Best Fabric Stain Removers. Which Is Best For You?

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
23 min read

Laundry stains and stain removers occur in various forms. There are removers for when you’re washing your clothes in the machine, and then there are those that may be used as an on-the-go remedy for stains. Researching a number of laundry stain removers, we narrowed it down to a few options for different types of stains, so you can choose the best one for your situation.

Here are some of the best laundry stain removers to get rid of those bothersome spots in the laundry.


How to Remove Old Stains From Clothes

If you do your laundry correctly, stains can still remain. Instead of tossing out your beloved clothing because of a stubborn stain, consider one of these simple home remedies. Learn how to remove ancient stains from your garments, from ink to blood.

The best and worst stain removers | CHOICE

Getting Stains Out of Washed and Dried Clothes

Everyone has missed a stain at some point in their life. Your son’s favorite football jersey has been permanently stained by a drop of blood that slipped through your fingers. In the midst of your sorrow, remember that most stains can be erased, even if they’ve been there for some time. That doesn’t mean it will be easy to get it out. It will require some effort. However, one of the advantages of these procedures is that they are safe enough to use even on baby clothing stains.

Stain Fighting Materials List

To remove old stains from various materials, you may have to attempt several different approaches. As a result, you’ll need to stock up on stain-fighting supplies before you begin.

  • Vinegar that’s been diluted with water
  • Sodium bicarbonate of soda
  • Soak the dishes with dish soap.
  • Laundry soap
  • Peroxide
  • Glycerin
  • Acetone
  • A cannister with a nozzle
  • Towels
  • Take it or leave it

Vinegar and Baking Soda Power Punch

Vinegar is the undisputed king of multipurpose cleaners. Even the most stubborn stains can be removed using vinegar’s mild acidity. For most non-grease stains, this approach works about 75% to 90% of the time. Stains that haven’t been colored, like ink or mustard, are the ideal candidates for this product. You’ll need to do the following for this method:

  1. Fill an empty water bottle with pure vinegar.
  2. Completely saturate the stained area.
  3. Saturate the soiled area to the point that it is completely covered.
  4. Using your fingers, apply the mixture to the fabric, re-applying vinegar as needed.
  5. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the stain by rinsing the back of the stain with lukewarm water.
  7. Vinegar can be used to disinfect the region.
  8. Place the water in the bucket or sink to the level of one gallon.
  9. Vinegar and washing detergent should be added to the water.
  10. The fabric should be left to soak for the night.

Peroxide and Dish Soap to the Rescue

Pasta sauce and mustard stains, in particular, are notoriously difficult to remove once they have dried. A product with a bit more stain-fighting action may be required for them. This procedure may not be as effective as others because tomato and coffee can actually stain the fabric. However, you are still on track to hit more than 70% of the time. Grab Dawn and peroxide to get started.

  1. Dish soap and peroxide should be mixed in a spray container with one part each. While many individuals use Dawn as their degreaser of choice, any dish soap will do.
  2. Make sure to cover the entire stain with the cleaner.
  3. Rub the soiled area with your fingertips or a rag while wearing gloves.
  4. Let it rest for a few hours.
  5. If required, repeat the process.

Baking Soda for Grease

Cooked-in grease stains are more difficult to remove than those that haven’t set into the fabric yet. A good percentage of grease stains can be removed with this procedure. This is what you’ll need to get rid of the grease:

  1. Dish soap and glycerin are combined with 1.5 cups of warm water in a spray bottle.
  2. The mixture should be shaken up.
  3. Spritz the stain liberally, ensuring that it covers the entire surface.
  4. Allow the stain to stay for 15 to 20 minutes before removing.
  5. Wash in cold water with a teaspoon of baking soda added. This is a great way to get rid of any lingering grease.
  6. Drape on a rack to dry out.

The 8 Best Laundry Stain Removers - Stain Removers to Save All Your Clothes

Acetone for Gum or Goo

Gum isn’t fun at all. Having chewed gum that has been dried out is much more disgusting. This approach works well for removing gum or gunk that has gotten stuck to a surface; but, it can remove the color from the area. Because of this, you’ll want to exercise caution when dealing with it.

