Whether it is a fancy (and expensive) chocolate creation or just a simple chocolate candy bar, chocolate is perfection except when it stains your favorite shirt or lands on the carpet or sofa upholstery. These stain removal tips will work for milk, dark and even white chocolate.
How to Remove Chocolate Stains on Washable Clothes
Chocolate is a combination stain - a bit of an oil stain, a bit of a dye stain.
Start by using a dull knife or the edge of a spoon or credit card to lift away any solids of the dropped chocolate. Do not rub the stain with a cloth or napkin because that will only send it deeper into the fabric and make the stain harder to remove. Once the solids are removed, you can sponge the stain with plain, cool water until it is time to wash the item. A stain remover pen can also be used as an emergency stain remover but the item still needs to be washed as soon as possible.
When it is time to wash the stained item, treat with a prewash stain remover spray or gel like Zout or Shout or Spray 'n Wash or a bit of heavy duty liquid detergent (Tide or Persil are rated as the best brands) and then launder as recommended on the care label.
If the chocolate stain is huge or has been left on the clothes for a week or more, you should do a presoak using oxygen bleach and cool water. Mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (brand names are: OxiClean, Nellie's All Natural Oxygen Brightener, or OXO Brite) and cool water.
Submerge the entire garment. Allow it to soak for at least four hours or overnight and then launder as usual. This is safe to use for all washable fabrics - white and colored - except for silk, wool and anything trimmed with leather.
Check the chocolate stained area before tossing the item in the dryer.
High heat can set the stain and make it harder to remove. If it is still present after washing, repeat the steps BEFORE drying.
How to Remove Chocolate Stains on Dry Clean Only Clothes
Again, lift away as much of the chocolate as possible using a dull knife or credit card edge. Do not rub or add water, you could make matters worse, especially on silk. As soon as possible point out and identify the stain to your professional cleaner.
If you are using a home dry cleaning kit, be sure to treat the chocolate stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.
How to Remove Chocolate Stains on Carpet
Try to lift as much of the chocolate off the carpet as possible with a dull knife or spoon. If it is melted or liquid, place an ice cube on it for a minute to harden the chocolate and make it easier to lift away.
For the remaining stain, dampen a clean white cloth with water and drop a bit of dish washing detergent on the cloth. Working from the outside edge of the chocolate stain toward the center, rub in the detergent. Do your best to prevent spreading the stain. Allow the detergent to sit on the stain for at least five minutes.
Wet a clean white cloth with water and "rinse" the area to remove the detergent.
Repeat until you feel no more soap because soapy residue can actually attract soil. Allow to air dry and vacuum to lift carpet fibers.
How to Remove Chocolate Stains on Upholstery
Grab that dull knife or spoon and lift away as much chocolate as you can. Unless your couch is silk (if it is, just call a professional), mix one tablespoon dish washing detergent with two cups cold water. Work from the outside of the stain toward the center sponging the solution with a clean white cloth.
Use a dry cloth to blot away the moisture and repeat until the stain is gone. Do one final sponge with clear water and allow to air dry.
For more stain removal tips, read Stain Removal A to Z.