Chocolate Stain Removal

Several Methods For Chocolate Stain Removal

Just as there are several ways to skin a cat, there are several methods for chocolate stain removal. If you are around chocolate for any time at all, getting a chocolate stain on a white shirt or blouse, on your necktie or slacks, or on your favorite leather couch, is almost inevitable. If you have children, remember that children plus chocolate equals a chocolate stain.

Although they're not the most difficult stains to deal with, chocolate stain removal can still be a task and not always a successful one. It probably depends a little bit on the chocolate itself, milk chocolate may be the worst, but it certainly depends upon the material which has been stained. You may end up having to try more than one of these methods for a particularly stubborn stain, and depending upon what you try, remember to check certain materials for color fastness so you don't end up with something looking worse than when you starter.

Scrape It First - One step that most chocolate stain removal processes have in common is to first remove excess chocolate with a dull instrument such as a blunt knife. Don't use a sharp knife, as in scraping the material you can cut into the fibers making the stain even more stubborn. By removing excess chocolate as soon as you can you lessen the risk of the stain covering an even larger area. You should do this even on very delicate fabrics or leather. The less chocolate you have to deal with in subsequent steps, the easier your task is going to be.

Detergent And Water - For washable fabrics, once you've scraped away excess chocolate a cold water and detergent treatment often does the job. If the stain hasn't penetrated all the way through the fabric, hold the fabric under cold running water so that the water rinses the stain from the back side. Having done this, rub liquid detergent into the stain and let the fabric sit for several methods. Then you can put the stained fabric in cold water for about 15 minutes, rubbing the stained area two or three times during this period. When you give the fabric a final rinse, the stain will hopefully have disappeared. If not, repeat the process. If the stain persists after two or three repetitions, by which time you're getting a little tired of the whole affair, you might have to try one of the other processes, using another type of chemical besides detergent. An alternative might be to buy a new garment if affordable, but try a second or third method first. If nothing else, you might hit upon something that works well and you can use the next time you encounter a chocolate stain.

Other Options - A second method works on carpets and upholstery fabrics as well as clothing. Again, scrape off excess chocolate to keep the size of the stain to a minimum. Blot the spot with detergent as before, then dab the stain with a mixture of ammonia  and water (one part ammonia to 5 or 6 parts water, or a tablespoon of ammonia to a half cup of water), repeating until the stain disappears. For a carpet, pouring hot water on the stain often works. Simply pour on a little hot water, blot it up, and repeat the process until the stain disappears. If you plan to launder stained clothing, it's always helpful to soak the stain in a detergent solution first. Depending upon the color fastness of the material, sponging the stain with hydrogen peroxide can be very effective. Laundering with bleach safe for the fabric will help even more.

Leather - Children, and in some cases adults, eating chocolate on a fine leather sofa can lead to almost predictable results. Detergent works well on leather also, both polished leather and suede leather. Instead of applying a water-detergent solution to the stain, whip up some suds and just apply the suds with a cloth or sponge. A sudsy solution of diluted carpet cleaner has worked for some individuals. In that way you'll avoid the possibility of replacing a chocolate stain with a water stain. Sprinkling corn meal on the stain while still damp sometimes works, as corn meal is an excellent absorbing medium. Follow up with leather cleaner or saddle soap (on polished leather only).

In most cases, scraping off excess chocolate and attacking the stain with a water-detergent mixture or with suds will do the job. When that fails, you can try ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, or a commercial stain remover. As a last but sometimes the safest resort, you can take a garment to the dry cleaners or call in a professional carpet or upholstery cleaner. Avoiding chocolate altogether is really too much of a price to pay.