Although many of us try to avoid eating in the car, sometimes you have to.
Eating inside your car can get messy, especially if you have kids.
With the holidays coming up, you might get home from a party to find that there are now chocolate stains all over the seats of your car.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about your car smelling like chocolate for the rest of the year.
We’ve done the research, and learning how to remove chocolate from your car seats is easy.
All you need are some everyday household cleaning items and the ability to act fast to get the chocolate out of your car seats, so you can enjoy the best of the holidays without dreading the clean-up later on.
Continue reading below to see what items you will need to remove chocolate from your car seat.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need a few common household items to get chocolate out of your car seats.
- Dish soap
- Plastic spoon or knife
- Cleaning cloths
- Dry cleaning solvent
Now that you have everything you need, read on for step-by-step instructions on how to remove chocolate from a car seat.
1. Scrape up as much of the chocolate as possible
As soon as you notice there is chocolate on the seats of your car, you should remove as much of it as possible.
While you may want to immediately reach for a plastic spoon or knife, resist this impulse.
If you attempt to scrape up the chocolate while it is still soft or gooey, you will end up smooshing it deeper into the seat.
Instead, reach for some ice. Apply the ice to the chocolate to harden it.
Once the chocolate is completely solid, scrap it up with a plastic spoon or knife.
Be gentle as you are scraping to avoid accidentally damaging your car seats.
Pro tip: if you have access to a steam cleaner, you can also use it to clean up the chocolate after applying the ice to the affected area.
The steam cleaner will remove the chocolate and help work out any stain on your car seats.
2. Apply dish soap + water to the chocolate stain
Although you can use your store-bought upholstery cleaner, we recommend making your own.
Mix ½ teaspoon of dish soap with 1 cup of water.
Wipe and blot the stain, starting from the outside of the stain and working towards the center.
Doing this will prevent any chocolate stain from spreading on your car seat.
Be gentle as you blot the stain away to avoid accidentally pressing the stain deeper into the seat.
You can also use an upholstery brush to work the chocolate stain out of your car seat, but rough scrubbing may damage your upholstery.
3. Dry the affected area thoroughly
Once you have thoroughly washed the area with the soap and water mixture, apply a little fresh water to the affected area and pat it dry with a new cleaning cloth.
You should notice that the stain has considerably lightened or is gone completely.
If the chocolate stain is not entirely gone, you can repeat steps two and three several times without worrying about damaging the seats of your car.
Pro tip: If the chocolate stain is completely gone, you can also dry the affected area of your car seats with a hairdryer.
Set the hairdryer to its coolest setting and apply to the affected area until dry.
It is essential not to use the hot settings on your hairdryer.
If you have accidentally left any chocolate stains behind, the heat from the hairdryer will set the stains into the seats of your car, making it nearly impossible to remove them.
Using a hairdryer should help you avoid water stains on the seats of your car because it accelerates the drying process.
4. If necessary, use dry-cleaning solvent
If you find the chocolate is well bonded to the seats of your car, you can apply three drops of dry-cleaning solvent to the area and blot the area with it.
Continue blotting until the chocolate stain is gone.
Doing this will work out the rest of the chocolate stain, but make sure you follow all directions on the packaging of your dry-cleaning solvent.
Here is a video detailing how to remove chocolate stains from the inside of your car.
0:21—Apply ice to the chocolate to solidify it.
0:24—Scrape up the chocolate.
0:27—Apply a dish soap and water cleaning mixture to the affected area.
0:30—Pat the area dry.
0:32—Use a dry-cleaning solvent to remove the rest of the stain.
0:37—If all else fails, take your car to the professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any other cleaning products I can use on chocolate stains in my car?
Yes, there are other household cleaning items you can use.
You can apply white foaming shaving cream to the affected area.
Blot the shaving cream with water to remove the shaving cream and the chocolate stain.
You may have to repeat this process several times to remove the stain entirely.
You can also apply a Borax and water paste to the chocolate stain.
Allow the paste to dry, and then vacuum it away.
Blot the area with fresh water to remove any lingering Borax or chocolate.
You can also blot the area with hydrogen peroxide.
Although hydrogen peroxide is good at removing stains, it can also bleach surfaces.
Use cautiously and blot the area with fresh water when you are done.
What should I do if I cannot get the chocolate stain entirely out of my car’s upholstery?
If you have followed the above steps and find the chocolate stain is still present on the seats of your car, you may need to make an appointment with a professional cleaning company.
Old chocolate stains are difficult to remove, and chocolate worked into the upholstery is also tricky to remove at home.
A professional cleaning company will be able to get rid of any lingering chocolate on your car seats if you find the above steps do not entirely remove the chocolate.