How to Remove Chocolate Stains Like a Pro

How to remove chocolate stains from clothing

Whether it’s from chocolate milk, ice cream, or chocolate chips, we’ve all experienced the annoyance of seeing a chocolate stain on clothing or furniture. Chocolate might be delicious, but the marks it leaves behind are not! Luckily, our cleaning Pros know a thing or two about how to remove chocolate stains, no matter where they are. Follow our top tips to remove chocolate stains and get your clothing, bedding, and furniture looking like new.

What are chocolate stains?

Chocolate contains two elements that create stains:

  • Tannins
  • Oil

Tannins are a kind of compound found in many plants, including tea, coffee, red grapes, and chocolate. They cause the dark brown or red stains that spilled coffee, wine, and chocolate leave behind. The best way to handle a tannin stain is to flush it with cold water to prevent setting the stain.

Chocolate also contains a high quantity of fat or oil. Depending on the quality of the chocolate, this could be natural cocoa butter or it could be vegetable oil. The best way to tackle oily stains is to blot as much oil as possible, and then use a detergent designed to cut through oil and lots of hot water. Ordinary dish soap is a good option for removing oil-based stains.

CLEANER
Effective on tannins?
Effective on oil?
Dish soap
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Lemon juice
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White vinegar
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Hydrogen peroxide
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Rubbing alcohol
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Baking soda
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Laundry detergent
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Commercial stain removers
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Do you wash chocolate stains in hot or cold water?

Because chocolate contains two staining elements that need different treatment, it can be hard to figure out what temperature will remove chocolate stains most effectively. In general, chocolate stains are best flushed with cold water to lift as much of the stain as possible. Then tackle the oil-based part of the stain with hot water.

If you’re dealing with a set chocolate stain, you can try to loosen it by soaking it with a cleaning agent and then flushing it with cold water. However if it’s completely set, the only solution might be to use very hot water and laundry detergent. Using a pre-wash cleaning treatment such as OxiClean can also help shift a set stain.

How to remove chocolate stains

One of the most important things to do is to blot the chocolate stain using a sponge or paper towel as soon as possible. The goal is to minimize the chocolate from spreading and making a bigger mess. 

Next, it’s time to get out the cleaning supplies. You can use any commercial or DIY cleaning solution designed to cut through oil and lift tannins.

You can make your own chocolate stain remover by mixing two tablespoons of dish soap with two cups of cold water in a spray bottle. Spray this solution onto the stain and blot it to lift the chocolate out of the fabric.

Once you’ve removed as much of the dark stain as possible, use hot water and detergent to clean the remainder.

How to remove chocolate stains from carpet

How do you remove old chocolate stains?

If a chocolate stain has set, it can be harder to remove, but not impossible. Here’s how to remove chocolate stains that have been sitting for a while.

Step 1: Wet the stain with white vinegar.

Step 2: Blot the chocolate stain with paper towels.

Step 3: Use baking soda and water to scrub away the chocolate staining on the fabric. 

Step 4: Launder with hot water and detergent.

Pro Tip: Get your laundry extra fresh by learning how to clean your washing machine!

How to remove chocolate stains from carpet

For chocolate stains on carpet, use a dry cleaning solvent or stain remover designed for treating chocolate stains. Apply the cleaner directly onto the chocolate stain before blotting with paper towels or microfiber cloths. Blot again with a damp cloth. Apply an absorbent, such as cornstarch, and let it sit for several minutes before brushing away. Repeat until the chocolate stain is removed.

Pro Tip: Got stains in other places? Learn how to clean pillows next!

how to remove chocolate stains from upholstery

How to remove chocolate stains from upholstery

To remove chocolate stains from a couch or chair, scrape up as much as possible using a spoon or blunt knife. Then make a solution with a teaspoon of dish soap and half a cup of warm water. Apply the solution using a microfiber cloth, sponge, or old toothbrush. Don’t get the upholstery too wet and don’t rub the stain. Just use the solution to dab the mark until the stain starts to lift. Use paper towels to absorb the excess. Repeat until the stain has gone.

Pro Tip: If your upholstery cannot be cleaned with water, use dry cleaning sticks instead and follow the instructions to remove chocolate stains.

Is it time your couch had a spring cleaning? Find out how to clean a fabric sofa now!

how to remove chocolate stains from clothes

How to remove chocolate stains from clothes

Some fabrics are easier to clean than others, but these are the basic steps to remove chocolate stains from clothes:

  • First try blotting the chocolate off with paper towels or a clean cloth and plain water. This should be enough to get most of the chocolate off. 
  • Next, rinse the clothing with cold water. 
  • If chocolate still remains, then soak the item in hot water with a little detergent or soap. 

How to remove chocolate stains from jeans

Remove chocolate stains from denim by making a solution of dish soap and water and applying it to the fabric. Denim is tough, so don’t be afraid to work the solution into the stain if it doesn’t lift easily. You can also use a little baking soda to help lift the stain. Just spot check an inconspicuous area first.

How to remove chocolate stains from cotton clothing

Cotton is a soft fabric that’s prone to chocolate stains. To remove chocolate from cotton, rub dish soap onto the chocolate stain and rinse through with cold water, before washing it in the hottest water possible. This will dissolve and break down the chocolate.

It may take more than one washing for chocolate stains to come out completely, so try different solutions if you don’t see immediate results!

How to remove chocolate stains from bed sheets

How to remove chocolate stains from bed sheets

The method for removing chocolate from your bed sheets will depend on the material they’re made from. For cotton bed sheets, follow the tips for cotton clothing above.

To remove chocolate from polyester bed sheets, first strip the bed and submerge the sheets in a sink or bucket filled with cold water. Then add a squirt of dish soap and agitate the stain until it starts to come loose. Rinse the sheets with cold water to remove the last of the stain, and launder as normal.

Pro Tip: If you also got chocolate on the rest of the bed, learn how to clean your mattress now!

How do you get chocolate milk stains out of clothes?

Chocolate milk stains are every parents’ nightmare. Chocolate, plus milk, and usually across a more extensive area! But spilled chocolate milk doesn’t have to be a crying matter.

Step 1: Soak the clothes in a bucket filled with cold water and OxiClean or 1/4 cup baking soda. Leave for at least 1 hour.

Step 2: Add 2-3 drops of dish soap directly to the stain and rub the fabric to lift the stain.

Step 3: Rinse the fabric with clean, cold water.

Step 4: Launder with detergent and hot water.

what can remove chocolate stains

How do you get chocolate ice cream stains out of clothes?

Ice cream stains are the absolute worst. But chocolate ice cream stains can be taken on by anyone with these easy steps:

  • Blot the stain with a clean, dry microfiber cloth or paper towel
  • Submerge the fabric in cold water to remove as much chocolate as possible 
  • Soak the clothing in ¼ cup baking soda for at least an hour 
  • Wash with detergent and hot water
  • Repeat if necessary

Pro Tip: If the stain is on white or light-colored fabric, soak the chocolate spot in hydrogen peroxide for 15 minutes before blotting it with a clean towel.

What can remove chocolate stains?

There are many different cleaning solutions you can use to tackle chocolate stains. The most effective include:

  • Dish soap
  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Laundry detergent
  • Commercial stain removers
using detergent to remove chocolate stains

Using hydrogen peroxide to remove chocolate stains

Hydrogen peroxide is a very effective stain remover for white or light-colored fabrics. Don’t use peroxide on dark fabrics, as it may bleach them. Make a mixture of 2 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part dish soap and apply to the stain. Blot the stain to remove the excess, flush with cold water, and launder as usual.

Does vinegar remove chocolate stains?

White vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner, and very effective at removing chocolate stains. Use it in place of cold water to flush the stain before laundering. You can also add a drop or two of dish soap to make the vinegar more effective.

Will baking soda remove chocolate stains?

Baking soda will also remove chocolate stains. Apply it to wet stains to absorb moisture and draw the stain out. Alternatively, soak stained clothing in a sink or bucket filled with cold water and ¼ to ½ cup of baking soda. You can also add ½ cup to your washing machine and run your usual laundry cycle for even more effective results.

Will rubbing alcohol remove chocolate stains?

You can remove dried-in chocolate stains with rubbing alcohol. Alcohol is a degreasing agent, which means it can cut through oily stains. Test an inconspicuous spot first to make sure the alcohol doesn’t discolor the fabric. Then wet the stain with rubbing alcohol and leave it to work for a few minutes, before blotting to lift the stain.

Pro Tip: Don’t use rubbing alcohol on acetate, rayon, wool or silk.

Can dry cleaning remove chocolate stains?

Yes! Dry cleaners use chemical solvents that can tackle the tannins and oil in chocolate stains, and can usually remove them from any fabric.

Tide vs. OxiClean to remove chocolate stains

Our Pros say both! Tide is a brand of laundry detergent. These soaps are designed to lift tough stains, and in most cases Tide will get chocolate stains out of your clothing once you’ve followed out pre-treatment tips.

OxiClean is a laundry additive, meaning it’s an extra stain-busting ingredient you can use alongside your regular detergent to tackle really tough stains. Pre-soaking chocolate stains with OxiClean, or adding OxiClean to your laundry cycle, can help remove a chocolate stain more effectively.

In conclusion…

Removing chocolate stains from clothing and other fabrics can be tricky, but it isn’t impossible. The most important thing to remember is to remove the tannins first using cold water, before tackling the oil-based stain with cold water. This prevents the stain from setting in the fabric, which will make the task of cleaning it much harder.

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