Home Remedies for Tough Stains: Chocolate, Gum, and Lipstick

November 4, 2017
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We still have Halloween candy in our house – and I’m finding bits of chocolate everywhere.  My kids hurriedly open their M&Ms, mini-Twix and Hershey bars and leave crumbs of chocolate in their haste.  I’m shocked I haven’t sat in chocolate yet…

It’s a pain to get out some of these stains, but here’s some do it yourself tips.  If that these work to your satisfaction, remember our trained professionals with specialized equipment can give your garments the best chance of a full restoration.

Chocolate
Chocolate contains oils and sugars, both of which are difficult to remove. Blot with cold water. Apply an enzyme detergent and rinse with water. If the stain persists after this process, apply a household ammonia and rinse thoroughly. Do not apply ammonia to silk or wool fabrics. If the garment can be safely bleached, this might be your final resort at home but we advise you bring it in to us.  Be sure to explain everything you put on the garment so our stain specialist know what elements are in the fabric.

Gum
To remove gum, harden the area with an ice cube and gently lift off any large pieces. Do not scrape with sharp objects that may damage fabric. Wet with cleaning fluid over a clean, white paper towel to remove the final traces. Another method is to use peanut butter. The oils will help “unstick” the gum. After a few minutes, the gum can be lifted off the fabric with a napkin or paper towel. Then wash the item using normal washing procedures. However, we warn that the oil from the peanut butter may leave stains (which can be removed with dry cleaning).

Lipstick
One home remedy for removing lipstick is to rub the stain with white bread. This may help, but it will leave behind some bread crumbs which may get embedded in the fibers of a soft fabric. A better technique is to use cleaning fluid. Place the stain face down on clean white paper towels. Apply cleaning fluid to the back of the stain and blot. Replace towels frequently. Dry thoroughly. If the stain is still visible, use a synthetic detergent and water.

We hope these tips help – and please share any tips and tricks you’ve successfully used to remove tough stains.

-S.O.