Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Worst Food Stains and How to Remove Them


We love chocolate, but it's much better in a brownie than on a silk collar. In fact, chocolate stains react a lot like tomato-based stains in that heat can set them permanently. As long as you haven't washed that chocolate smudge in hot water, one of these tips should get it out:

  • To keep the chocolate from saturating fabric fibers, turn the garment inside out and work from the back. That way you'll be pushing the chocolate away from the fabric not into it. Place the fabric stain side down on multiple layers of paper towels.
  • Combine a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, a half-teaspoon of ammonia and a cup of cool water.
  • Blot the stain with the ammonia mixture using a soft, lint-free cloth. Don't rub. The goal here is to transfer the chocolate to the paper, not mash it into the fabric.
  • If blotting the stain with ammonia doesn't work, treat it with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Just pour the hydrogen peroxide on and let it sit for a couple of minutes. After application, rinse the area thoroughly. Note: Hydrogen peroxide can remove dye from some dark fabrics, so test the fabric beforehand.