  1. The best way to remove nail polish is with acetone (also known as nail polish remover).
  2. It’s time to get rid of the muck with acetone.
  3. Launder as usual after the gunk has been removed.

Glue stick that has dried can also be used with this trick.

Knowing When to Give Up

You should use stain removal procedures if the stain is on a favorite clothing or something you just bought. Getting rid of stains like mustard, ink, and red wine may be a real pain. The reason for this is that they can actually color the fibers of the cloth. Bleaching would be required to remove it, which could damage colored textiles. This means that even after several attempts, if the stain still won’t come out, it’s time to give up. A garment or fabric that is worn out or threadbare may not be worth the time and effort. Unless, of course, it’s extremely important to you personally.

Stain Fighting Power

The most difficult stains to remove are those that have already set in. Most stains on clothes can be removed with a little patience and elbow grease, though. If the first attempt fails, simply try again. In addition, it is crucial to know when to call it quits.

Best Fabric Stain Removers

Best Overall: OxiClean MaxForce Laundry Stain Remover Spray, 12 Fl. oz.

Oil, grease, food residue and more may all be cleaned with OxiClean. It works in any temperature of water. The stain remover can be sprayed directly on the damaged area and then rubbed in. Stand back and let the OxiClean Max Force do its thing for a few minutes. Then, use the warmest setting possible to wash your outfit. Several reviewers have referred to this solution as “a miracle in a bottle” and the “answer to difficult stains.”

Best On-the-Go: Tide Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover, 3 Count

When spills happen and you don’t have access to a washing machine, you’ll be glad you have a Tide-To-Go Instant Stain Remover Pen on hand. Whenever you’re in a hurry, these stain-removing pens are a lifesaver.

There is no bleach in the Tide-To-Go pens, so they can be used on anything from wool to polyester to cotton. It’s as simple as pressing the tip of the pen onto the stain and gently rubbing it throughout the afflicted area to get rid of it. In addition to coffee, tea, and wine, the formula can be used in a variety of other dishes.

They’re described as “liquid unicorn magic for the clumsy,” which is to say, they’re an absolute necessity. If you ask us, that sounds like they’re worth the money.

Best for Food Stains: Zout Triple Enzyme Formula Laundry Stain Remover Foam

The Zout Triple Enzyme Formula is a potent stain remover if you’re dealing with stubborn food stains on your clothing. Food stains like barbeque sauce, chocolate syrup, tomatoes, and baby food can all be removed with the triple enzyme foam solution. Grass, blood, and dirt can also be treated with this product.

Several customers have gushed over the efficacy of this product, claiming that it can even get rid of stains that have been there for days, according to the reviews.

Best for Clothing: OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder

If you have an OxiClean in your laundry, you’ve got a powerful stain remover on your hands. Stains are broken down and decolored by the unique powder mix, which is activated by water.

OxiClean Versatile can be used by dissolving a scoop of the powder in a few liters of water. Soak soiled objects in the solution for one to six hours, depending on how bad the stain is. Rinse thoroughly after each soak. To get rid of stains for good, add another scoop of powder to your washer and wash as usual.

Tablecloths, patio furniture, rugs, grout, and other household items may all be cleaned with OxiClean. Several customers have referred to this product as “magical,” claiming that it has improved the brightness and cleanliness of their clothes.

Best for White Shirts: OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover

Stains on white or other light-colored garments may prompt you to grab for bleach in an attempt to remove them. OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover, on the other hand, is an excellent alternative.

Removes stains and brightens white garments by combining with detergent. Because it doesn’t include chlorine, it’s believed to be 40% more strong than bleach. OxiClean White Revive can be used in the same way as regular OxiClean to presoak stains and then add it to your washing machine throughout the cycle. This product is not suitable for use on wool, silk or leather; this should be noted.

Best Gel: SHOUT Advanced Stain Remover for Clothes with Scrubber Brush

For some people, gel stain removers are preferable because the thick mixture doesn’t run as much as liquids, providing a concentrated substance directly to the spot. It’s worth considering the Shout Advanced Ultra Gel Brush as an excellent gel product.

