How to Get Chocolate Out of Clothes

Published December 4, 2019
Boy holds chocolate and has smudged clothes

Chocolate tastes amazing. It, however, doesn't like your clothes. A chocolate stain doesn't mean the end of your plaid pants, but it will require some quick thinking to remove it. Learn how you can get chocolate out of your t-shirts to your wool pants using a variety of cleaners.

Treating Chocolate Stains on Clothes

That yummy treat has turned into a disaster for your favorite shirt. Chocolate is a harder stain to remove because of the dark cocoa and butter that goes into that rich deliciousness. As long as you act fast, all hope is not lost. To treat those gooey chocolate stains, you're going to need:

  • Stain treater
  • Lemon juice
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Cloth
  • Peroxide

Lemon Juice Soak

While it might seem tempting, unless you are five, you'll want to scrape rather than lick that stain off. Then, you'll follow these simple steps:

  1. Dab some lemon juice on to a cloth
  2. Apply the lemon juice to the chocolate.
  3. Let it sit on the stain for a minute or two.
  4. Repeat until gone.
  5. Machine wash and let it air dry.

Rather than lemon juice, you can also try applying a stain treater like Shout and allowing it to sit for the time recommended on the back of the bottle.

Dish Soap Method

You might have a bigger stain or something that needs a bit more grease fighting power. In that case, it is time to move on to the bigger guns. You'll want to follow these steps.

  1. Pre-treat with lemon juice per above.
  2. Flush the back of the stain with warm water.
  3. Combine 1 tablespoon of dish soap with about 3 cups of water.
  4. Soak the stained area in the solution for about 15 minutes.
  5. If stain persists, soak in peroxide for about a minute.
  6. Machine wash and allow to air dry.

Vinegar and Laundry Soap

If you don't have lemon juice or dish soap on hand, you might try vinegar and laundry soap. This method is pretty similar but the times for the steps can vary slightly.

  1. Soak an area of a cloth in vinegar and apply it to the stain.
  2. Allow the vinegar to sit on the clothing for 10 minutes or more.
  3. Rinse the back of the stain with cold water.
  4. Mix 1 teaspoon of grease-dissolving laundry detergent with 2 cups of water.
  5. Put the mixture on the back of the stain and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Washing the garment in cold water and allow to air dry.

Removing Chocolate Stains on Dry Clean Only Clothes

If you get a chocolate stain on your dry clean only clothes, you'll want to take them to a professional, if at all possible. If you can' t get them to a professional, you can try to remove it yourself.

Proceed With Caution

It should be noted that removing chocolate from dry clean only clothes is going to be really difficult. Therefore, the method above should be taken with caution.



You're probably thinking, mineral oil that sounds really dangerous to use on clothing. But similar materials are attracted to one another, so you're going to use the mineral oil to dissolve the fat in the chocolate.

  1. Dip a sponge into the dry-cleaning solvent.
  2. Sponge the stain.
  3. Mix a splash or two of solvent with a drop of oil. You're looking for an 8:1 mixture.
  4. Mix up the two well.
  5. Wet a cloth in the mixture and dab the stain.
  6. As the stain comes up, keep using a clean part of your cloth to reapply the mixture.
  7. Use straight solvent as a rinse.
  8. Get it to a dry cleaner or use a home dry cleaning kit to freshen it up.

What About Set-In Chocolate Stains?

Set-in stains are the worst and by far the hardest to clean. These stains probably went unnoticed and made it through both the washer and the dryer. Now the chocolate stain is set into the fibers. While hope is dim, it is not lost.

woman notices a stain on her sweatshirt

Baking Soda and Toothpaste

Drastic times call for drastic measures, especially in the laundry room. For this method, you'll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Toothpaste
  • Dish soap
  • Cloth


This method is simple but effective for those stubborn or set-in stains.

  1. Dip a cloth in vinegar and apply it to the stain for 10-15 minutes to help break it up.
  2. Rinse the vinegar with water on the back of the stain.
  3. Apply a dab of toothpaste and work it into the stained area.
  4. Sprinkle a little baking soda on to the toothpaste working it in until it completely dissolves.
  5. Rinse and repeat as the stain becomes lighter.
  6. Add a few drops of laundry detergent or stain fighter to a tub of cold water and soak the garment for 30 minutes to an hour.
  7. Wash using grease-fighting laundry detergent and OxiClean or bleach alternative.
  8. Allow to air dry.

Knowing When to Give Up

There are times when you have to throw in the towel. Ninety percent of the time, the methods above will work to remove most stains. However, very large stains or those that have had time to really set into the material will be much harder to remove. If you have tried everything, you can choose to take it to a dry cleaner to see if they can remove the stain. You might also decide it is time to throw that shirt, blouse, or slacks out.

Removing Chocolate Stains

While chocolate tastes amazing, it can wreak havoc on your wardrobe. While a small spill can be easily cleaned, a large spill or set in stain could mean the end of your favorite hoodie. Armed with the knowledge you need to be a chocolate fighting ninja, get cleaning.

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How to Get Chocolate Out of Clothes