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How to Remove Chocolate Stains From Every Surface in Your Home

From carpets to clothing — we have you covered.

There’s nothing like digging into a decadent chocolate bar or chocolate ice cream cone — that is, until the chocolate crumbles, spills or drips, leaving a dark stain on our clothes, couch or other household item. Chocolate contains protein, grease and sugar, which makes it a combination stain, says Zachary Pozniak of The Clean Club YouTube channel, whose family has a 30-year history as dry cleaners. This makes it difficult to remove because “the protein and sugars wrap themselves around a fabric’s fibers along with oils/fats which require surfactants to remove, and the tannins in chocolate give it the most color.” So we asked the pros how to remove chocolate stains from anything. Keep scrolling for their savvy solutions.

How to remove chocolate stains from clothes, sheets, blankets and comforters

Step 1: Scrape and blot

Regardless of where or on what you’ve spilled the chocolate, the first step for how to remove chocolate stains is going to be to scrape the excess chocolate away with a spoon or the smooth edge of a butter knife. If you’ve spilled liquid chocolate or just have smeared chocolate on fabric or upholstery, blot the stain immediately with a soft, dry cloth or towel. Be careful not to push the chocolate further into the material while scraping or blotting, that could make the stain larger. “Scraping works best if you can freeze the item first,” says laundry expert and social media content developer Melissa Dilkes Pateras, author of A Dirty Guide to A Clean Home. Plus, “a new chocolate stain is easier to remove than an old one, so it’s best to get to it quickly,” says Pateras.  

Related: Expert Cleaners Reveal How To Get Coffee Stains Out of Any Surface (Really!)

Step 2: Clean the stain

First, run cold water over the stain to try to push the chocolate out of the fibers, says Pateras. You might even try turning the material over to run water from the opposite side in order to loosen the stain and push the particles out of the fabric. If the running water loosens further chocolate particles, scrape again gently with the knife or spoon to avoid pushing those into the fabric once you begin cleaning. If running the stain under water isn’t possible, saturate the area with cold water.

“Next, mix one cup warm water and two drops of dish soap together, and use a soft brush to gently scrub at the stain,” says Pozniak. Because dish soap is meant to deal with grease, it will work to break down the oil in the chocolate. Then spray with an enzymatic stain remover —such as Resolve (Buy from Amazon, $8.56) — if you have one, as this will work on the protein and sugar in the stain. Wait for at least an hour, and then launder per the instructions on the care label. If the stain persists, repeat this step and then wash the clothing as you normally would. If the stain isn’t new and has already set in a bit, allow the item to soak overnight after treating it with the detergent, and then wash as you normally would the next day.

Related: 10 Brilliant (And Surprising) Uses for Dish Soap

See Pozniak use dish soap to remove a chocolate stain here:

Another option? A quality liquid detergent, such as Tide Hygienic (Buy from Amazon, $12.32), will also work on a chocolate stain, says Pateras. “Apply directly to the stain, rub it in with your finger or a soft bristle bush and allow it to sit for 15-30 minute; rinse,” she advises. If the stain is  not fully removed, repeat this step and then wash as normal. “If the stain is not new and is fairly set in, then you can leave the item to soak in the stain removing stage overnight before washing as normal,” Pateras says.

See this method in action here:

How to remove chocolate stains from whites only

Follow the same scraping and blotting steps as above but then apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain in place of laundry or dish detergent.  “I recommend spraying the stain and letting it air dry overnight for best results,” says Pozniak. Then launder the item as usual. The hydrogen peroxide breaks the chemical bond in the stain, rendering it colorless. But since it does remove color, it should only be used on stained white items. This method will also work for white-only upholstery or carpet.

Caveat: No matter which product you choose to remove the stain, remember not to put the item in the dryer until you’re sure the stain is gone as heat can set a stain, making it nearly impossible to remove.

Related: Hydrogen Peroxide Can Bring Your Dying Houseplants Back to Life

For stubborn stains: Repeat the process with a few tweaks, says Pozniak. “Really work in the enzymatic stain remover and allow it to sit for longer on the stain,” he advises. Then rewash but increase the water temperature of the wash. You can also soak the item in hot water and powdered oxygen bleach overnight before rewashing. 

How to remove chocolate stains from carpet or upholstery

chocolate bar melting on carpet for how to remove chocolate stains
joebelanger/ Getty

Whether you’re removing a chocolate stain from carpet, upholstery or even a mattress, always test any cleaning solution on a small area first to ensure it doesn’t cause damage or discoloration, advises Marla Mock, President of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company. “Additionally, it’s recommended to consider using a professional carpet cleaning service for stubborn stains or delicate fabrics.” The good news is there are multiple ways to remove the stain, depending on what you have lying around the house. First follow the steps above to scrape and blot then pick your cleaning method:

Vinegar and baking soda: then whip up this baking soda and vinegar solution: Combine equal parts baking soda and vinegar to form a paste. Apply this paste to the stained area and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Then gently blot with a clean cloth soaked in warm water. “Baking soda’s abrasiveness lifts dirt and stains, while vinegar loosens the chocolate and eliminates odors,” says Mock. 

See a video demonstrating this stain-removal method here:

Related: Experts Caution Against Using Baking Soda and Bleach for Mold — The $2 Toilet Bowl Cleaner To Use Instead

A dish soap solution: Mix a tablespoon of a good grease-fighting dish soap with two cups of warm water. Apply this solution to the chocolate stain whether it’s on upholstery or carpet, says Mock, who advises gently dabbing the stained area with a clean toothbrush or cloth, being careful not to rub and further spread the stain. Rinse with cold water, and repeat if necessary. The dish soap works to break the stain into smaller molecules, which then easily dissolve in water and rinse away. Finish by blotting the area dry with a white cloth.

If it’s still visible, sprinkle corn starch over the stain to absorb any remaining stain particles as well as excess moisture. Vacuum the corn starch away, and the stain should be gone. 

See this method performed here – with the addition of upholstery cleaner and corn starch for stubborn spots

Club soda: Club soda can also remove a chocolate stain from upholstery or carpet, says Mock. “Pour club soda directly onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes,” she says. Then blot the area with a clean cloth to absorb the chocolate and club soda. Repeat as needed until the stain is lifted. The bubbles in the soda help to break up the chocolate particles, which can then be rinsed and blotted away. Note: This method won’t work on set-in stains.

Shaving cream: Most people don’t know it, but shaving cream works great on many different types of stains, chocolate included! Since shaving cream is essentially a soap, it works to break down the chocolate particles. “The foamy consistency helps lift the stain from the fibers effectively,” says Mock. Just spray a small amount of the foam type of shaving cream onto the stained area, and work it into the fibers of the carpet or upholstery. Let it sit for a few minutes and then blot the stain away with a clean, damp cloth. Finish by rinsing with cold water and blotting the area dry.

Related: 10 Brilliant Uses for Shaving Cream

For more on stain removal, click through the links below!

How to Deep Clean Carpet Without a Machine — And the Best Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solutions

How to Remove Toothpaste Stains From Clothes: Laundry Experts’ Fast Fixes

How to Remove Bleach Stains: Laundry Pros Reveal Easy Tricks That Can Save Clothes

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