How to Remove Chocolate Stains from Clothing, Upholstery, and Carpet

Chocolate stains are tricky, but one popular commercial stain remover is the secret to eliminating them.

laundry room sink below clothes bar
Photo: Laura Moss

Chocolate stains can take the fun out of your favorite sweet treats. These unsightly combination stains can be difficult to remove and make a real mess of clothing, table linens, furniture, and carpeting.

Luckily, most chocolate stains can be easily removed from clothing, upholstery, and carpet by using a stain pretreatment product. While there are many good stain removers on the market, there is one, in particular, that is excellent at treating chocolate stains. However, there are times when a more intensive stain-removal process is required. This guide will explain how and when to use a stain treatment product versus a deeper cleaning method for removing chocolate stains.

Before Getting Started: General Chocolate Stain Removal Tips

Chocolate has a reputation as a tough-to-get-out stain, and it's a fairly earned one: Chocolate is what's known as a "combination stain," meaning it is made up of more than one type of stain. In the case of chocolate, the combination is actually three types of stains; tannins from the cocoa, proteins from the milk, and oil from the butter. Yikes!

Don't worry, though; there's a secret weapon in the fight against chocolate stains. Shout Stain Remover is excellent at eliminating chocolate stains. If you are a person who frequently contends with chocolate stains, it might be worth stocking a bottle among your laundry supplies. However, there are plenty of other good options for removing chocolate stains, including using diluted dish soap, which effectively breaks down combination stains, and other commercially available stain removal products.

As with most stains, it is best to treat chocolate stains as soon as possible—the longer a stain is left untreated, the more set-in it will become and the more difficult it will be to remove. If you can't make time to do a full load of laundry, apply a laundry pretreatment product to a chocolate-stained item before tossing it in the hamper. If the stains are small, and the item allows for it, applying a small amount of Shout, massaging it into the fabric using your thumb and forefinger, and flushing with cool running water may eliminate the stain entirely without requiring you to do a load of laundry.

How to Remove Chocolate Stains from Clothes and Linens

Pretreat chocolate stains on clothing, table linens, and bed linens prior to laundering as usual.

What You Need

  • Shout Stain Remover or similar stain treatment product
  • Laundry detergent
  • Spoon or butter knife (optional)

Step 1: Remove Solids 

If there are pieces of chocolate stuck to the fabric, gently scrape them away using the edge of a spoon or a butter knife before applying a stain treatment product.

Step 2: Apply Stain Pretreatment Product

Spray Shout Stain Remover or a similar stain treatment to the chocolate stains. 

Step 3: Agitate Stain Pretreatment Product

Use your fingers or a damp light-colored cloth to gently work the stain remover into the chocolate to help penetrate and break down the stain. Smaller stains are likely to disappear without requiring further action; larger stains can be coaxed out by alternating between applying the stain treatment, rubbing it into the fabric, and flushing it with cool running water, repeating as necessary.

Step 4: Launder as Usual

Wash the item as usual. Check the care tag for any special instructions regarding water temperature and cycle speed and follow those.

Step 5: Check Stain Prior to Drying

After laundering a chocolate-stained item, it's important to check that the stain was fully eliminated in the wash. If there is still staining, do not put the item in the dryer, as heat will set the stain.

white-wooden-couch-light-purple-cushions-Add5z75746EBeyljh525cb
Nathan Schroder

How to Remove Chocolate Stains from Upholstery

When it comes to cleaning upholstered furniture, check the care tag, usually located on the underside of the seat, for the code that indicates how the fabric can safely be cleaned. The code is as follows:

  • W = Wet/water cleaning only
  • S = Dry solvent cleaning only
  • SW = Dry solvent and/or wet cleaning
  • X = Professional cleaning or vacuuming only

These instructions are for W and SW upholstery only.

What You Need

  • Shout Stain Remover or similar stain treatment product
  • White cloth
  • Spoon or butter knife (optional)

Step 1: Remove Solids 

If there are pieces of chocolate stuck to the upholstery, gently scrape them away using the edge of a spoon or a butter knife before applying a stain treatment product.

Step 2: Apply Stain Pretreatment Product

Spray Shout Stain Remover or a similar stain treatment to the chocolate stains. A light mist is fine; you don't need to saturate the fabric, as doing so will make it difficult to remove residue from the stain treatment, which can leave a dark ring.

Step 3: Blot at the Stain

Use a damp white or light-colored cloth to blot the stain, being careful not to scrub, which can abrade the fabric. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

Step 4: Remove Residual Stain Treatment

Once the stain is gone, rinse the white or light-colored cloth with clean water and go over the area several times to remove residue from the stain treatment product.

How to Remove Chocolate Stains from Carpet

The process for removing chocolate stains from carpet is similar to that of upholstered furniture. In the event that a very large chocolate stain has soiled carpet or furniture, consider the use of a carpet and upholstery cleaning machine, which can be rented or purchased, and which will make shorter work of stain remediation than the method that follows.

What You Need

  • Shout Stain Remover or similar stain treatment product
  • White cloth
  • Spoon or butter knife (optional)

Step 1: Remove Solids 

If there are pieces of chocolate stuck to the carpet, gently scrape them away using the edge of a spoon or a butter knife before applying a stain treatment product. 

Step 2: Apply Stain Pretreatment Product

Spray Shout Stain Remover or a similar stain treatment to the chocolate stains, being careful not to flood the stain and soak the carpet. 

Step 3: Blot the Stain

Use a damp white or light-colored cloth to blot the stain, being careful not to scrub, which can abrade the carpet's fibers. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

Step 4: Remove Residual Stain Treatment

Once the stain is gone, rinse the white or light-colored cloth with clean water and go over the area several times to remove residue from the stain treatment product. When the area has dried, you may want to run a vacuum over it to restore the nap of the carpet, which can become tamped down during cleaning.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles