Not everybody can know the proper technique on how to get chocolate out of clothes.
There’s nothing I love more than chocolate. But do you know what I don’t love? Chocolate stains on clothes.
Having chocolate stains on clothes is not that rare, especially when you have small children. Children can get messy with their food, so for something that can melt quickly like chocolate, staining clothes with it is unavoidable.
Chocolate is considered one of the toughest stains to handle. But no need to worry; here’s everything you need to know when dealing with this type of stains.
Why Are Chocolate Stains Hard To Remove?
Regular chocolate contains cocoa powder and cacao butter (1). These 2 ingredients are the reasons why chocolate stains are so difficult to get out.
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The dark-colored tannins in cocoa powder leave dark stains that can ruin white clothes. And the cocoa butter (or theobroma oil (2)) leaves oily stains that require specific products to remove.
Additionally, chocolate, once dried, can embed itself into the fibers of your garment; peeling it out can even cause the clothes to rip.
A Step-By-Step Tutorial On How To Get Chocolate Out Of Clothes
When dealing with stubborn stains like chocolate, you simply can’t put your clothes in the washing machine and hope for the best. There are several steps you need to go through to guarantee that your clothes will come out bright and clean like new.
In this section, I shall show you 2 options for cleaning chocolate stains. These methods also work perfectly on chocolate milk, hot chocolate, and chocolate ice cream stains.
1. Using Detergent
For this method, you will need to prepare a few items like:
- A spoon or a butter knife
- A bowl of cold water
- Stain remover (optional)
- An old toothbrush (optional)
This is the most effective way to remove chocolate stains. So follow all the steps properly to get the best result.
Step 1: Scrape It
Remove excess chocolate from the clothes with a spoon or a butter knife. A ruler or credit card works too. Do not rub; just scrape gently to avoid working the chocolate further in.
Step 2: Rinse It
Turn the clothes inside out and give them a rinse under cold running water so the water can push the remaining chocolate out of the fabric. You might think you can loosen the chocolate using hot water, but no, hot water only makes matters worse. Just stick with cold water.
Step 3: Apply Detergent
Pour some detergent (liquid or powder) on the stained area and lightly massage it with your fingers. Or you can gently rub the stains using a toothbrush, that’s even better. Then let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Step 4: Soak It
Soak the clothes in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Use your fingers or a toothbrush to rub the stained area every 3-5 minutes. This will help loosen the stains. Afterward, give the clothes another rinse under running water. The stains should disappear at this point.
Step 5: Apply Stain Remover (Optional)
If you can still see the stains afterward, you can spray some stain remover on the stained area to fully remove it.
If that is not available to you, there are many household products that you can use as an alternative.
- Vinegar: Mix water and vinegar (1:1 ratio) and apply it onto the clothes and let it sit. You can also soak your clothes in the mixture if the stains are too big.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice is also acidic like vinegar, so you can use it to deal with stains too. Likewise, apply or soak your clothes in a mixture of water and lemon juice (1:1 ratio).
- Baking soda: Mix baking soda and vinegar to form a paste and spread it on the stains. This combination can make the stains fade.
- Toothpaste: Surprisingly, toothpaste can replace your regular stain remover. Just apply some toothpaste directly to the stains before washing.
Step 6: Wash It
Wash the clothes like usual with your favorite detergent. When it is done, check to see if the stains are still there. If they are, apply some detergent and rewash them.
Do not tumble dry your clothes if the stains remain. This will set the chocolate, making the stains permanent. Only tumble dry or iron the garment when the stains are completely gone.
Let’s sum up these steps with a lively demonstration!
2. Using Milk
This might sound weird, but this home remedy is more effective than you think. The reason why this works is that milk contains enzymes (3) that can break down the chocolate stains, making them easier to clean.
There are several things that you will need:
- A spoon or a butter knife
- Full-fat milk or cream
- An old toothbrush (optional)
Step 1: Scrape It
Similar to before, grab a spoon or a butter knife and start scraping the chocolate off the clothes. Be thorough but gentle.
Step 2: Soak It
Pour some full-fat milk into a bowl and put your clothes in it. Rub the stained area gently with an old toothbrush, and then let it sit for about 2 hours.
