Chocolate is delicious, but it can also be very messy! In the hot summer months, chocolate melts very quickly, meaning it can easily get onto clothes, furniture, and carpets without us even realising it. If you have managed to get a nasty dark brown chocolate stain on a white top, don’t panic! Here are some simple ways to clean up the mess and treat chocolate stains.
Washing a Chocolate Stain out of Clothing
It’s so easy to drop chocolate onto clothing, and it often melts into the fabric before you’ve had a chance to clean it up. Fortunately, it’s also very easy to tackle a bothersome chocolate stain. Most laundry detergents will be able to get that brown mess out of your garment without the need for a pre-treatment, but if the stain looks like it is particularly stubborn, it may be worth giving your washing machine a little helping hand.
- Before putting the garment in the wash, simply massage some liquid detergent like OMO Liquid (or a small amount of dishwashing soap if you don’t have liquid detergent) into the stain, being careful not to rub together fabric from outside of the stained area – otherwise it could spread.
- Afterwards, simply wash your item of clothing on a cold cycle as normal.
Remember: always check the care label on your item for washing guidelines.
Can I Use Natural Products?
Natural products that are often used for various general cleaning tasks – like white vinegar and baking soda – aren’t usually tough enough to tackle stubborn stains. But if you’ve discovered a dried chocolate stain that has been ground into the material, there is a product worth trying: cream!
Thick cream, like ‘double’ or ‘whipping’ cream bought from the supermarket, can help loosen up the fatty components of a chocolate stain, essentially reviving them and making the stain easier to remove. Simply pour a little cream onto the old chocolate stain and leave to rest for an hour before washing the garment as normal on a cold water cycle. Be sure to test this stain removal trick on a small area of the stain before applying to the whole area to check there will be no damage caused to your item.
How to Get Chocolate Stains out of Furniture
If you’ve been snacking on a bar of chocolate while watching a movie with the lights turned down low, there’s a good chance small fragments of chocolate have dropped onto your sofa unnoticed, and they’ve already melted onto the material. If you’ve got a leather sofa, it should be relatively easy to remove chocolate stains, either by using a clean cloth dipped in a small amount of cold water, or by lightly rubbing a blunt object across the surface to pick off the chocolate. If you’ve got a fabric sofa, however, removing chocolate stains can be slightly trickier. Here’s how to remove a chocolate stain on your upholstery:
- When using any cleaning product, always test the product on a small, inconspicuous area of your sofa or chair first and follow any instructions on the product’s label.
- Mix one tablespoon of dishwashing soap with two cups of cold water, creating a very mild mixture.
- Dip a clean cloth into the soapy mixture – use a rag made of muslin or a microfibre cloth, rather than a sponge or paper towel that could disintegrate.
- Gently dab the stain, being careful not to rub the chocolate further into the fabric.
- Pat with a clean, dry cloth before placing a towel over the top to absorb moisture.
- Repeat if necessary.
Handy Hints for Removing Chocolate Stains
Although cleaning up chocolate stains is relatively simple, there are still ways to make the job easier:
- Before attempting to clean up any hardened chocolate stain, use a blunt object to remove any excess chocolate, leaving just the minimum amount of food on the material.
- Use a cold rinse setting on your washing machine, as warm water will set the stain, instead of removing it.
- Heat from a tumble dryer will also set the stain, so be sure the mark has completely vanished before putting your garment in a dryer.