Got kids? Get chocolate out of their clothes with these tips

Chocolate should be a treat, not a chore

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

If you're celebrating Easter this weekend, that likely means cooking a spiral ham, dressing in your Sunday best, finding hidden eggs, and—of course—cleaning stains from a melted chocolate bunny off your kids.

What is a parent to do? Stay cool—and we don't just mean keeping calm. Cold temperatures are ideal for getting chocolate stains out of fabrics.

1. Bust out the ice cubes

Ice cold
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan
Pretreat with ice to prevent the stain from setting into the fabric.

For small, fresh chocolate stains, dabbing an ice cube on the stain is your best bet. Different kinds of chocolate contain a variety of stain-causing compounds, many of which can set into fabrics when heat is applied. Ice cubes will prevent that from happening.

If you want to get into the nitty gritty, what's happening is that the cold water keeps the proteins in the chocolate from denaturing, or falling apart—which makes it more difficult to remove. Think of denatured protein as a handful of confetti, which is a lot harder to pick up than a single piece of paper.

For large globs of chocolate, consider putting the whole article of clothing into the fridge. Doing this will harden the gooey glob into something you can gently scrape off.

2. Gently rub some detergent onto the stain

Detergent
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan
Laundry detergent works best—but dishwashing liquid is good in a pinch.

An ice cube does the trick for protein, but it isn't going to help wash out the oil component of chocolate. That's where detergent comes in.

Be sure to make sure the article of clothing in question is not dry-clean only. We've got a handy guide on what those puzzling fabric symbols mean, if you're not sure.

Best detergent tbrn hero

Related

Best Laundry Detergents

You can use laundry or dish soap (but not detergent for a dishwasher) to help break down the stain. Gently rub in the soap with your fingers, and let it sit for five minutes. We recommend Persil for its stain removing power.

3. Soak in cold water

Soak
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan
Soak in cold water to get rid of the excess detergent and help lift the stain.

Once detergent is worked in, it's time to soak the stained garment in cold water to wash off the excess soap and lift as much as the stain as possible.

Soak for about a half hour before you check on the stain. Rub it with your fingers to agitate the detergent through the clothing's fibers. Some stains will need to soak overnight.

4. Wash normally in a washing machine

Laundry
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan
After all is said and done, wash your chocolate-stained clothes like normal.

Now that the chocolate stain has been throughly pretreated, you can wash the clothing like you normally would.

5. Repeat if necessary

If the stain still persists, repeat steps two through four, soaking for a little longer this time. If only a grease stain remains, it might be time to use a dedicated stain remover like Shout! or OxiClean.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

What's Your Take?

All Comments
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below