Step 3: Wash It
Afterward, rinse it and wash it using a washing machine.
Keep in mind that milk is not as powerful as detergent, so this method is not as effective as the last one. If you want to try this out, you might have to repeat these steps a couple of times to remove the stains completely.
This video can show you how to remove chocolate stains using milk!
Tips On Removing Set-In Chocolate Stains
Dried chocolate is especially difficult to deal with, so the laundry process requires extra time and attention. Take note of these few tips before tackling dried chocolate stains:
1. Do Not Peel The Chocolate Off
You might feel it’s tempting to peel off the hardened chocolate on top, but don’t do it. Peeling or scraping dried chocolate can damage the fibers or even rip a hole in your garments.
2. Soak The Garment In Cold Water
The soaking process is essential for set-in chocolate stains. You might have to soak your clothes in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour before washing. Frequently rub the stains during this time, it can loosen and fade the stains.
3. Pretreat Your Clothes Before Washing
Dried chocolate stains need to be pre-treated with stain remover or other alternatives (vinegar, toothpaste, baking soda) to loosen them. If you skip this, it is highly possible that the stains will still be visible after washing.
4. Use Bleach
If your stains have been left to dry for far too long, chances are they will stay there after being washed several times. If that is the case, grab some bleach, and let’s get to work.
I recommend you use oxygen bleach because it works for both colored and white clothes. If you are working with white garments, chlorine bleach can be used but remember to dilute it first (1 teaspoon bleach to 1 cup of water).
Dip a clean, white cloth in the bleach solution and blot the stained area. Repeat until the stains are gone.
Tips On Removing Liquid Chocolate Stains
Liquid chocolate stains from things like chocolate milk, hot chocolate, or chocolate ice cream are harder to deal with. They dry and set very quickly on your clothes, so you must take action the moment you spill.
Here are some helpful tips that you might need when dealing with liquid chocolate stains:
1. Clean The Stain As Soon As Possible
Turn the clothes inside out and rinse them under cold running water immediately to prevent set-in stains. Give it a rub every now and then to get the stains out faster.
2. Soak The Clothes
Add some detergent or stain remover to a bucket of cold water and soak the clothes in it for at least 30 minutes before washing. You can apply some detergent directly to the area to help the stains come out easier.
How To Remove Chocolate Stains For Dry-Clean Only Clothes
If you accidentally stain dry-clean only clothes and you can’t take them to the dry cleaner. Don’t despair, there is a way for you to remove the stains at home.
First, let’s prepare some supplies as follow:
- Dry cleaning solvent
- Mineral oil
- Clean cloth
Step 1: Sponge It
Dip a sponge in the dry cleaning solvent and gently sponge it on the stained area.
If you don’t have dry cleaning solvent, you can DIY your own by diluting unscented detergent in water (1:20 ratio).
Step 2: Dab It With Oil
Mix a drop of mineral oil with a splash of dry cleaning solvent (1:8 ratio) and dip the cloth in the mixture.
Repeatedly dab the wet cloth on the stains until it is gone.
You might find it strange to use oil to treat stains, but similar to milk, oil can dissolve the fat in chocolate and lift it off the garment.
Step 3: Rinse It
Use dry cleaning solvent or the diluted detergent solution to rinse. Only rinse the stained area, not the entire garment.
Step 4: Dry It
Put the clothes in a damp pillowcase. Fold the top over and secure it in place with a safety pin.
Place the pillowcase in your tumble dryer for 20 minutes. Remember to set the heat to low. When it is done, take it out of the pillowcase and allow it to air dry.
Still have some concerns about this topic? Check out these FAQs to see if you can find the answers you need.
Removing Chocolate Stains Is Not A Problem Anymore
Getting chocolate out of clothes is challenging but not impossible. All you need is some knowledge and guidance, and now you got it!
With all the tips and tricks I provided in this article, I hope you can now handle this problem with ease. Remember to leave a like and share this post if you enjoy it.
Do you know any other effective laundry hacks that work on chocolate stains? Let me know in the comment section down below!