How to Get Chocolate Out of Clothes

A chocolate break can quickly turn into a laundry headache if chocolate rubs against clothing. Chocolate’s melty, streaky tendencies make it notoriously hard to get out of clothing. It’s actually the tannins and fatty oils in chocolate that make getting chocolate out of fabric so difficult. Luckily, some easy hacks for how to get chocolate out of clothes can sweeten the deal. Take a look at six ways to remove chocolate from clothing quickly.

1. Scrape Chocolate Away From Fabric

A butter knife from the kitchen is helpful for removing chocolate from clothing. While a knife may not be all that’s needed to remove chocolate, it provides a good starting point for avoiding a big stain. Simply use a butter knife to carefully scrape away any excess chocolate from the fabric. A knife is more effective than trying to rub away a dollop of excess chocolate because it will swiftly, cleanly lift the chocolate instead of pressing it into the fabric the way a napkin might.

Observe the state of the fabric once the chocolate has been scraped away. If a deep stain remains, consider using one of the intensive, spot-focused removal methods shared on the list below. If barely any residue remains, a garment can usually be washed as usual as the final step for clearing away chocolate stains.

2. Loosen Chocolate Residue With the “Backwards Washing” Method

Don’t just focus on the actual contact point when removing chocolate from fabrics. Getting on the underside of the stain can help to loosen fibers from the fabric to make removal more effective. Run cold water over the backside of the stained portion of the garment. The pressure of the water helps to loosen the stains from the fiber. What’s more, this is a powerful loosening technique that doesn’t come with a risk for pressing the stain deeper into the fabric the way that focusing on the stained side of the garment might. Once the chocolate stain has been loosened from the fibers, simply follow through using an option for stain removal and washing.

3. Use Hydrogen Peroxide

This is a great hack for how to get chocolate out of clothes using something that’s probably already on the shelf in the bathroom. Mix one part dish soap with two parts hydrogen peroxide. Next, dab the liquid mixture on the chocolate stain. Give the mixture 10 minutes to set to help it cut through the fat in the chocolate. The stain should dissolve enough for the residue to be scraped away before the clothing item is washed like normal.

There’s an important tip to know about using hydrogen peroxide to get chocolate out of clothing. Unlike other common household liquids, peroxide can actually bleach fabrics. It’s a great idea to test hydrogen peroxide on a small spot on the clothing item that’s not highly visible to observe how the fabric reacts. If significant bleaching is noticed, it might be time to move on to another tip from this list instead.

4. Soak the Garment in Cold Water

Cold water should be used for chocolate stains instead of hot water. It’s important to remember that hot water can essentially “bake” the chocolate into fabric by melting it. After excess chocolate has been removed from the surface of a garment, soak the garment in cold water for 30 to 45 minutes. Check to see if the stain has decreased after the soaking session is through. If chocolate is still visible, consider soaking the garment for another 15 minutes.

5. Treat the Chocolate Stain With Liquid Detergent

Ordinary liquid detergent is incredibly powerful against the oils in chocolate that cling to fabrics. In most cases, you can successfully use ordinary liquid laundry detergent as a pre-treatment for stains. Simply rub a drop of liquid detergent into the chocolate stain from both sides of the fabric. Allow the detergent to sit for up to 10 minutes. Next, soak the clothing in cold water for up to 20 minutes without rinsing it. One way to help the process along is to gently scrub the stained area every few minutes to loosen the oils from the fabric.

6. Try the Freeze Method

Freezing chocolate stains is an easy way to remove a full stain in one fast movement without fear of drippy, runny chocolate oils making a bigger mess on a garment. Placing ice or ice packs over the stain can help to freeze the chocolate into a solid state. If necessary, a garment can also be carefully placed in the freezer until the stain becomes hardened. Once the chocolate is hard, it’s time to get under the stain using a butter knife. It should be possible to lift the rigid, firm stain away without a struggle.

Keeping Cool Is the Secret for Quickly Removing Chocolate Stains

The one thing to avoid when removing chocolate stains from clothing is heat. Heat will only drive a chocolate stain deeper into the fabric by loosening the oils and fats within the chocolate. Cool, crisp conditions are best when treating a chocolate stain because they help chocolate form into a liquid state instead of continuing the melting process. Simply being able to put an end to melting can greatly improve the chances of removing a chocolate stain without permanent damage.