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7 Best Laundry Stain Removers of 2024

Updated
Ugly stains be gone.

Spilled wine, a splash of oil, grease, grass, and ink — these are all things that can stain your clothes. After that initial panic, it’s normal if you’re running to the internet to find out what to do.

But what if you already had one of the best laundry stain removers in the cupboard or in your bag? With our top recommendations, you can get rid of these stains quickly and effectively.

To create this list, we dedicated hours to researching dozens of products, their ingredients, and their effectiveness. Backed up by expert advice and real customer reviews, here are seven stain removers you’ll want to try.

Our Top Picks

We independently assess, research, and evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on the links we provide, we may receive compensation.
Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the OxiClean White Revive Stain Remover
Best for White Clothing
OxiClean White Revive Stain Remover
  • 40 percent more powerful than bleach
  • Brightens and restores white clothing
  • Color safe
Product Image of the Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover
Best On-The-Go Laundry Stain Remover
Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover
  • Compact for pockets
  • Doesn’t contain bleach
  • No need to launder after
Product Image of the Shout Wipe and Go Towelettes
Best Laundry Stain Remover Wipes
Shout Wipe and Go Towelettes
  • Portable wipes for using on the go
  • No washing required
  • Good for clothes & carpet
Product Image of the Shout Spray & Wash Stain Remover
Best Stain Remover Gel
Shout Spray & Wash Stain Remover
  • Gets out fresh & old stains
  • 70 percent more stain fighting power
  • Handy spray function
Product Image of the Better Life Stain & Odor Eliminator
Best Natural Stain Remover
Better Life Stain & Odor Eliminator
  • 100 percent natural ingredients
  • Eliminates stains & odors
  • Functional spray bottle
Product Image of the OxiClean Color Boost Paks
Best Stain Remover for Colors
OxiClean Color Boost Paks
  • Brightens colors & removes stains
  • Safe for whites
  • Convenient pak form
Product Image of the OxiClean On The Go Stain Remover Pen
Best Laundry Stain Remover Pens
OxiClean On The Go Stain Remover Pen
  • Portable pen design
  • Great for baby spills and messes
  • Biodegradable ingredients


The Best Laundry Stain Removers of 2024

Hours of extensive research have gone into this list. We’ve looked at product details, real customer reviews, and expert advice. Using our specialized insight as well as popular reviews, we’ve put together a list of the best laundry stain removers on the market.

OxiClean White Revive Stain Remover

Best for White Clothing

The OxiClean White Revive is our top pick for white clothing. Sick and tired of yellowing underarms and prominent food stains? OxiClean will zap away the stains, bringing brightness back to your whites.

OxiClean uses oxidizing agents such as sodium carbonate to break down stains. But keep in mind it is chlorine bleach-free! In fact, according to OxiClean, it works 40 percent better than chlorine bleach.

It lifts away stains, restoring brightness so that your white shirts look as good as new. However, it’s also color safe, so you can use it to remove stains and brighten colors.

Top Tip

Don’t use this product on wool, silk, leather, or dry-clean-only fabrics. Always check for colorfastness before using on colors, too.

Pros

  • 40 percent more powerful than chlorine bleach.
  • Brightens and restores white clothing.
  • Safe for colored clothing, too.
  • Works with every wash or specific stain removal.
  • Great for professional use, such as in hotels and hospitals.

Cons

  • Only works in warm or hot water.
  • Strong chemical smell.

Product Specs

Stain Type Any stain
Ingredients Active oxidizing agent
Type Powder
Fabric Type Whites and colorfast — but not wool, silk, leather, or dry-clean-only fabrics
Fragrance Unscented but has a strong chemical-y smell

Our Ratings

Effectiveness
4.5 / 5
Fabric Safety
4 / 5
Application Method
4.5 / 5
Scent
3 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

User Experience

I recently tried this product after accidentally mixing a white shirt with black jeans, turning the shirt grey. To my surprise, after just a few hours of soaking, my shirt was restored to its original bright white color. This product has proven to be extremely effective in removing stains from white socks as well. However, I did have an issue with the container being improperly sealed, causing some of the powder to spill during delivery. Despite this minor setback, I've found that this product not only keeps my white clothes white, but also enhances the colors of my other clothes.

Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover

Best On-The-Go Laundry Stain Remover

These small and compact stain remover pens are excellent if you’re on the go. Keep it in your pocket or bag while you’re traveling or even just out for dinner. It’s always important to treat stains immediately, and now you can!

These pens are suited for fresh food and drink stains. If the stain has been set, these might not do the trick. But for right after you’ve spilled juice onto your jeans — these are impressive.

It works by breaking down grease stains. The powerful, biodegradable cleaning solution works on most fabrics. The microfiber pad on the pen lifts and absorbs stains.

The Tide to Go stain remover uses surfactants and oxygen bleach — but it does not contain chlorine bleach. Therefore, you can use this on colorfast fabrics of any material. Just check in an inconspicuous area first.

Pros

  • Compact enough to fit in pockets.
  • Doesn’t contain chlorine bleach.
  • Works on fresh food and drink stains.
  • You don’t need to launder after use.

Cons

  • Doesn’t work on blood or ink stains.
  • Takes some time to use.
  • Not as effective on darker stains.

Product Specs

Stain Type Fresh food and drink
Ingredients Active surfactants
Type Pen
Fabric Type Any (check colorfastness first)
Fragrance Synthetically fragranced

Our Ratings

Effectiveness
4 / 5
Fabric Safety
4.5 / 5
Application Method
4.5 / 5
Scent
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Personal Perspective

This product has been a real lifesaver for me and many others due to its ability to remove various types of stains. I always carry one with me, and it has saved numerous shirts from different stains, including marinara sauce, ink, and even makeup. All it takes is applying a generous coating, followed by cold water and a light hand scrubbing. Although it doesn't remove old, permanent stains, it's perfect for on-the-go fresh stain removal. I highly recommend this stain remover and will continue to use it and even gift it to friends.

Shout Wipe and Go Portable Towelettes

Best Laundry Stain Remover Wipes

For a product that is mightier than the stain, try the Shout Wipe and Go portable towelettes. This is our top pick for a stain remover wipe — they’re super convenient. Just keep them in your bag and use them on the go.

When you spill something down your shirt, blot the stain to remove the excess. Wipe with one of these from outside the stain into the center. And voila! You’re good to go. No washing is required.

You can remove textured stains, juice, blood, and red wine. And not just on your clothes, but on your carpet and car interior.

It’s safe for all colorfast and washable fabrics as well as whites. It will tackle the stain while being gentle on your clothes so you can trust this with your delicates.

Pros

  • Portable wipes make it easy for on-the-go stain removal.
  • No washing required.
  • Good for clothes, carpets, and car interiors.
  • Safe on colorfast and washable fabrics.
  • Can remove a variety of stains, including blood and juice.

Cons

  • Works better if dampened.
  • Disposable, so it increases waste.

Product Specs

Stain Type Juice, blood, wine, and other tough stains
Ingredients Active surfactants
Type Wipes
Fabric Type Any colorfast and washable fabric
Fragrance No fragrance

Our Ratings

Effectiveness
4 / 5
Fabric Safety
4.5 / 5
Application Method
5 / 5
Scent
5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Community Feedback

My experience with these stain-removing wipes has been nothing short of impressive. As someone who frequently encounters spills and stains, these wipes have saved numerous clothing items and even upholstery. Their effectiveness on various types of stains, from tomato-based sauces to unfortunate diaper incidents, has made them an essential addition to my purse, car, and travel bags. The size of the wipes can be a bit large for smaller stains, but their convenience and efficiency make up for it. These wipes are not only perfect for on-the-go situations, but also provide a more effective cleaning method compared to stain-removing pens.

Shout Spray and Wash Stain Remover

Best Stain Remover Gel

Many prefer gel solutions because they’re thick and don’t run as much as a liquid. The Shout Spray and Wash stain remover is our top pick for a gel option.

This gel is specially formulated to remove stubborn and set-in stains. It uses stain-fighting surfactants to tackle stubborn stains. It has 70 percent more stain-fighting power than previous Shout stain removers.

So if you have an old stain, this could do the trick. However, it also works on fresh, everyday stains, too. We love that it handles tough stains such as wine and makeup and everyday stains like food, drink, and blood.

The handy spray function makes it easy to use. Simply spray the affected area until the stain is saturated. Then thoroughly rub the fabric with a cloth or clean toothbrush. Leave for five minutes or overnight, depending on the stain’s severity. Launder with your regular detergent at the warmest water possible for the fabric.

Pros

  • Gets out fresh and old stains.
  • 70 percent more stain-fighting power than previous Shout products.
  • Handy spray function.
  • Safe for whites and colorfast fabrics.
  • Can remove tough stains like blood and wine.

Cons

  • Customers find it doesn’t work on every type of stain.
  • Nozzle can be faulty.
  • One bottle doesn’t last very long.

Product Specs

Stain Type Everyday and set in stains
Ingredients Active surfactants
Type Spray gel
Fabric Type White and colorfast clothes
Fragrance Synthetic fragrance

Our Ratings

Effectiveness
4.5 / 5
Fabric Safety
4.5 / 5
Application Method
4 / 5
Scent
3 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

First-Hand Impression

My experience with this product has been overwhelmingly positive, as it effectively tackles a wide variety of stains on different fabrics. I've found the Advanced Action Gel formula to be far superior to the original, making my laundry routine much more efficient. However, I've learned to be cautious when applying it to bright-colored clothes, as it may cause color bleeding onto lighter garments if not separated after spraying.

Better Life Natural Stain & Odor Eliminator

Best Natural Stain Remover

The Better Life natural stain and odor eliminator is our top choice for a natural stain remover. If you’re going green in the laundry room, this is a must-have.

Formulated with 100 percent plant-derived cleaning and fragrance products, you get a totally safe and eco-friendly stain remover. Soap bark, soy, and coconut are the active stain removers in this spray.

It works on carpets, furniture, athletic gear, and clothing. It’s safe on whites and colors. Remove grass, dirt, blood, sweat, and grease stains with this product.

Even though it doesn’t contain enzymes, oxidizers, or surfactants — this stuff is powerful. Customers swear by it! They’ve used it for heavy ink stains, bad pet smells, cigarette smells, and grass stains, amongst other types of stains.

Pros

  • 100 percent natural ingredients.
  • Eliminates stains and odors.
  • Useful for clothes, athletic gear, furniture, and carpets.
  • Functional spray bottle.
  • Better Life never tests on animals.
  • Eucalyptus and lemongrass scented.

Cons

  • Not ideal for old stains and odors.
  • Pricier than other options.
  • The scent is not long-lasting.

Product Specs

Stain Type Grass, dirt, blood, sweat, and grease
Ingredients 100 percent natural
Type Spray liquid
Fabric Type Any
Fragrance Eucalyptus and lemongrass

Our Ratings

Effectiveness
4 / 5
Fabric Safety
5 / 5
Application Method
4 / 5
Scent
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

User Experience

I'm impressed with this product's effectiveness and non-toxic nature, making it safe for both kids and pets. The odor elimination aspect works wonders, and while it may not remove every stain, it certainly tackles the majority. I appreciate the mild scent that doesn't trigger migraines, and although it's a bit pricey, it's worth the investment.

OxiClean Color Boost Stain Remover Paks

Best Stain Remover for Colors

OxiClean Color Boost stain remover paks are a top choice for removing stains on colored clothes. This product uses active oxygen power to penetrate fabric fibers quickly and safely. It then breaks up and removes the stains.

We love that it brightens colors, too. So that dingy striped t-shirt at the back of your closet? Bring it back out and try OxiClean Color Boost on it!

The built-in optical brighteners bring vibrance back to colors. Want more? It also works on whites! It will restore their brightness and remove stains.

The paks are pre-measured, so you can just toss them into your machine’s drum. Use these in every load if you’d like — just make sure to add them before adding your clothes. This allows water to get to the pak first so it can dissolve.

Pros

  • Brightens colors while removing stains.
  • Safe for white garments, too.
  • Convenient pak form.
  • Useful for every load or pre-treatment.
  • Great for dirt, food, and soil stains.
  • Utilizes the power of oxygen bleach.

Cons

  • Might irritate skin due to chemical ingredients.
  • Not suitable for cold washes.
  • The scent is overpowering.

Product Specs

Stain Type Dirt, soil, and food
Ingredients Active oxygen power and enzymes
Type Paks
Fabric Type Any
Fragrance Synthetic fragrance

Our Ratings

Effectiveness
4.5 / 5
Fabric Safety
4 / 5
Application Method
5 / 5
Scent
3 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Personal Perspective

I'm impressed with this product's effectiveness in removing tough stains and brightening my whites. During my experience, I found that it works exceptionally well as a soaker and has even improved long-time discolorations. The convenience of using these pods is remarkable, as they can be simply dropped into the laundry without any hassle. Additionally, I appreciate the neutral scent left on my clothes, and I have significantly reduced my usage of fabric softener since incorporating these into my laundry routine.

OxiClean On-The-Go Stain Removal Stick

Best Laundry Stain Remover Pens

The OxiClean On The Go Pen is a fantastic product if you’re looking for a stain remover pen. These handy little pens can fit into your backpack or pocket. They remove tough stains, including baby foods, chocolate, and spaghetti.

To use, just blot the stain with a napkin or cloth to remove as much residue as possible. Then use the pen like an eraser while squeezing to eliminate the stain.

The ingredients aren’t disclosed, but they do state they’re biodegradable and derived from natural sources. So this product will be kind on your baby’s clothes.

Although it’s designed for baby messes, you don’t need to have a child to use this stain remover pen. It works on tough stains such as food, lipstick, and other messes. So try it out if you’re looking for a portable option.

Pros

  • Portable pen design.
  • Great for baby spills and food messes.
  • Biodegradable ingredients and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Does not contain bleach.
  • Scrubber tip helps to remove stains while protecting clothing.

Cons

  • Bottles prone to leaking.
  • Leaves a big wet spot.
  • Very hard to squeeze the pen.

Product Specs

Stain Type Most tough stains, especially baby messes
Ingredients Biodegradable ingredients
Type Pen
Fabric Type Any
Fragrance Unscented

Our Ratings

Effectiveness
4 / 5
Fabric Safety
4.5 / 5
Application Method
3.5 / 5
Scent
5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

My experience with the Oxy Clean stain removal pens has been mostly positive, especially as a replacement for the discontinued Clorox bleach pens. These pens are conveniently sized for travel, allowing me to tackle stains on-the-go. While not all stains are completely removed, this product has proven effective in eliminating a majority of them, even stubborn ones like grease and BBQ sauce. However, I did notice a white ring left around a grease stain after using the pen, but it hasn't deterred me from using it again. In comparison to other products, it performs similarly to the Tide pen.

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Stain Type Ingredients Type Fabric Type
OxiClean White Revive Stain Remover For White Clothing Any stain Active oxidizing agent Powder Except wool, silk, leather,dry clean
Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover On-The-Go Laundry Stain Remover Fresh food & drink Active surfactants Pen Any
Shout Wipe and Go Towelettes Laundry Stain Remover Wipes Juice, blood, wine Active surfactants Wipes Colorfast
Shout Spray & Wash Stain Remover Stain Remover Gel Everyday & set in stains Active surfactants Spray gel Whites & colorfast
Better Life Stain & Odor Eliminator Natural Stain Remover Grass, dirt, blood, sweat & grease 100% natural Spray liquid Any
OxiClean Color Boost Paks Stain Remover for Colors Dirt, soil & food Active oxygen power & enzymes Paks Any
OxiClean On-The-Go Stain Removal Stick Laundry Stain Remover Pens Most tough stains baby messes Biodegradable ingredients Pen Any

Should You Use a Stain Remover?

Stain removers are an important product to have in the laundry room. Regular detergent can break down stains during the wash cycle. But for the best results, a product designed to remove stains will be the most effective.

You can experiment with products you already have in the house. Dish soap, lemon juice, white vinegar, and baking soda all do an excellent job removing stains. But our recommendations for the best laundry stain removers will tackle stains effectively.

Which Substances Cause Stains?

There are four main categories of substances that cause stains (1).

  • Enzymatic stains: This includes blood, grass, and chocolate.
  • Oxidizable stains: This includes tea, coffee, and red wine.
  • Greasy stains: This includes sweat, oil, butter, and many other food stains.
  • Particle stains: This includes mud, soil, and dirt.

Types of Active Ingredients in a Stain Remover

There are three main active ingredients in stain removers that help to break apart and remove stains.

Oxidizers

If you have an oxidizable stain, such as tea, coffee, or red wine, the best way to remove it is through an oxidizing agent, such as bleach.

Bleach causes reactions to form new chemical compounds and forces colored stains to become colorless. Because bleach changes the stain to colorless, you mustn’t bleach colored items as they will fade or turn white.

Enzymes

Enzymes are molecules that speed up chemical reactions. Some enzymes can help break larger molecules into smaller pieces (2). So it’s clear why that would be an excellent solution for stains.

Proteases, a type of enzyme, breaks down proteins such as blood, eggs, and gravy. Amylases, another type of enzyme, breaks down starches. Lipases break down fat and grease.

Surfactants

Surfactants are stain remover agents commonly found in detergent and dish soap. They reduce the surface tension of water. This causes your clothes to get wet, allowing the stain remover to reach and extract the stains (3).

Surfactants have two purposes: removing oil stains and water stains. So this is a top choice for oil, food, and sweat stains (4).

Each surfactant molecule has a polar head that mixes with water and a hydrocarbon tail that dissolves grease. When these two molecules work together, the stain can easily rinse away.

What to Look for in a Laundry Stain Remover

We’ll break down some key details to consider so you find the most appropriate solution to your stain.

What Stains It Removes

Each product has a different range of stains it can tackle based on the active ingredient. Check the type of stains it can remove and choose one based on the stains you experience most frequently.

Ingredients

Take note of the active ingredients to ensure your product will tackle the stains you are dealing with. Also, note whether the product contains bleach. If so, it will not be suitable for colored items.

There are also a few natural and eco products on the market, so look out for those, too!

Type

Stain removers come in different types: liquid, spray, powder, pods, pens, and wipes. If you’re on the go a lot, you’ll love having a pen or wipe option in your bag.

Spray stain removers are very convenient for targeting the affected area. Pods, however, are pre-measured, eliminating the guesswork for you.

Fabric Type

Stain removers are very useful, but they don’t work on every fabric type.

For example, some are a no-go for delicates like wool and silk. Others can treat these fabrics with care. So always check the fine print on a stain removal product to note which fabrics it’s compatible with.

Fragrance

For some folks, the fragrance is a must. Others don’t want their stain remover to smell at all.

If you have sensitive skin, we recommend a fragrance-free product. Synthetic fragrances can irritate people with sensitive skin (5).


What Happens if You Leave Stain Remover on Too Long?

Using too much stain remover or leaving a stain remover on for too long can damage your clothes. It can make it much harder to rinse, clean, and dry the area. But the stain remover could also leave a stain, especially if it contains bleach.

Pro Tip

Read the manufacturer’s instructions on a stain remover thoroughly. Then follow these steps, detail by detail, for the best results.

FAQs

What Is the Best Homemade Stain Remover?

Baking soda is the best homemade stain remover. It is alkaline-based, cutting through grease, oil, gravy, and even vomit. You can also use white vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and dish soap.

What Are the Hardest Stains To Remove?

The hardest stains to remove are grease, blood, vomit, and urine. Other stains that are tough to lift include red wine, coffee, and cola.

Is Hot or Cold Water Better for Stains?

Cold water is better for stains because hot water causes the fibers to open and absorb the stain further, baking it in. Cold water lifts the stain without driving it deeper into the garment.

How Do You Get Deep Stains Out of Clothes?

Soak the garment in salted cold water for three hours, then rub the stain with laundry detergent. Finally, place the item in the washing machine and wash it on a hot wash (if the washing instructions allow), and the stain should lift.

How Do You Get Old Stains Out of White Clothes?

Rub liquid laundry detergent onto the stain with your fingers, rinse the garment under running cold water, and place it in the washing machine on a standard wash cycle.

Can I Soak Clothes in OxiClean Overnight?

You can soak clothes in OxiClean overnight. Fill a basin with cold water, drop the clothes in and sprinkle in the OxiClean, following the packaging instructions.


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Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism, and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!