Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to Remove Chocolate Stains

I cook and bake with chocolate, and I eat a lot of chocolate. Needless to say, I am not always stain-free, nor is my kitchen. And then there's my couch and rugs. Yes, chocolate makes itself into every room in my household.

So, I thought I would do two posts on How to Remove Chocolate Stains. With the holidays coming up, this should be useful. Love to hear from you on your own chocolate removal techniques.

Today I'm covering Fabrics. First rule of thumb is to remove any stains immediately. However, you might have overlooked that blob of chocolate from the Chocolate Tasting or Chocolate Fountain. Always check the guidelines on the item of clothing or article. No directions? Try the following. Here's another helpful hint. If you can, try removing the stain from the opposite side of the fabric. This is not always available or practical, but thought I should mention it.

PART I: FABRICS

Washable fabrics: Cotton, Linen, Acrylic fabric, nylon, polyester, spandex

Luckily, many fabrics are washable, but you still need to take a few precautionary steps.
First, wipe off as much as possible without applying a lot of pressure. BLOT.
Rinse the stain with Club Soda. (this should be a staple in your pantry for lots of different stains)
At this point if the spot looks like it's gone, and the article can go in the washer, I'll put a little Simple Green on the spot and throw it in and wash on cold. I won't dry in the dryer, until I'm sure it's out.

However, HowStuffWorks.com adds a few steps. If the article is important to you, I suggest adding these steps and not throwing the article into the washer.
Sponge the spot with a spot lifter.
Apply a dry spotter to the stain and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the dry spotter.
Keep the stain moist with dry spotter.
Let it stand as long as any stain is being lifted.
Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
Flush with a dry-cleaning solvent.

If any stain remains:
Apply a few drops of dishwashing detergent and a few drops of ammonia to the stain, then tamp or scrape.
Keep the stain moist with the detergent and ammonia and blot occasionally with an absorbent pad.
Flush well with water to remove all traces of ammonia.
Allow to dry or launder as usual.

Non Washable Fabrics: Acetate, Burlap, Rayon, Rope, Silk, Wool

I wear silk shirts all the time, so chocolate invariably finds its way onto these shirts. The shirts are washable. Who knew? Since I have over 25 of them in all colors, it was a wonderful discovery. What I do is blot and then use use a little dishwasher soap (very little), and rinse. I throw the shirt in the washer on cold for a short cycle, but don't dry them in the dryer until I check the spot.

HowStuffWorks.com has a more methodical way of removing chocolate stains from non-washable fabrics:
Blot up any excess, or scrape (the method of using a scraping tool to gently lift off excess solid or caked-on stains) any matter from the surface.
Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining materials and residue from stain removers) the stain with club soda to prevent setting.
Sponge (the method of using light strokes with a dampened pad working outward from the center of the stain) the stain with a spot lifter or cleaning fluid.
Then apply a dry spotter to the stain and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the dry spotter.
Keep the stain and pad moist with the dry spotter. Let it stand as long as any stain is being removed.
Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
Flush with dry-cleaning solvent.

If a stain remains:
Moisten with an enzyme pre-soak (follow directions on label).
Cover with a clean pad that has been dipped in the solution and wrung almost dry.
Let stand at least 30 minutes.
Add more solution if needed to keep the stain warm and moist, but do not allow the wet area to spread.
When the stain is lifted, flush thoroughly with water and allow to dry.

And more from HowStuffWorks.com:

Felt and Fur: 
Different procedure to remove chocolate from the cat or dog. Since chocolate is dangerous to animals, you shouldn't allow chocolate near them!

Gently scrape to remove excess.
Mix a mild soap in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds.
Dip a cloth in the foam and apply to the fabric.
Rinse by wiping with a clean cloth dampened with clear water.

If a grease stain remains:
Powder the stain with an absorbent such as corn meal.
Give it plenty of time to work.
Gently brush (the method of using a stiff-bristled brush to gently remove dried stains and spots) it out.
Take care not to force the absorbent further into the hairs. Repeat if necessary.

Leather and Suede: 
This is very similar to felt and fur, except for the final step with leather.

Gently scrape excess from the surface.
Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water.
Swish to create a great volume of suds.
Apply only the foam with a sponge.
Wipe dry with a clean cloth.

If a stain remains:
Powder it with an absorbent such as corn meal.
Give it plenty of time to work.
Gently brush it off.
Repeat if necessary
On leather only, follow with a leather cleaner or saddle soap to condition the leather.

How to remove chocolate from other surfaces to come in another post.

4 comments:

Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco said...

A revelation! Using the excuse "chocolate stains show character" isn't cutting it anymore. ;)

Janet Rudolph said...

LOL, Kelly!

~~louise~~ said...

I guess someone had to cover the subject of untidy chocolate stains. I can't think of a better person!!!

GREAT idea, Janet, thanks for sharing...

Janet Rudolph said...

Yes, thought I should give some practical advice. Of course, recipes are practical, too! Especially for chocoholics :-)