Set-in stains can be treated now and washed up to a week later with this product. An integrated brush enables you apply gel directly to the stained area, and its formula works in any water temperature. Using the thick gel, you can remove even the most stubborn stains such as chocolate and frying oil.

Shout Advanced Ultra Gel gets rave reviews for its ability to remove even the toughest stains from white garments, according to users.

Best Wipes: SC Johnson Shout Instant Stain Remover Wipes

Invest in Shout Instant Stain Remover Wipes if you’re looking for a portable, effective stain remover that you can keep in your handbag, gym bag, and more. For folks on the go, these individually wrapped wipes are a lifesaver.

They have a rough surface that aids in the removal of stains more quickly. They’re safe to use on any colorfast materials and can remove blood, urine, coffee, and more. The stain will not set into the fabric if these wipes are used as soon as possible after the mishap.

Stain wipes have been praised by many reviewers for their individual packets, which keep the wipes fresh and prevent them from drying out. However, they advise that you check the colorfastness of your apparel before using the product.

Best With Enzymes: Biokleen Bac-Out Enzyme Stain Remover

If you’re allergic to bleach or other harsh chemicals commonly found in stain removers, consider switching to a more natural option. Biokleen Bac-Out Stain+Odor Remover Foam Spray is a great solution for removing difficult stains naturally even when other products have failed.

To remove stains and eliminate odors, this spray makes use of enzyme-producing cultures and plant-based substances. In addition to being safe for children and pets, the solution is helpful in removing pet accidents, alcohol, laundry stains, and more. In addition, it is free of phosphates and chorine and ammonia.

Best Pens: Clorox Laundry Pens, 2 Bleach Pens and 2 Stain Fighter Pens for Colors

Want to keep stain remover pens on hand in your laundry room for when you need them? Clorox Laundry Pens come in handy when you need to remove stubborn stains. Stain removal and bleach pens are included in this deal, so you’ll be prepared for everything life throws at you.

There are two ends to these Clorox Pens: a fine point for treating small areas precisely, and a thick, broad surface for scrubbing bigger spots. There are two types of stain remover pens: one that can be used to remove stains from colorful clothing and another that can be used to remove stains from white clothing.

Some reviews point out that because these pens are best used as a pretreatment before washing, they’re not ideal for on-the-go use. Many people, on the other hand, swear by them as an excellent spot cure for tiny stains.

Be prepared for the inevitable

Stains are inevitable. Instead of freaking out, prepare for the worst. To find the best stain remover, we enlisted the help of fashion stylists, all of whom have their own laundry horror stories. There are solutions they swear by to erase chocolate stains and red wine stains, and they’ve learnt the hard way.

When it comes to stain removal, you have to set the stage for success in order for these products to offer you the results you want. Time is of the essence when it comes to stain removal, according to M.M.LaFleur senior manager of merchandising and product development Shelby Goldfaden. “It’s easy to put a soiled clothing into your hamper and hope for the best on wash day—but the sooner you take action, the higher chance of rescuing it. Use one of these stain removers for textiles after gently blotting the stain with a dry cloth to absorb as much of the stain as possible.”

Which is the best laundry stain remover? - YouTube

Best overall stain remover for clothes: Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover and Laundry Spray

Samantha Brown, a fashion stylist, calls Grandma’s Secret a “stain-fighting superpower.” There isn’t much to it, and it’s easy to use.” Customers on Amazon seem to agree, noting how well it removed everything from ink and paint to tomato sauce and chocolate. Style icon Brendon Cannon says it’s perfect for applying lipstick and other cosmetics. “It works 99 percent of the time and has been a lifeline,” he says. This stain removal spray, which is non-toxic and safe for the environment, will not be kept a secret for long.

Best on-the-go stain remover: Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover Pen

More than 20,000 people have given this bestseller a five-star rating because it is “simple, affordable, and can be kept in your handbag or glove compartment,” according to Brown. It’s also effective. The powerful cleaning solution breaks down the stains and a micro-fiber pad lifts and absorbs them, which are the most common on the go stains. Founder Elise Armitage, What the Fab, says, “It’s ideal if you’re racing late to a meeting and spill coffee on your shirt.” “All you have to do is gently wipe the stain area after applying the liquid with the pen’s tip.” “Miracle worker” is how one reviewer described it, while others who are known as “spill people” keep the pens around so they don’t have to wear their food.

