10:08 am - Friday April 28, 2017

Out, Damned Spot!

I love chocolate at all times of day, in just about every form. I love the idea of it, the smell of it, just the thought of it! The only thing I don’t adore about chocolate is the stains that it invariably leaves behind on my clothes, my tablecloth, my furniture …. Any place where a precious drop of the dark deliciousness escaped my grasp and wormed its way onto some piece of fabric represents chocolate’s truly bittersweet aspect. The reason that chocolate creates such a tough stain is the very same thing that makes us love it so much…. The cocoa butter, the low melting point that makes it melt in our mouths, and the creaminess of its milk solids.  It winds its way into all of the fibers of the fabric, totally saturating it. So, as a public service to my fellow chocophiles and spillaholics, I’ve done my due diligence and investigated the absolute best tips on how to wash chocolate stains out of washable fabrics, silk, and a few other challenging surfaces.

Chocolate stain removal

  • The best way to start removing chocolate, especially if a large amount of it has landed on your carpet or clothing, is to allow it to dry so that you can scrape off any hard excess before you start the actual cleaning process.
  • Once the excess chocolate has been scraped off, you want to rewet the chocolate to recreate it in its freshest state. You can do this with any stain treatment solution, cold water and Dawn detergent, or some chefs swear that the best way to remove chocolate is to thoroughly soak it in heavy cream.  They say that the fats in the cream meld with the fat in the stain, loosening the whole mess and allowing regular laundering to work more effectively.
  • Once you’ve soaked the stain for a while, work it with your fingers, or for a particularly stubborn stain try using a toothbrush to work deep into the fabric’s fibers.
  • The best way to remove chocolate is to wash it as quickly as possible after the stain occurs. The fresher the stain, the more easily it is removed.
  • After pretreating, most chocolate will come out in the wash. Be sure to avoid hot water or dryers, as they can set any stain that hasn’t come out completely.
  • For chocolate on upholstery, after scraping off the chocolate on the surface treat with a combination of one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent diluted with two cups of water. Sponge onto the spot and blot, repeating until the spot disappears. For spots on carpet, apply a mixture of one tablespoon of ammonia mixed with half a cup of water using a spray bottle – wet but don’t saturate, then blot off. After the ammonia, use a detergent mixture as with the upholstery formula. If any stain remains, dab with hydrogen peroxide. In both cases, after the stain is removed dab thoroughly with a clean white towel soaked in water until all detergent is removed.
Filed in: Children

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