How to Remove Chocolate and Caramel Stains

Jackie Franklin

‘Tis the season for sugar highs and sticky messes. (Though, for parents of little ones, that may be more a way of life than just a season!) Read below and watch your stains disappear.


For chocolate stains on clothing:

  • After scraping off excess chocolate, turn the clothing item inside out and rinse the stain with cold water from the opposite side of the garment. In effect, this will help push the chocolate out of the fibers.
  • Spot-treat the stain with laundry detergent, stain remover, or even liquid dish soap. Gently work into a lather.
  • Soak the clothing item in cold water for 30 minutes or longer. Inspect the garment to see if the stain persists and, if so, repeat.
  • Once the stain is no longer visible, launder as usual. Air-dry the first time to ensure the stain is gone. Heat from the dryer will make any remaining residue harder to remove.


Caramel stains pack a one-two punch of greasy butter and sticky sugar, so the sooner you can address them the better.

  • As with other candy stains, use a spoon or butter knife to scrape up as much caramel from the floor as you can. If the caramel is still soft, use a clean, wet cloth to help remove it.
  • Create a soapy solution of 1 cup lukewarm water and one teaspoon of liquid dish soap or non-bleach laundry detergent. Use a clean cloth and blotting motion to apply the mixture to the caramel spot.
  • Combine one part vinegar to three parts water in a spray bottle, then mist the stained area. Blot with a clean, dry cloth to lift the stain and repeat until it’s gone.
  • Lightly spray with plain water to rinse away any remaining soap or vinegar residue, then blot dry with a clean, dry cloth.

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