Chocolate is one of the world’s favourite treats and this time of year in particular is known to be the “chocolate season”, where shops are well-stocked with tasty chocolate eggs that you can enjoy and share with your family and friends. It’s also the time of year where you can expect to find chocolate stains everywhere, especially if you have little ones in the house! So what should you do if you end up with chocolate stains on your favourite clothes?
The rule of thumb with any stain is to act quickly. The longer the chocolate stays on your clothes, the more likely it is to turn into a stubborn stain that cannot be easily removed.
The first thing you should do is to check the care labels on your clothes see how they should be washed. Here’s a good article to help you understand Wash Care Labels: http://lifestyle.eawuk.com/wash-coloured-clothes/
- For washable clothes, follow these steps:
- Use a spoon to gently remove any excess chocolate from the affected area. Make sure not to rub or push the chocolate further into the fabric.
- Turn your clothes inside out and then pour cold running water on the back side of the stain. This helps to prevent the stain spreading into the fabric. If washing inside out is not possible, gather the affected fabric in your hand and hold it under cold running water. You can also saturate it in cold water to help loosen the chocolate particles and make the stain easier to remove later on. Keep in mind that you should never wash the stain with hot water as this will set the stain.
- Gently but thoroughly rub liquid detergent on the affected area. Liquid detergents are preferable in these situations as they dissolve more easily in cold water.
- If most of the stain came out in the previous step, it’s time to put the clothes in the washing machine on a normal wash. If the stain is still dark, leave the detergent on the clothes and soak them in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Remember to rub the stain every 2 to 3 minutes until it’s gone.
- At this point, the stain should have disappeared. However, if it’s still there and you feel that rubbing and rinsing is not helping anymore, it’s time to apply a stain remover. There are many specialist solutions on the market tailored to different types of stains including chocolate, so read the label carefully to ensure you use one that is suited to your stain.
- Once you are happy with the result, launder your clothes as usual in your washing machine. Remember to check your clothes carefully and make sure that the stain has gone completely before tumble drying them or the heat will set whatever remains of the stain.
- Non-washable clothes are very sensitive and could be damaged easily if you try to remove the stain at home. It’s better to send them to a dry cleaner that has the experience and tools to assess the situation and use the best method to remove the stain from the fabric.