There is nothing quite like diving into delicious chocolates when the mood strikes. But when the confection crumbles and ends up on your clothes or furniture, it can quickly become a messy situation. To help us tackle chocolate stains, we asked three cleaning professionals to share their best stain-removing solutions.
Got chocolate stains on your clothing?
Dan Miller, CEO of Mulberrys Garment Care, treats chocolate stains in washable clothing as he does other plant-based stains. Chocolate comes from the cocoa plant and sugar cane but also has an oil component. However, he does not recommend this cleaning method for silk or wool clothing. Miller states that both fabrics should be professionally cleaned.
- Pretreat the stain with lemon juice or vinegar to break down the stain. Allow it to work for 5 minutes. (It may also be helpful to lightly tamp the stain with a small brush or toothbrush during that time.)
- Rinse with water to make sure that the acid doesn't damage the garment. In most cases, the pre-treatment will loosen the stain.
- Flush the underside of the stain with a solution of 1 tablespoon grease-dissolving dishwashing detergent and 3 cups of warm water.
- Machine wash as usual, but do not machine dry unless the stain is completely removed.
- If the stain remains, treat it with an enzyme-based stain remover and allow it to work for 15 minutes, then wash as usual.
- If the stain persists, your final option would be to use an oxygenate bleach such as hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach. These products can cause color loss, so be sure to test in an inconspicuous spot first. Apply hydrogen peroxide or a diluted bleach solution (1 teaspoon bleach to 1 cup of water) to the stain.
- Do not allow these products to sit on the fabric for more than a minute before flushing with warm water.
- Wash as usual. Do not machine dry unless stain is gone.
- If the stain remains, bring the garment to the dry cleaners.
Got chocolate stains on your upholstery?
Lauren Haynes, cleaning expert with London's Star Domestic Cleaners, removes chocolate from upholstery using ice, soap and water.
- Using a spoon, carefully scrape the chocolate from the upholstery.
- Harden the remaining chocolate using a few ice cubes in a plastic bag, then scrape again.
- Using a clean white cloth, blot the area with a solution of 1 teaspoon grease-dissolving dishwashing detergent and 2 cups of cool water. Continue until the stain is removed.
- Rinse the detergent from the area by alternately dabbing it with a dampened cloth and blotting it with a dry cloth.
- Blot the area dry.
- If the stain is still visible, put some cornmeal on the spot. Let it sit for a couple of minutes - it will absorb the stain and any remaining moisture.
- Brush away or vacuum the cornmeal.
- If the stain persists, contact a professional upholstery cleaner.
Got chocolate stains on your carpet?
Steve Huck, divisional business development manager for Coverall North America, offers this advice for removing chocolate from carpet.
- Pick up as much chocolate as you can without spreading it around, then use a vacuum to lightly go over the area and pick up any loose chocolate left on the carpet.
- Using a clean white cloth, dab a dry-cleaning spot remover on the chocolate stain. (Most spotter products come ready to use.) Work from the outer edge of the stain to the middle — always blotting, not rubbing.
- Rinse by dabbing with clear water to remove residue. Blot dry with a towel, or, for best results, use a small spotter machine or a wet/dry vac to remove liquid.
- If the stain persists, contact a professional carpet cleaner.