Removing chocolate stains
Kids love eating chocolates, pastries and cakes and when they rub their little fingers on their clothes, the chocolate stains are created nicely. So if you have kids at home these chocolate stains may be an everyday thing to deal with.
Chocolate itself has a low melting point due to which in most recipes it will turn into a thick liquid or creamy texture that can easily get easily displaced while eating.
Like with other stains, the sooner you act on it, the better. Other ingredients in the chocolate recipe like natural oils etc can help the stain set in if left unattended for long.
Removing the stains is not a heavy task. Common household items like detergent, vinegar, dishwash liquid can be sufficient to deal with and remove the chocolate stain completely.
1. Scrape the excessive chocolate
Chocolate stains are best treated when they are fresh. The first thing you should do is scrape off the excess chocolate from the clothes carefully without smudging it further. Use a spoon or just your fingers to do it.
Once you have removed the chocolate, rinse with cold water to dilute the stain as much as possible. This will make it light and easy to remove.
2. Pre-treat with detergent
After rinsing with water, the residue left behind would be a tight stain that needs some treatment. Prepare a paste using detergent and water, and apply it on the stain directly. Dab and rub gently.
If the stain is large in size then you may have to soak the whole thing in a detergent solution in a bowl or something. Let the thing sit for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse with cold water. The stain should be significantly reduced, if not completely gone. Then launder as usual.
4. Vinegar or Lemon
As always, vinegar is effective in removing chocolate stains too. Mix equal parts of vinegar with water and use a sponge to dab the solution on the stain. Keep doing till the stain gets lighter and lighter until you see no further improvement.
You can also try some lemon juice with salt. Lemon has a mild bleaching effect and can loosen out the stubborn stain that has been sitting for long.
However be cautious when applying lemon to clothes. It might bleach the color of the fabric. Read the label for instructions, check the fabric type and then first test on a hidden part of the garment to ensure that the color or texture of the fabric is not affected.
If you are still not very sure, then skip this method and use a stain remover or detergent only.
3. Dish washing liquid
Dish washing liquids are also quite effective in removing common food stains from clothes. Apply some dish washing liquid like Palmolive to the chocolate stain. Dab and rub gently till the stain is removed. Rinse the clothe with water and wash as usual.
5. Stain remover
Old and dried up chocolate stains appear as deep colored patches and are difficult to remove. With time, these stains set into the fabric and become difficult to remove. But even with such old and dried stains you can try the above mentioned remedies.
If the stain is very strong and refuses to leave using the above methods, then your last resort is to try some commercial stain remover product. Any of the popular stain remover spray or gel should be sufficient for the job.
Extra tips and advice
The above method should work well with most fabrics like cotton and polyester. If the garment is marked as non-washable then do not apply any of the above methods. Instead take it to a professional.
Garments made of silk and delicate wool are generally non-washable and apply any kind of detergent on them can ruin the fabric. So make it a habit to check the fabric type and the washing instructions on its label.