We love the stuff. We not only eat it, but we layer it, freeze it, liquefy it, powder it, and smother things in it. If we’re not adding chocolate to other foods directly, we add its flavor. Current estimates show approximately 1 billion people eat chocolate any given day, and the average American consumes twelve pounds of chocolate per year. Being so prevalent in our lives, we likely have some chocolate at home. All it takes is a series of unfortunate events, and it could end up on your carpet.
Wet or Dry Chocolate?
Cleaning a chocolate stain becomes a challenge because it’s typical ingredients (fats, oils, and tannins, for instance) often require different removal methods. As with most spills, however, acting quickly is key. If it’s a “dry” stain from something like a chocolate bar, candies or powder, start by vacuuming up what you can – but use a hand vacuum, or your accessories. Don’t use a brush or beater bar, as those will smear or spread the stain.
If you are dealing with a “wet” stain from something like chocolate syrup, hot fudge topping or icing, don’t vacuum. It could create problems for your vacuum, and the spill may be worked further into your carpet fibers. Instead, begin by removing the excess with a white paper towel or spoon, depending on the consistency and amount. If using paper towels, dab from the outside inward, avoiding any wiping motion.
Solutions for the Spill
As mentioned before, chocolate has ingredients that usually need different removal methods. But hey, your laundry detergent gets chocolate stains out of clothes, right? Be very careful – most laundry detergents today come with various amounts of bleach in them, which could damage or stain your carpet even further. Make sure your detergent has no bleach, perhaps testing it on your carpet in an inconspicuous place first.
If you are satisfied, use a clean white towel to blot a very small amount of laundry detergent onto the stain, followed by blotting with cold water to dilute the detergent. Also be aware that this method often leaves a soapy residue behind that cannot be seen, attracting dirt and grime. After a while, the cleaned stain appears to come back and will need further attention.
Another method is neutralizing the stain with a tablespoons clear household ammonia added to ½ cup water. Using a spray bottle, lightly apply the solution without getting the carpet saturated. Then begin blotting with your clean white towel or paper towels.
If the stain is still persistent, you could try another household solution: dishwashing detergent. But again, make sure your detergent does not have bleach, lanolin or dyes. Mix about ¼ teaspoon with 1 quart of water. Pour some onto a clean white towel and dab the stain. Use a spray bottle filled only with water to rinse the area, but do not blot dry this time. Put down some clean, white paper towels over the wet area and place a heavy flat object like a brick or stack of wide books to soak up the rinse.
Need More Carpet Spotting Tips?
Even at Preferred Carpet Care, we love chocolate. But we do not love it in our carpets, and we know you won’t either. If you have difficulty getting chocolate out of your carpet, or you’d like a few tips and pointers about removing stains, or want us to remove them for you, please give us a call or schedule a consultation online. In the meantime, let the chocolate melt in your mouth, not in your carpet.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On May 9, 2019