Jacqueline asked: How do I remove old chocolate stains from fabric? My daughter and I got messy with some chocolate ice cream. My hubby washed and dried our t-shirts, and did not pretreat the chocolate stains on the clothing first. Now, both t-shirts have been through the wash a couple of times with no luck getting the stain out. Help!
Chocolate makes a wonderful treat, but when it lands on your clothes, the delight quickly turns sour. Fortunately, with a few simple steps, the chocolate can be broken down and removed. Here are several options to remove your chocolate stain for good.
You Will Need:
- Heavy cream
- Stain treatment:
- Laundry detergent
- Commercial Stain Remover (ex: Shout, Spray ‘n Wash, etc.)
- Enzyme Stain Remover (ex: Kids ‘N’ Pets, Nature’s Miracle, etc.)
- Castile soap
- Ivory bar soap
- Dish liquid
- Small bowl
- Hydrogen peroxide
Steps to Remove the Chocolate:
- If the stain is old, saturate the area with cream and allow it to soak for 20-30 minutes. Heavy cream makes the fatty components of the chocolate fresh and easier to remove. After soaking, rinse off the cream, then continue with step 3 below.
- If the stain is fresh, allow any clumps of chocolate to harden, then scrape away as much as possible using a spoon or dull knife. You can speed up this process by putting the item in the freezer or rubbing the back of the fabric behind the stain with a piece of ice.
- Apply a stain treatment to both the front and back of the stained area. Any of the above products will work fine.
- Allow the application to soak for several minutes.
- If the stain is large or ground into the fabric, allow the stained area to soak in a bowl filled with cold water and one of the detergents/soaps from the list above for an hour.
- Launder as usual with cold water. Avoid using warm or hot water as this can set the stain.
- Hang the clothing to dry completely and ensure the stain is removed before placing it in the dryer for future cleanings.
- If the stain is stubborn, try blotting it with hydrogen peroxide.
- Another option for stubborn stains is to mix some borax with water to make a thick paste, about the consistency of toothpaste. Put the paste on the stain and leave it for 10 minutes, then wash the item as usual.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Dish liquid, such as Dawn or Palmolive, has been effective in removing chocolate stains that are fresh as well as those that are set-in.
- If the stain is placed in the dryer, the heat can set the stain and make it difficult, if not impossible, to remove.
- Household Hints for Dummies by Janet Sobesky
- Stain Rescue by Stephanie Zia
- The Queen of Clean’s Complete Cleaning Guide by Linda Cobb
- Clean It Fast, Clean It Right by Jeff Bredenberg
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic by Joey Green