How to remove
chocolate stains

First aid with chocolate daubs

Katharina Kuhlmann

istock © skynesher

21 May 2019

Good chocolate belongs in your mouth and not on your shirt. As you know children aren’t too fussy about this rule, especially when it comes to that popular hazelnut spread. But sometimes little accidents also happen to grown-ups and result in stains barely removable in the regular machine wash. The Chocolate Journal gathered the best tips to make sure your clothes and textiles are perfectly clean soon.

Simple household remedies work best most of the time

You don’t need special chemicals to remove chocolate stains from your clothes. As long as the stain is fresh immediate rubbing with warm water and washing-up liquid helps. One good alternative is gall soap. Furthermore, you can pretreat the affected textile with a degreasing detergent and put it into the washing machine later. If you want to clean a carpet or a sofa this solution is not an option. In this case you can still use the washing-up liquid trick. Another good method is dripping lemon juice on the stain after washing it out with soap water. Rinse with water after soaking.

In case the chocolate stain is dried up already you should remove the remains with a knife carefully before using other methods. This helps preventing the chocolate to spread on the textile. You can use glycerol to soak the stains. Wash with soap water afterwards.

Removing chocolate stains: The tough cases

Stains on delicate fabrics and tough dried up stains aren’t easy to remove and you might need to use special chemicals for this task. In case velvet, silk or other delicate fabrics are affected you can try to rub the chocolate stains with alcohol. Rinse with warm water afterwards.

Other cleansing agents are far more difficult to produce because they aren’t available everywhere. A mixture of alum (available at pharmacies) and cream of tartar (alternatively baking powder) or alcohol is recommended to use for pretreating before washing. Another hint that usually pops up is borax, especially when white or non-washable textiles are affected. You have to be careful using borax – even though it’s an ingredient of many cleaning agents its pure form can harm unborn babies in the womb according to the latest scientific knowledge. This is the reason why it’s not freely marketed anymore – and private households should dispose of it immediately.

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