Best stain remover for white clothing: Nellie’s WOW Stick

Those of you who have ever dreamed you could merely wipe away stains from white clothing are going to see their dreams come true. Cannon gushes about Nellie’s WOW Stick. “It has removed red wine stains off white shirts and is completely natural and pleasant to use.” Wash the stained area as usual after rinsing it with water and applying the WOW stick. You’ll understand why this miraculous stick is called WOW when grass, make-up, and even blood stains disappear.

Best stain remover for colors: Shout Advanced Spray and Wash Gel Laundry Stain Remover

“Tough on stains but kind on colors,” says Armitage of this top laundry stain remover. Even if left on for a week or more, this super-concentrated gel will remove tenacious grease stains and set-in stains from your garments. For removing stains, gels are ideal because they’re thicker than liquids, which means they won’t spread across the fabric.

Best stain remover for oil-based stains: The Laundress Wash and Stain Bar

Goldfaden and Cannon (who call it “real magic”) recommend their non-toxic, hypoallergenic Wash and Stain Bar for spot cleaning oil-based stains like salad dressing, oil, or cosmetics. The Laundress is very popular among professionals for delicate and expensive garments. In order to remove a stain, “just rub it on the spot and massage it into the cloth using hot water,” Goldfaden says. Using a stain brush and soaking for 30 minutes, if you’re at home, will help remove the stain. Amazon reviewers are particularly pleased with the product’s ability to clean collars and cuffs that are difficult to remove.

Best food stain remover: Zout Laundry Stain Remover Spray

With just a few spritzes, this laundry stain remover spray is capable of eradicating protein, starch, and oil-based stains. As a medical uniform cleaning solution, Zout was first developed in the 1960s and has been used ever since to remove stubborn stains from clothing ever since. If it can remove blood stains, you can be sure it can remove ketchup stains, adds Armitage. “It’s still the choice among doctors and nurses.”

Best stain remover wipes: Shout Wipe & Go Instant Stain Remover Towelettes

Because these wipes are individually packed, disposable, and effective, fashionistas carry them with them wherever they go. According to Brown, “they are one of the most often utilized tools in my styling bag.” “They’re great for getting dressed messes like deodorant or makeup stains.” You’ll want to buy a lot of them because they’re so handy to have in your purse, desk drawer, or pocket.

Best stain remover for clothes that are dry-clean-only: Dryel On the Go Stain Pen

If your dry-clean-only garment gets ruined and you don’t have time to rush to the dry cleaner, Cannon suggests using Dryel to remove the stain right away. It’s TSA-friendly, safe for delicates, and compact enough to fit in a carry-on bag. If necessary, use the scrubber as an eraser while squeezing the pen to get rid of the stain. “Follow directions and you won’t need a dry cleaner again,” one Amazon reviewer wrote.


How do you get tough stains out of fabric?

Set-in stains should be soaked up with vinegar and then scrubbed with a paste of vinegar and baking soda. Adding vinegar and laundry detergent to a pail of water and soaking the clothing overnight may help remove the stain if it’s still there the next day. After that, just wash and rinse.

Is there a stain remover that actually works?

While OxiClean MaxForce gets the job done, it’s more expensive per ounce than the other stain removers on our list, according to Consumer Reports. In just five minutes of soaking time, it dissolves stains from body oil, grime, salad dressing, grease, gravy, grass, and blood. In these tests, it comes out on top with an Excellent score.

Does vinegar remove stains from fabric?

Natural stain removers like distilled white vinegar may be found in practically every home. Stains may be removed without harming your clothing thanks to the gentle acetic acid in vinegar.

How do you get old stains out of clothes fast?

A paste comprised of equal parts baking soda and vinegar should be sprayed on the discoloration. If it doesn’t work, try soaking the item in a pail of water with a couple tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and vinegar overnight. The next day, wash and rinse well.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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