ball saturated with rubbing alcohol. (Dilute it with 2 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol if the fabric contains acetate, triacetate, modacrylic, or acrylic fibers).
- Wait 5 minutes, rinse with cold water then blot with a clean towel and inspect the spot.
- If the stain remains, try the next home remedy on the list. If it’s gone, let the garment air dry and check it one more time. Still good? Launder as usual.
Now, I don’t know about you, but after making the time to get the chocolate stains out of my clothes, I like to treat myself with — you guessed it — more chocolate! It’s kind of the circle of life, but what a sweet one it is.