Can You Leave Chocolate In A Chocolate Fountain?

It seems like an unlikely situation. You’ve gone to the effort of having a chocolate fountain at your social event, but by the end of it… there’s still chocolate left. But it happens to the best of us. That’s probably why you’re here right now, I imagine. So what are your options here? Throw it all away? Or can you leave it in there for a while? Let’s find out, shall we?

So, can you leave chocolate in a chocolate fountain? You can leave chocolate in a chocolate fountain if you are planning to reuse it very soon – preferably within a few hours. It can be melted again as long as it is still fresh and edible. However, leaving beyond a few hours runs the risk of the chocolate fountain clogging and potentially breaking. If you aren’t planning to reuse the chocolate at all, then you definitely shouldn’t leave it in the fountain as it will create a nightmare of a cleaning job later on.

Generally speaking, it’s best not to leave chocolate in a chocolate fountain.

Or in other words, the least amount of time you leave chocolate in a chocolate fountain, the better.

But I get it, you may have added too much chocolate and you don’t want it to go to waste.

Nonetheless, it’s still better to remove it in most contexts. Let’s now continue to explore why.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Leave Chocolate In A Chocolate Fountain?

You shouldn’t leave chocolate in a chocolate fountain because it can end up clogging it. It’s also not the best way to preserve chocolate for future enjoyment.

So although I have said that leaving chocolate in a chocolate fountain can be done, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Yes, even if you have another party, it can be used for the next day.

There are two main reasons why I recommend you don’t do this. Let’s start with…

Can Lead To Clogging

Not ideal. Seriously not ideal. A clogged chocolate fountain can lead to long-term damage as well. 

If you own the fountain, that’s a problem for your bank account. 

And if you’ve rented the chocolate fountain from a company, then they’re not going to be happy. It will also probably be a problem for your bank account.

But how does a chocolate fountain clog when chocolate is left inside?

Well, what happens is the chocolate hardens.

Now when chocolate is flowing and cascading down the tiers, the fountain should also be heating it, so it remains melted and has the optimum viscosity and consistency.

Once you turn the chocolate fountain off, the chocolate will no longer be heated.

Instead, it will be subject to cooler air in the surrounding environment.

So it will eventually harden, losing that running consistency.

Hardened chocolate will clog the fountain. If you turn a chocolate fountain on whilst the chocolate is hard, then the motor could burn out.

Now, if you do decide to take the risk of leaving chocolate in the fountain, then you will need to turn the heater on when you return so that the chocolate melts again.

Do not turn the motor on until that chocolate has returned to the perfect viscosity that you had before.

Some people even use a hairdryer to help melt the chocolate that has hardened on the auger tube.

So if you leave the chocolate in the fountain, it will harden, which can, in turn, clog the machine.

You will then have to carefully re-melt the chocolate to avoid further clogs and damage.

Unsuitable Preservation 

Leaving chocolate in a fountain also isn’t the best way to preserve chocolate for future guests.

It’s not exactly contained, is it? Think about the bugs which could come out at night to have their own party in the chocolate.

It also won’t stay as fresh when left in the chocolate fountain.

Sure, it might still look edible and be edible the next day, but it won’t be as well preserved had it been stored in a fridge.

So, if you’re looking to reuse the chocolate, the fountain isn’t the best place to preserve it.

If you’re not planning on reusing the chocolate, then definitely do not leave the chocolate in there. 

Sure, you’ve just had a party; you’re tired and ready for bed. But muster your last bags of energy and get that thing clean.

When it hardens overnight, the chocolate will be so, so hard to clean, and you’ll be there for a much longer time.

Do it on the night when it is still melted, and you’ll have it done in no time.

How Long Can You Leave Chocolate In A Chocolate Fountain?

It is generally best to not leave chocolate in a chocolate fountain for more than 2-3 hours after use. That being said, the length of time primarily depends on how long it takes for the chocolate to harden which is mostly impacted by the temperature of the surrounding environment. 

Time is ticking. But how fast the metaphorical clock on your fountain’s chocolate will tick depends on how cool the surrounding environment is.

