Keep your furniture and your outfits clean, no matter how much chocolate you eat…
We’ve all been there. One minute you’re tucking into your favourite chocolate treat without a care in the world, and the next you’re filled with a sense of dread as you look down to see the brown smear coating your favourite top.
We have to admit we’ve come close to a few stains when we tuck into our Hotel Chocolat creations. But then again, you can’t really blame us: when it comes to chocolate, sometimes it’s difficult to keep your composure and eat neatly and daintily.
Luckily, an unfortunate brush with chocolate doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for your sullied outfit. We’ve taken a look at how to remove chocolate stains so that you don’t have to worry about your favourite treat becoming your worst enemy.
Why does chocolate stain?
Chocolate might be undeniably delicious, but it’s notoriously tricky to get out of clothes. It may have the exterior of an angel, but once melted into your clothes it can be devilishly tricky to get rid of.
This is because chocolate is made up of two substances that are difficult to budge off clothes and other materials. If you’ve read our blog on how chocolate is made then you’ll know that cocoa butter and cocoa solids are the two main substances we use from the cocoa bean to make chocolate.
The cocoa powder is an issue because it contains dark-colour tannins. This means it can leave a dark shade or hue even after the chocolate has been removed from the clothing. Cocoa butter isn’t much better: because it’s a fat it’s high in oil, making it equally tricky to remove.
That being said, there are still answers behind how to remove chocolate stains. Just maybe wait until you finish reading this blog before you dive into any more chocolate.
What you need
It can be easy to see a stain, freak out, and chuck any old chemical at it. However, it’s important to treat a chocolate stain with care: although you want to remove it as soon as possible, you should resist the urge to douse it in the strong stuff.
Remember, there’s no point in trying to remove the stain if you’re just going to ruin your clothing in the meantime!
What you’ll need:
- Butter knife, metal spoon or credit card
- Large sink or washing machine
- Laundry detergent
- Dish soap
- Stain remover
- Cold water
- Rubber gloves (if you have sensitive hands)
How to remove chocolate stains on clothes
The first step when it comes to removing chocolate stains on clothes would be to remove the clothing. Although this seems fairly obvious, it’s easy to try and attack the stain at an awkward, slightly bent-over angle.
Removing your clothing means you can tackle the stain head-on. It also means you can check for any other pesky chocolate stains that may have otherwise slipped past your meticulous gaze.
Scrape away the chocolate
Next, remove the excess chocolate. Using a butter knife, spoon or edge of a credit card gently scrape away any excess bits of dried chocolate into the bin (make sure it’s not onto the carpet!) Don’t use a standard knife as anything too sharp could mean you damage the fabric.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re not spreading any of the chocolate onto clean areas of your clothes. However, if the fabric of the stained item is really delicate then we suggest you don’t try to peel off or scrape away the chocolate, as it may damage the fabric fibres.
After, rinse with cold water. We strongly recommend using cold water as it prevents the stain from travelling across the garment. Remember, chocolate contains cocoa butter, which melts when heated. If you use warm water then you risk more chocolate spreading across the fabric as the remaining chocolate pieces on your clothing melt further. It may seem counterproductive to use cold water only, but at this point you’re merely trying to remove as much of the stain as possible.
Next, gently rub a heavy-duty liquid detergent into the chocolate stain. If you don’t have any to hand then a liquid dish soap also works well. After you’ve rubbed this into the stain, allow the clothing to sit for five minutes. Don’t rinse just yet. Then soak the clothing for 15 minutes in cold water, rubbing the stained area between your finger and thumb every three to five minutes. Then rinse thoroughly and continue until no more of the stain can be removed. Rinse and then proceed to wash as normal.
If the stain really isn’t budging, then rub the afflicted area with a stain remover spray or gel. Then wash as you normally would, repeating until the stain has pretty much disappeared.
How to remove chocolate stains on dry clean only clothes
As your clothing is dry clean only, you don’t want to be tempted into washing an area of the clothing yourself, even if it is only a small stain. Instead, remove the chocolate as aforementioned by gently scraping off any excess chocolate with a blunt object.
As soon as you’ve spotted the stain, you should take your clothing to the dry cleaners. Point out the stain to the professional cleaner so that they know how to treat it. Just make sure you don’t frantically rub your clothing with water or soap: doing so could damage the material itself.
How to remove chocolate stains from your furniture
Again, scrape away the chocolate with a dull item. If your couch is silk then we suggest heading straight to a professional (it might be a more expensive option, but it’s not as pricey as ruining your silken sofa with a half-hearted DIY job).
For more standard furniture fabrics, mix one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent with two cups of cold water and dip a cloth into it. Begin to rub the stained area, working in an outside to inside motion. With every dab, make sure you clean the cloth after in the solution to avoid the spread of the stain.
Repeat until the stain is gone and use a dry cloth to blot away any remaining moisture. Finish with a water-only dab and leave to air dry.
How to get rid of chocolate stains on your carpet
Yep, it can happen. Chocolate seems to have a habit of making itself seen anywhere, especially in places you least expect it. If you do spot a blob of chocolate on your new, sparkling white carpet then don’t panic.
As with the other steps, you should scrape away the chocolate, making sure the excess dried chocolate ends up in a dustpan and not on just another area of carpet. If you’ve got a swift eye and spot the chocolate stain before it’s even had a chance to set, then place an ice cube on the molten chocolate. This hardens the chocolate and makes it easier to pick away.
For the resulting stain, dampen a clean cloth with water and dab a small amount of washing detergent onto the cloth. Start working on the outer edge of the chocolate stain before heading to the centre of the stain. Small, circular scrubbing motions work best and help to prevent any spreading on the stain. Make sure you let the detergent to rest on the stain for at least five minutes before you begin to ‘rinse’ with a clean white cloth dubbed in water.
Make sure no soap is left on the carpet by feeling the carpet. If it’s still slightly soapy and slimy then this means you haven’t removed all of the detergent. Dab with water, then leave to dry and vacuum up any remaining carpet fibres.
Now that you know how to remove chocolate stains, we hope you don’t find yourself in such a mess. If you’re really worried about stains then you could choose to stick to white chocolate only, but beware the cocoa butter stains! However, why should you constrict yourself when there’s a whole chocolate tasting experience to be had? Maybe just make sure you don’t wear your white silk blouse the next time you decide you want a chocolate treat.