How to Remove Chocolate Stains
How to Remove Chocolate Stains
Smores, ice cream sundaes, chocolate chip cookies: some of your kid’s favorite treats are also the messiest. Chocolate that begins in tiny, toddler hands ends up in unexpected places. Every parent knows how it goes: the mess starts with the shirt, and eventually, it’s on the couch cushion. Don’t worry—dry cleaning your toddler’s chocolate-stained white clothes and replacing your ruined love seat isn’t your only option. With a little technique and powerful cleaning products (our specialty here at Charlie’s Soap), you can handle every chocolatey mess thrown your way.
First things first: damage control. You can skip this step for old chocolate stains already set in the fabric. But if you can catch it while it’s still fresh, try to mitigate the mess by blotting away as much chocolate as possible with a paper towel or clean cloth. If the chocolate has hardened, you can also use a butter knife to scrape it away gently.
After you’ve removed the excess chocolate, rinse the garment in the sink using cold water. If possible, turn the garment inside out and rinse from the inside. This will loosen the stain from the fabric’s fibers, making the following steps more effective.
There’s a reason there’s a constant slew of chocolate stains. Chocolate is made with tannins—which are responsible for making red wine stains such a pain—and oils—which require a solvent that can break down greasy particles. Cleaning solutions have to be extra powerful to handle chocolate stain removal.
That means an effective pretreatment goes a long way to really cut through the stain. Mixed with cool water, dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide are both popular DIY stain removers, but they have drawbacks. Dish soap isn’t always powerful enough to break through tough stains, and hydrogen peroxide is full of harsh chemicals that irritate the skin and make laundry a gloves-on, safety-goggles locked-and-loaded affair.
If you’re looking to skip the harsh chemicals but keep the cleaning power, our Biodegradable Laundry Pre-Spray Stain Remover is a natural, eco-friendly pre-wash that’s primed to break down the toughest of stains. Simply spray the stained area with the pre-treatment and wait for 30 minutes. You should start seeing the chocolate stain bleed slightly into the surrounding fabric. That’s the pre-spray loosening the stain from the fabric fibers. After you let the stain-remover work its magic, you’re ready to throw the stained clothes into the washing machine.
3. Wash and Dry
For chocolate stains, you’ll want to use a cold-water washing cycle. Though it seems counterintuitive, avoiding hot water when washing stains is generally a good idea. Although heat should be better at sanitizing clothes and breaking through stubborn spots, hot water can actually set stains into fabric. Read here for more information on using warm or cold water.
After pre-treating the stain, your typical cold-water wash cycle should work. For best results, use Charlie’s Soap powder or liquid laundry detergents. Free of synthetic dyes and perfumes, Charlie’s Soap is perfect for kids’ sensitive skin.
After washing, allow the garment to air-dry. At this point, check to see if any trace of the stain remains. Adamant chocolate stains, particularly if they’ve had a chance to set, might take a few rounds of pre-treating and washing, so repeat as necessary.
Carpet and Upholstery
1. Remove Excess
The first step to cleaning chocolate stains from carpet and upholstery is to remove any excess. Dab at any residual chocolate with a wet paper towel or cloth. You can scrape the chocolate away with a butter knife if the chocolate has hardened. Butter knives can scratch some sensitive upholstery, so you’ll want to be extra careful.
2. Spray and Scrub
Once you’ve removed the excess chocolate, apply a cleaning solution. For extra tough stains, try our oxygen bleach. Due to the harsh chemicals in regular chlorine bleach, it isn’t safe to use on cloth furniture. Oxygen bleach, however, is safe to use on colors and sensitive fabrics, so it’s perfect for upholstery. Our oxygen bleach is ultra-concentrated. As little as half a tablespoon in a spray bottle of cool water will break through the stain.
Spray the stain with your oxygen bleach/water mixture, then scrub the carpet or furniture gently with a microfiber cloth until you see the stain lifting. Then, you can use a clean cloth with a little water to wipe away the residue.
For extra-tough stains, try alternating between our pre-spray and oxygen bleach. Apply the pre-spray to the stained area. After letting it sit, rinse with cool water. Then, use the oxygen bleach mixture as directed here. With a final rinse, the stain should be loosened from the fabric’s fibers. Simply gently scrub the remainder of the stain away.
Afterward, simply use a clean towel to blot away excess moisture and allow it to air-dry. Voila! Chocolate stains are a thing of the past.
The Charlie’s Soap Difference
Little ones make big messes. When it comes to your kids, you need something powerful enough to handle their lifestyle—but gentle enough for their baby-soft skin. Charlie’s Soap strikes the perfect balance that you’re looking for. For cleaning without all the chemicals, check out Charlie’s Soap.