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. (If you have already done this, you can still try the above steps though.)
- Household Hints for Dummies by Janet Sobesky
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- The Queen of Clean’s Complete Cleaning Guide by Linda Cobb
- Clean It Fast, Clean It Right by Jeff Bredenberg
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