As a professional chef it’s important for my jackets to be clean and stain free but when working with chocolate it’s going to happen tempered chocolate, ganache, ice cream, hot chocolate, chocolate pudding —
the list of chocolate dishes is endless, and so are the chances of spilling something on your clothes. but don’t worry: these oily brown stains are easily treatable.
Persistence and patience is key with stain removal.
Apply a liquid laundry detergent like Persil to the stain as a pre-treatment, and then wash as normal on a cool cycle,following the instructions on the garment label. If the stain doesn’t disappear on the first go, try again.
take the chocolate back to its solid state before it can melt further into the fabric. Place the garment in a plastic bag (stain facing outwards so that it doesn’t spread onto clean parts of the garment) then into the freezer until it’s hard. Using a blunt knife or something similar, gently scrape or lever the excess chocolate off the clothes. Be gentle when doing this, as you don’t want to grind the chocolate further into the clothing fibres.
Flush the back of the stained item with cold running water or soda water.
Hold the reverse of the item under the tap or – if that’s not possible – saturate the stain with cold water or soda water.
- This will help loosen the chocolate particles and drive them out of the clothing fibres.
- Rub a biological laundry detergent or liquid dishwashing detergent into the stain. Do this thoroughly (but not too roughly) and make sure the detergent saturates the fabric. Persil liquid has a Stain Eraser Ball that you can use for pre-treating stains.Soak the garment in cold water for 15 minutes, and gently rub at the stain every 3-5 minutes or so. Keep on doing this and rinsing, until the stain is gone.You may need to re-apply more detergent for a particularly tough stain. If the stain persists, use one of the commercial stain removers.
Wash as usual in the washing machine, and the stain should be gone! If not, repeat Steps 2 to 5. Be sure to check the stain is completely gone before you tumble-dry or iron the garment.
Acetate, silk, rayon, wool, and other non-washable fabrics may require a more specialised approach to removing chocolate stains. It might be easier to take any clothing to the dry cleaners rather than risking any damage.
Removing Chocolate Stains: Basic Tips
Always read your garment care labels first.
Act quickly once your clothes have been stained. The longer you leave the chocolate stains, the harder it will be to get them out.
Always use cold water to treat a chocolate stain, hot water can make a chocolate stain set.
When treating as stain, ideally place a clean cloth or paper towel underneath the stain, so it does not spread onto the fabric underneath.