If you’re somewhere relatively warm, then it will take the chocolate longer to harden. If it’s cold, obviously, it will harden much quicker.

It’s hard to put any numbers on it. Which is why 2-3 hours is an average to go by.

Just know that chocolate starts to harden when the surrounding temperature drops below 22°C.

So basically, don’t leave the chocolate in the fountain too long if you want the transportation of the leftover chocolate into a fridge to go smoothly.

Don’t leave it too long on its own if you’re planning to clean it, either. It will harden, and cleaning it will become a tough and lengthy task.

If you are planning to take the risk whereby you leave the chocolate in the fountain to be melted and reused later, then you won’t have to worry about how long it takes to harden.

But you will need to think about how long the chocolate can stay in the fountain whilst remaining fresh and edible.

Of course, don’t leave chocolate in a fountain for weeks. It will lose its color, flavor, and freshness. It basically won’t be edible.

If say you have another party the next night, then you can leave your chocolate in the fountain until then.

You will be the chocolate judge here. So before re-serving chocolate in the fountain, check that it is still enjoyable, of course!

Remember, this is supposed to be a pleasurable treat for your guests. Don’t serve them bad chocolate.

Best Practices Once You Have Finished Using Your Chocolate Fountain

Once you have finished using your chocolate fountain, you will need to decide what you’re doing with the leftover chocolate, clean it quickly, clean it properly and pack it away safely.

The Leftover Chocolate

It’s probably best to make this decision long before the party has started, so you’re best prepared. 

Are you transporting the leftover chocolate into a fridge so it can be preserved for another time? Good! That’s what I would recommend you do.

Make sure you have a method/container for transporting the chocolate to a fridge nearby so you can get to work cleaning the fountain before any residue chocolate hardens.

If you’re leaving the chocolate in the fountain for tomorrow night, then you don’t have to do anything. Just leave it and remember to re-melt the chocolate tomorrow before you turn the fountain’s motor back on.

You can, of course, throw the excess chocolate away if you want…although I will cry!

Clean Your Fountain Quickly 

If you’ve left your chocolate in the fountain, keep scrolling. 

But if you’ve transported your fountain’s chocolate somewhere else, then it’s time to clean. And clean quickly.

You don’t want the chocolate to harden as this can lead to clogging. 

You want to clean it whilst it’s still runny and easily cleanable. 

So get to work…NOW!

Clean Your Fountain Properly

Make sure you do it properly! You want the fountain to be completely free of any drying and hardening chocolate. 

This way, you avoid risks of clogging, but you also keep the fountain as hygienic to use as possible for your guests. 

Make sure you turn the fountain’s power off and unplug it before cleaning.

A lot of chocolate fountains shouldn’t be cleaned with abrasive cleaning fluids. (Check your fountain’s manual.)

Clean all parts of the fountain thoroughly. The tiers, the spiral, the auger tube, the lot!

Of course, try and clean the chocolate whilst it’s runny. This is when it is easiest clean.

Pack Your Fountain Away Safely

Sounds trivial, but once you’ve cleaned your fountain, you need to put it away safely. 

Don’t leave it out anywhere where a drunk departing guest could collide with it.

The same goes for the wires they could trip on. Make sure they’re not lying about it.

Every chocolate fountain will come packed with a set of manufacturers’ instructions. So read these to make sure that you are dismantling your fountain properly.

They also should provide you with cleaning instructions.

Trust the company. They should know how their fountains are put away… you’d hope.


So now you know that it’s probably best not to leave chocolate in your chocolate fountain.

The choice is yours. Just remember to melt it at that perfect viscosity again once you reuse it.

But storing your chocolate overnight in the fridge is a much better way to preserve the chocolate for future guests.

Of course, all of these tough decisions can be avoided if you don’t allow your guests to leave until every drop of chocolate has been eaten!

Related Questions

Can I leave chocolate in fountain overnight?

It is generally not a good idea to leave chocolate in a fountain overnight. It will likely harden, making it much more difficult to clean up. You also run the risk of damaging the machine if the harden chocolate gets clogged.

Check out my other chocolate fountain guides: