If you’ve ever spilled wine or have kids, you’ll know how important it is to have a quality stain remover at the ready. The better products are tough on a variety of problem stains and grease with a strong formula the only thing that can work on certain accidents. The best stain removers for clothes might not be as natural as we would like, but they can preserve the lifespan and prevent you from having to throw items away.
This is only with a quality product as we all know the frustration of buying a product only for it to have little to no effect on a stain. Because of this, we have compiled a list of the best stain removers available. Each one offers something a little different but will yield the same results.
- Editor’s Choice
Shout Spray and Wash Advanced Action Gel Stain Remover for Clothes (Amazon) – Review
- Best Natural
Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover, Enzyme Odor Eliminator (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Whites
Oxiclean White Revive Stain Remover 66 oz- (Amazon) – Review
- Best For On The Go
Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover, 3 Count (Amazon) – Review
- Best Wipes
Shout Instant Stain Remover Wipes – 12 (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Dried On Grease
OxiClean MaxForce Laundry Stain Remover Spray (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Shout Spray and Wash Advanced Action Gel Stain Remover for Clothes
No matter how stubborn the stain, this is the best stain remover we have used. This is no gentle formula, it is tough on aged blemishes so before you throw away that favorite dress or a new shirt, give this product a try. It’s highly concentrated formula ensures it has 70% more stain fighting power than other products and the trigger spray makes it easy to get plenty of coverage.
Even if you are worried about colorfast washables, this is fine to use and it works at all temperatures. This stain remover works well on both everyday stains that you find on a shirt collar as well as the ones that worry you such as red wine and makeup. You can spray it on then leave it a week before washing, although it is always best to act fast.
- 70% more stain fighting power
- Tough on aged stains
- Fine for colorfast washables
- Works at all temperatures
Best Natural: Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover, Enzyme Odor Eliminator
If you are on the hunt for a natural stain remover then this is one of the most popular and effective products you should consider. Not only does it eliminate odor and offers great value thanks to the two-pack but it uses plant-based ingredients to gently lift stains.
This means it manages to get rid of everyday grass, blood, oil, red wine, mud, makeup, and beyond and does so without harsh chemicals. The formula is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, gluten-free, vegan, biodegradable, and cruelty-free. It’s good when used on dark colors, delicates, and is fine for all the family.
Tougher stains need to be sprayed, brushed, then left for around 8 hours for it to be most effective before you put it through a rinse cycle.
- Natural formula
- Plant-based ingredients
- Works on tough stains
- Hypoallergenic and non-toxic
- Tough stains need to be soaked for a long time
Best For Whites: Oxiclean White Revive Stain Remover 66 oz-
This is the best stain remover for your whites but it is also safe on colors. The formula helps to brighten your whites and bring them back to life as well as battle spills and everyday marks. There is no chlorine bleach in the formula so you don’t have to worry about that strong smell on your clothing.
It also has 40% more whitening power than a chlorine bleach formula and is fine to use on all types of machines. Anyone who has a load of white clothing or washes their clothes the right way by separating them from dark colors would benefit from using this product. They are also available as a power pak that has the same easy to use the approach as a pod but this liquid formula lasts a long time.
- Brightens whites and is tough on stains
- Fine to use on colors
- No chlorine bleach
- 40% more whitening power than chlorine
- Might need to pre-soak for hours
Best For On The Go: Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover, 3 Count
A stain can ruin your clothes at any point so it is great to be able to keep a stain remover on you at all times. The best way of lifting a stain is to act fast so if you notice a grassy patch on your kid’s shorts or a dot of red wine on a shirt at a restaurant, this is an excellent solution.
The 3 pen style stain removers allow you to target the area with ease and it rids your clothes of tough and everyday stains without the need for laundering. There is no bleach in the formula and it works well on fresh food and drinks stains. Because of this, it is great to take on a breakaway or keep in your bag just in case. It works when you push the tip into the stain three times then swirl it to run the formula in.
- Easy to use
- Good value in the three-pack
- The convenience of a pen and tough on food and drink
- No bleach
- Not as effective on tougher stains like oil
Best Wipes: Shout Instant Stain Remover Wipes – 12
This is another product that is fine to use on the go because each wipe is contained in a packet. Each wipe is textured so it can help to scrub the stain before it lifts it and you can keep them in your car, the office, or in your bag just in case you should need them.
They are also good for carpet stains making it easy to lift the problem area but any colorfast fabric is going to be fine when you use them to get rid of every day and stubborn dried-on stains. They don’t dry out and are the sort of convenient stain remover that could be a lifesaver.
- Easy to use
- Textured wipes
- Individually wrapped
- Ideal for travel
- Other types of stain remover have stronger formulas
Best For Dried On Grease: OxiClean MaxForce Laundry Stain Remover Spray
With the benefit of 5 stain removers working at the same time, this is a good product on tricky stains when other products have failed. It has the strength to lift rough stains on the first application so you don’t have to keep repeating the process only for it to not completely work.
You can apply it to your garments now and then leave it a week before washing and it will still work and it is one of the better options for dried on mud, as well as grease and oil. It does this by dissolving the problem stain and lifting it from your clothing. We like it because it works fast, and within ten minutes, most of the stain has been removed already.
- Combines 5 stain removers
- Works fast and first time
- Easy to use a spray bottle
- Fine to use with dried-on stains
- Bottle is on the small side
Although it is better to lift a stain before it dries, with the best stain removers, this doesn’t matter. Even stubborn blemishes that have been on a garment for a while can be removed when you know what a quality product should be capable of.
With a little know-how, you can identify the ideal stain remover for stubborn grass, coffee, red wine, blood, ketchup, mud, and whatever else you can think of. We have created the following buyer’s guide to help.
Bleach Free Formula
Not every brand adheres to this but bleach isn’t always the best stain remover. This is because it can leave spots of its own and when it hasn’t washed off properly, you’re going to know about it.
Also, the strong smell of a bleach-based stain remover is not pleasant to wear although most should wash off pretty well.
This can come in the form of a spray bottle that is reliable and doesn’t clog or a pen or wipe. Thankfully, some products can be used in different situations. Although a pen-style stain remover might not be as harsh on tougher stains, they are good to have on. you when you are out, and if they don’t work, use something a little stronger when you get home.
Although you want your stain remover of choice to be hard on stains, you don’t want it to be dangerous for your skin. This is whey a lot of people like plant-based formulas. The only issue with these is that they can take a long time to work but if it gets rid of that red wine spill on. your favorite garment, who cares!?
If you need to wear that dress or shirt that evening then only a fast working stain remover will do. Most people will find that they have the time to wait 8 hours for something to soak if it means it works but some brands work faster than others.
When time is of the essence, look for a product that works within minutes, not hours.
Although some people would argue that you cannot put a price on being able to save a garment from being thrown away, some brands do offer better value than others.
Concentrated formulas can last longer but a stain remover is only worth buying if it has a proven track record for lifting stains.
There are different ways a product can work to eliminate stains. Here are some of the most common types available.
These are the ones you first think of and you usually get a lot of use out of one bottle. The spray approach means each application covers a wide area but because there are so many products that use this method it can be hard to tell the good from the bad.
Less common but pretty effective. The benefit you get is being able to scrub the area which helps to lift the stain. A lot of the time they are individually wrapped meaning you can take them anywhere so this is one of the best stain removers for travel.
Similar to wipes in terms of convenience but not always as effective on tougher stains like oil and grease. Ideal for removing a spot of red wine or ketchup on a white shirt.
Anything similar to a pod such can be effective but it means you can not rub it into the stain and it will rely on the garment having to go through a wash cycle. When they work, these are the easiest to use.
With the best stain removers, you get remove both fresh and dried on stains with some of them able to remove something that has been washed in for some time.
This might be where you need a stronger formula or one that contains multiple stain removers in one product.
Although a lot will depend on the type of garment you are washing (any white clothes are best treated with a product tailored towards light colors and whites), overall, we found the best stain remover to be Shout Spray and Wash Advanced Action Gel Stain Remover. With 70% more stain-removing power and a formula that works in all temperatures, it has plenty of uses.
Not to mention it is also tough on dried on stains and tends to be more effective than the other products we reviewed. It works well on everyday stains and it is also one of the most reasonably priced products available.
Although some at-home formulas can be more effective than a low-quality store-bought product, the better stain removers you can purchase are far more effective on tougher stains.
A baking soda based DIY stain remover can be fine for some light blemishes and has been found to lift tougher stains but it does require more elbow grease and doesn’t have the track record of a reputable product.
The ease of being able to spray and leave or apply a pen or wipe is great, and the formulas tend to be heavy-duty in comparison, might light work of aged stains.
Quality stain removers don’t cost you as much as buying a new t-shirt so even if you only use them once, they are worth the modest investment.
You can pick up a large spray bottle for under $10 although there is value in buying more than one at a time.