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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Stain of the Season – Chocolate

By Dr. Laundry December 20, 2006

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, hot chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate pudding… so many forms but so little time to eat them all. While chocolate something is always a decadent dessert choice for a holiday party or even for an evening at home, it always amazes me how often in ends as a mess on me. To save your nice linens and khaki pants this season, here are some chocolate removal tips to help solve your laundry problems and keep your sweet tooth satisfied.

The fine cocoa particles, emulsifiers and milk proteins that make chocolate so delicious add up to make chocolate stains so difficult to remove. The order of attack is important when you have a mixture of problem makers. First, we want to attack the proteins then the emulsifiers and finally the cocoa particles.

• Start by pretreating the stain with a good liquid detergent, then soaking the fabric in cold water for approximately 30 minutes to help loosen the protein and emulsifier in the stain.

• If the stain is on a white bleachable fabric, gently rub the chocolate stain with Clorox® Bleach Pen™ Gel before laundering. Immediately wash in warm water with regular detergent and ¾ cup of either Clorox® Regular-Bleach or try our new Clorox® UltimateCare™ Premium Bleach.

• If the stain is on a colored or patterned fabric, removing it requires different products. After pretreating and soaking for 30 minutes in liquid detergent, apply Liquid Clorox 2® Bleach for Colors to the stain. Rub the stain gently, wait 3-5 minutes to loosen the particles then wash immediately in warm water using regular detergent and Clorox 2® Bleach for Colors.

• As always, inspect the stained item after treatment to ensure that the stain is gone. If some chocolate still remains, repeat the above steps prior to drying for best results.

For all you choco-holics out there, have no fear this holiday season! With these stain removal techniques, you can have your chocolate and eat it too.