How To Remove Chocolate Stains From Any Surface

How To Remove Chocolate Stains

What could possibly go wrong when you sit down after a long day at work and enjoy a sip out of a delicious dark chocolate smoothie? Or eating a spoonful of some decadent chocolate lava cake?

Chocolate, quite simply, is the solution to most problems. What’s the only catch with this super comfort food then?

The stains can be a nightmare to deal with.

But the good news is that you no longer have to chuck countless shirts – especially those pesky white ones – or fruitlessly scrub at stubborn stains anymore. With this guide, we will equip you with the best ways to get rid of chocolate stains from any kind of fabric.

Up ahead:

  • Why are chocolate stains so tough to remove?
  • Take off chocolate stains from clothes
  • Stained your white clothes?
  • Clean chocolate splatter from jeans and trousers
  • Dealing with delicate fabrics
  • Quick tips and tricks

Why Are Chocolate Stains So Stubborn?

Your trusty old bar of chocolate does more than act as the perfect cheat meal. Research shows that chocolate has several health benefits like lowering blood pressure, checking tumor cell growth, and it is generally good for the health of your heart.

The key is that you consume the right kind of chocolate in the right quantities to enjoy all the taste and health properties that it has to offer.

Now, you might wonder how this is related to chocolate stains.

Along with the flavonoids that give chocolate its mouth-watering taste, processed chocolate also contains high levels of fat and sugar. These are two organic that can cling to surfaces of fabric very easily by themselves, but put them together and you get yourself a bond that is almost permanent and a pain to break.

Depending on the type of chocolate you’re eating and the sugar and fat levels in it, the stain that it can make on your clothes will be more or less of a headache to remove.

This is the reason that no matter if it’s in a cake, or candy or even chocolate milk – it does stain any surface it falls on.

Chocolate Stains On Fabric

As the fat and the sugar dries on the cloth, the stain will keep getting deeper and darker. So quick tip for some chocolate damage control: get to it as fast as you can.

Speed and efficiency are what you need for cleaning up chocolate stains on clothes.

Here, we will give you a step-by-step guide to dealing with that nasty stain from different kinds of fabric and for different types of chocolates.

How To Get Chocolate Out Of Cotton?

Step 1: Manual treatment

  • The first thing to do is to remove all the excess chocolate from the spill. If you leave it on, it will just get absorbed by the cotton and create an even bigger mess.
  • Put the fabric into the freezer for 20 minutes to solidify the chocolate.
  • Use a blunt knife or a spoon to gently pick up all the now-hardened part of the spill from the cloth. Take care that you move the knife from the boundary of the stain towards the center. This will avoid accidentally spreading the chocolate around.
  • Keep scraping gently till you take all the extra bits away.

Step 2: Pre-wash treatment

  • Rub liquid laundry detergent onto the stain, making sure to use enough so that it completely soaks through.
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Washing

Run the cloth in a warm water cycle in the washing machine. 40 degrees works as the ideal temperature for cotton clothes.

Note: Do not dry the fabric until the stain has completely disappeared. If you run the dryer with some chocolate still left in the cotton, the heat of the dryer will set it permanently.

For stains on white clothes

If you have gotten a chocolate stain on that white shirt that you like so much – don’t lose heart, it can still be salvaged. There are just a few extra steps to follow – and we guarantee that your white clothes will be good as new again.

What do you need?

  • Hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Water
  • Clean rag or sponge

The hydrogen peroxide works as a bleaching agent and works best for stains on white clothes. You can replace it with white vinegar for smaller stains.

What to do?

  1. Prepare a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of liquid dish soap. Increase the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide depending on the fabric and the size of the stain.
  2. Follow the freezing method from the first section to remove all the excess chocolate from the cloth.
  3. Apply the bleach and soap mixture onto the stain, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. While the bleach works on the coloring agents in the chocolate, the soap will attack the fats.
  4. Blot away with a clean rag or paper towels every 2-3 minutes to soak up the stain.
  5. Repeat with re-applying the mixture as required till the stain has lightened and is barely visible on the fabric.
  6. Rinse off and wash the cloth in a cold water cycle.

Note: for more stubborn stains, you might have to do this whole process twice. Try increasing the time for the bleaching mixture to absorb into the cloth if required.

Got A Dried Chocolate Stain? Fret Not – Just Do This.

Removing old chocolate stains from clothes can be tough because the dyes and fats from the sugar would have completely bonded with the fabric over time. So we understand why finding a dried spill from the hot chocolate or ice cream from the day before can be stressful.

But don’t worry if you’ve just discovered an old stain – it’s fixable if you follow these steps.

  1. Soak the stained spot in a solution of liquid dishwashing detergent and cold water.
  2. Flood the whole stain, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Scrub it gently with a toothbrush or laundry brush.
  4. Repeat till the stain lightens in color.
  5. Launder the fabric in a warm water cycle with ample detergent.

Tip: For dried stains on light-colored or white fabrics:

  • Add a bleaching agent into the solution of dishwashing detergent and cold water. We suggest using lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide. Make sure not to use bleach on colored fabrics for too long – this might discolor the area permanently.
  • Follow the instructions from above to get rid of the stain.

Removing chocolate from heavy fabrics

It is inevitable to get a chocolate spill on your jeans or sweater – sometimes you just can’t avoid these tiny accidents. But don’t worry about the removal process – because with this method, we’ve got you covered.

What do you need?

  • Blunt knife
  • Cold water/soda water
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Toothbrush
  • Paper towels

What to do?

  1. Freeze the chocolate stain to harden the excess chocolate. Scrape off with a blunt knife or the edge of an old credit card till all the flakes are removed.
  2. Rub in a mixture of liquid laundry detergent and cold water onto the back of the stain. Let the soap solution completely soak through the cloth for 10 minutes.
  3. Gently scrub with a toothbrush in a circular motion to dislodge all the remaining chocolate from the fabric.
  4. Rinse off with cold water. Repeat the soaking and scrubbing process 2-3 if required.
  5. Finally, wash the jeans or sweater in a warm water cycle.

Note: you can also add some bleach to the mixture for light-colored fabrics.

Get Out Chocolate Stains Like A Pro

The quickest and most effective way to tackle a chocolate stain is to use a stain remover – this attacks the organic material in the chocolate directly without damaging the fabric.

Some options that work best for a range of different materials are Tide sticks, Oxiclean, Surf, Persil etc.

  1. Soak the stain remover into the spot for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Scrub gently with your hand or a toothbrush and all the chocolate should come out easily.
  3. Rinse and wash in the laundry with warm water. 

For Delicate (Dry Clean-Only) Fabric

With some silk or embroidered clothes, it is impossible to launder them in a regular washing machine. So what do you do if you spill chocolate on these dry clean-only clothes?

  1. Prepare a 1:8 mixture of mineral oil and dry cleaning solvent in a bowl.
  2. Dab it onto the stain with a paper towel or a clean cloth.
  3. Keep blotting away with a paper towel till the whole stain is picked off from the fabric.
  4. Remove any excess mineral oil by flooding the spot with more dry cleaning solvent.

Note: This spot treatment works best for small stains. If you have a major spill on your delicate and fancy clothing – get it professionally cleaned.

Dealing With Chocolate Milk Stains

Freaking out about how to get chocolate milk out of your carpet? Or that unfortunate spill on your shirt?

Remember, like always, time is of the essence. The longer you leave it, the stronger the stain becomes, and boy, does chocolate milk leave a nasty stain.

This procedure works best to get rid of the milk stain from regular clothes:

  1. Soak the stained area in water and make it damp.
  2. Rub in a generous amount of liquid laundry detergent or dish soap into the spot. Leave it for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Rinse out the soap and check if the stain has lightened. You might have to repeat this step 2-3 times till the brown coloring starts to fade.
  4. Wash the cloth with a color-safe bleach or with a spot-treatment of lemon juice.

The combination of detergent and bleach not only cleans the chocolate milk out of your clothes but ensures that there is no lingering chocolate milk smell either.

For carpets and upholstery, follow the same process you would use for your jeans and heavy clothes. Use our instructions detailed above for the best results.

There you have it – you are now ready to deal with any and every kind of chocolate stain on your clothing. So go ahead and grab that ice cream sundae and enjoy it!