chocolate stain on shirt

How to Remove Chocolate Stains

There’s nothing better than kicking back on the sofa with a gooey chocolate bar and a cuppa. That is, until you drop the creamy chocolate bar and it somehow lands on your sofa, and wedges itself firmly in your carpet’s fibres.

Chocolate isn’t exactly the easiest mess to clean up and it can leave quite the stain too. So, how do you remove choccy smudges? Find out below.


When Removing Chocolate Stains Always…

Check Clothing Labels Before Bleaching

  • Act fast! Don’t allow your chocolatey spots to sit and stew for longer than necessary. Remove the stain while it is still fresh.
  • Don’t smudge the stain further into the fabric because it’ll be harder to remove.
  • Don’t walk over the chocolatey patch!
  • Don’t tumble dry your chocolate-smeared items because the heat from the dryer will set the chocolatey stain!
  • Air dry your clothes in sunlight, if possible. This will bleach them with natural light and help remove stains.
  • When treating a stain always work from the outside of the stain towards its centre. This prevents it from spreading.
  • Test your chosen cleaning method out before you start cleaning!
  • Keep pets and children out of the room when you’re completing a treatment.
  • Always check the fabric’s label before treating it. Some items may be ‘dry clean only’.
  • If you’re worried about cleaning a chocolate stain off an item of clothing, upholstery or carpet, ask a professional cleaner for help.


How to Remove Chocolate Stains from Clothes

chocolate stain on clothes

With so many chocolatey mixes about, it’s inevitable that you’ll get chocolate over your clothes at some point. 

So, whether you drop a slice of chocolate cake onto your lap, or a blob of sticky chocolate sauce escapes from your ice cream, you need to remove the mess before it causes trouble. Follow the steps below.

Note: You’re advised not to use the method below to clean a chocolate stain off a delicate material (silk and wool, for example). For more delicate materials you should ask a professional dry cleaner for help. 

Tools you’ll need:

  • Teaspoon/plastic knife
  • Cold water
  • Liquid detergent
  • Tub/bucket
  • Stain remover (optional)
  • Washing machine 

Steps to follow: 

  1. Scrape off as much chocolate as you can from your item of clothing, but don’t be too rough – use a plastic knife or a teaspoon to do this.
  2. Turn your garment inside out.
  3. Run cold water through the back of the stain.
  4. Massage a liquid detergent into both sides of the chocolate stain. Choose a suitable detergent for the material you’re cleaning. The detergent will break down the oiliness and tannins in the chocolate.
  5. Wait about five to ten minutes.
  6. In the meantime, fill a bucket/tub up with cold water.
  7. Submerge the treated item of clothing in the cold water.
  8. Leave for about 30 minutes.
  9. Remove the garment and rinse all the soap off with cold water.
  10. Check the item for chocolate stains.
  11. If there are still chocolate marks on the item of clothing, repeat the steps above until the stain has gone or use an off-the-shelf stain remover to take out the mark.
  12. When the stain has gone, launder the item as per the instructions on the care label.
  13. Avoid tumble drying the item because the intense heat from the dryer will set any chocolate marks that you’ve failed to clean away. In turn, any specks that’ve been missed will be harder to remove from the garment.

Alternative methods:

alternative products to remove chocolate stains

1. Bicarbonate of soda

If the chocolate stain won’t go away, you could spread a bicarbonate of soda paste over the patch. The bicarbonate of soda will break down the stain and draw out the colour.

2. An off-the-shelf powder stain remover

If you’d prefer to use a powder-based item instead of a liquid laundry detergent, try Vanish Oxi Action Crystal White Powder for white clothes, or Vanish Oxi Action Fabric Stain Remover Powder for coloured clothes. (These products are not suitable for wool and silk items of clothing).

Just pre-treat your item of clothing with the powder (follow the steps above), leave the garment to rest, and for the powder to break down the chocolate stain. And when you’re done you can launder your item as normal.

3. Oxygen bleach and water

In some cases, you may be able to bleach your clothes in an oxygen bleach and water mixture. Simply mix the ingredients in a tub and pop your garment into the water for an hour or so. You can then wash your item as usual.


How to Remove Chocolate Stains from Upholstery

chocolate stain on sofa

It’s not uncommon for a rogue chunk of chocolate to find its way onto your sofa as you binge watch the latest Netflix hit.

Unfortunately for you, the choccy in question will find a way of entangling itself in your settee’s fibres. And it’s up to you to sort the mess out before it gets worse.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Spoon/dull knife
  • Hoover
  • Ice
  • Sealable bag
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Bowl
  • Cup
  • Washing up liquid
  • Warm water
  • Clean cloths

Steps to follow:

  1. Scrape as much chocolate as you can off the upholstery, but don’t be too rough because you could damage the material – use a blunt knife or a spoon to do this. 
  2. Hoover up any loose chocolate.
  3. Wrap some ice cubes up in a sealable bag and place the bag onto the stained area.
  4. Allow the ice filled bag to rest for a few minutes and then remove it. You don’t want the upholstery to get wet as the ice melts.
  5. Once the patch has gone colder, re-scrape the area again. You can use an old soft toothbrush to brush off any chocolatey debris.
  6. Hoover away any stray pieces of chocolate.
  7. In a bowl mix one tablespoon of washing up liquid with two cups of warm water.
  8. Dip a soft toothbrush into the water.
  9. Gently massage the soapy solution that’s on the toothbrush into the chocolate stain – don’t press down too hard because this may damage the upholstery, and will likely push the chocolate further into the upholstery’s fibres.
  10. The soft toothbrush will slowly remove the chocolate stain from the upholstery.
  11. Dip the toothbrush into the bowl of solution regularly, so you clean off any chocolatey debris from the bristles.
  12. Make sure the upholstery doesn’t get too wet during this process – have a clean cloth at the ready to blot up any excess water.
  13. Repeat the steps above until the chocolate stain has completely gone.
  14. Allow the upholstery to air dry naturally – don’t sit on the chair/sofa during this time.
  15. Hoover the upholstery.

Alternative method:

You could also buy an off-the-shelf cleaning spray to help you remove the chocolatey goodness from your upholstery.

Vanish Oxi Action Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is one example. It’s very simple to use, cost effective and the treatment won’t take you too long to complete.


How to Remove Chocolate Stains from a Carpet

removing carpet stain

To remove a chocolate stain from a carpet follow, the steps above for ‘How to Remove Chocolate Stains from Upholstery’.

Just make sure that nobody walks over the chocolatey spot on your carpet before and when you’re treating it! Not only will feet and paws push the gooey mess into the carpet’s fibres, but they’ll also spread the mess all around the room – this just means more cleaning up work for you.


Does Vinegar Remove Chocolate Stains?

Vinegar can be used to remove a chocolate stain. Just mix one part white vinegar with one part cold water in a tub, and submerge your item of clothing in the liquid. Wait about ten minutes and then wash your garment as usual.

Remember to always do a patch test first.