Chocolate is one of the most notorious clothing stain culprits. The oily cocoa butter in chocolate readily transfers onto fabric and becomes stubbornly set after drying. But don’t despair if you’ve been victim of a chocolate stain disaster. With the right techniques, you can rescue clothes from brown splotches.

How Chocolate Stains Form

To remove chocolate stains, it helps to understand what’s in chocolate that creates them:

Cocoa Butter

The naturally occurring oils in cacao beans leave greasy stains very difficult to eliminate.

Dairy Fat

Milk fats in chocolate, like butterfat in milk chocolate, also leave oily residue.


The sugars attract dirt, trapping it within the stain.


Added artificial coloring worsens staining on light clothing.


Thickeners and emulsifiers bind chocolate to fabric making it harder to lift off.

Chocolate’s oily, sticky nature leads to stubborn staining.

How to Remove Fresh Wet Chocolate Stains

Act immediately when chocolate stains are still fresh for best results:

Blot Excess

Use a clean white cloth or paper towel to lift off excess chocolate. Don’t scrub fabric.

Ice Cubes

Ice helps harden fresh chocolate stains so they lift up easier from fabric.

Baking Soda or Cornstarch

Sprinkle either powder on stain generously to absorb oily residue. Let sit 10 minutes.

Dish Soap

Make a solution of warm water and dish soap. Swish stained fabric gently to dissolve oils.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Peroxide solution helps lift out many fresh food-based stains with its oxidizing action.

Avoid Heat

Don’t put stained garments in dryer until stain removed fully or heat will set it permanently.

The quicker you act, the easier wet chocolate stains lift.

Removing Dried Chocolate Stains

Once chocolate stains dry, removal takes a bit more work:

Liquid Laundry Detergent

Pretreat with concentrated liquid detergent. Allow to sit on stain 10 minutes before washing.

Vinegar Rinse

After washing, run stained item through an extra rinse cycle with 1 cup vinegar which cuts grease.


Apply a few drops of pure glycerin on the stain and let soak for an hour before washing.

Oxygen Bleach

Make a paste of powdered oxygen bleach and cool water. Rub into stain. Rinse thoroughly after washing.

Dishwasher Detergent

For really stubborn dried or baked-on chocolate, rub a mix of dishwasher detergent and water on the stain before washing.

It may take multiple treatments to fully eliminate set-in chocolate grease stains.

Removing Chocolate Stains From Specific Fabrics

Use these added tips for different fabrics:


Work up a lather with dish soap before washing to dissolve oily residue. Avoid hot water which could melt acrylic fibers.


Use an enzyme presoak cleaner formulated for synthetic fabrics to bust oily stains.


Dab stains on silk, satin, lace gently with diluted clear dish soap and cool water. Skip scrubbing.

Wool and Cashmere

Blot stains immediately. Use a wool-safe stain remover. Hand wash only with cool water to prevent heat setting stain and shrinkage.

White Fabrics

Non-chlorine bleach helps remove discoloration without damaging fibers like chlorine bleach does.

Tweak techniques based on the fiber makeup.

Laundering Stained Items

Wash chocolate stained garments properly:

  • Wash in cool water. Hot water can set in stains permanently.
  • _ Air dry_ – skip the dryer heat. Direct sunlight helps lift stains.
  • Wash chocolate clothes separately – the oil and sugar residue can spread to other laundry.
  • Add borax or baking soda – alkalis help remove oils and whiten fabrics.
  • Use an enzyme cleaner – enzymes dissolve and digest oils and organic matter.
  • Increase rinse cycles – gets rid of all traces of chocolate residue.

Launder with care after stain removal.

How To Remove Chocolate From Upholstery

Chocolate stains furniture too! Blot, use ice cubes, then try these methods:

  • Dish soap solution – Use a soft brush and lather up stains.
  • Rubbing alcohol – Gently wipe stained area with 70% solution.
  • White vinegar – Test first and dab on pure vinegar if fabric is colorfast.
  • Oxygen bleach – Mix with water into a paste and carefully scrub onto stain.
  • Nail polish remover – Use on durable fabrics with an old toothbrush.
  • Steam clean – Use upholstery attachment to force cleaning foam into fibers.

With some elbow grease, chocolate comes out of carpets, sofas and chairs too!

Preventing Chocolate Clothing Stains

Avoid stains proactively:

  • Wear an apron or smock for baking and food prep.
  • Cover clothes with towels or napkins when enjoying chocolate delicacies.
  • Store chocolate in cool area – prevent melting which leads to drips and mess.
  • Keep pre-wash stain remover and dish soap within reach in kitchen.
  • Immediately rinse hands, face and clothes when dealing with chocolate.

Protect your clothes by being prepared for sweet surprises!

Chocolate Stain FAQs

What is the best way to get chocolate out of clothes?

  • For fresh stains – blot immediately and use ice cubes, baking soda rub, or dish soap scrub.
  • For dried stains – enzymatic pretreat, glycerin, oxygen bleach paste.

Does vinegar remove chocolate stains?

Yes! Vinegar helps dissolve and lift oil-based stains like chocolate. Add to wash or soak garment after pretreating stain.

Will chocolate come out in the wash?

Not if stain has fully dried – the heat will set it permanently. Pretreat dried chocolate stains first before attempting to wash items.

Can you get chocolate out with cold water?

Yes, cold or lukewarm water is ideal for prerinsing and soaking out fresh chocolate stains because hot water can set in oil-based stains.

What removes old chocolate stains?

Enzyme cleaners, glycerin, oxygen bleach boosters, nail polish remover (on durable fabrics), steam cleaning. Repeated treatments are likely needed on aged stains.

How do you get chocolate out of upholstery?

Blot immediately. Use ice to harden. Dab with dish soap, vinegar or nail polish remover based on fabric. Scrub with toothbrush. Steam clean.

Outsmart chocolate’s staining powers! Don’t let a chocolate mishap ruin your outfit – or your upholstery. With the inside scoop on cleaning methods, you can indulge your sweet tooth without swear words needed later. Keep your clothes “couture” and furniture looking lickin’ good no matter what sticky situations come your way.

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