Best laundry stain remover

The best way to get more life out of your clothes is to keep them looking great. The set in stains from food, sweat, and just life in general can cause our nice things to look sad. Ever pull out your favorite shirt to put it on only to notice a big stain on the front? Prompting questions like, how long has that been there, what is it, and will it come out? It better come out. It’s your go-to shirt!

Sometimes stains happen and we didn’t even know it. Other times, we see fresh stains happen and hope for the best. Pre-treating with a stain remover is the best way to assure the stain won’t be with you forever. But with endless combinations of fibers and stain-makers, it is nearly impossible to treat stain removal the same each time. Stain removing can be an art form but having the right products and tools can be the best defense in keeping your clothes looking fresh.

Let’s take a look at some of the best laundry stain removers and see how they resolve the most common type of stains.

What is the best overall stain remover for clothes?

1. Tide To Go: Probably the most recognizable and best on the go stain remover. The orange colored, pen-like design is compact and portable making it easy to carry with you in your car, purses, backpack, or briefcase. The plastic container only contains .33 fluid ounces of stain removal ingredients so with consistent use, it will not last very long. Tide To Go is not recommended on leather.

Ingredients: Water, Dipropylene Glycol Butyl Ether, Hydrogen Peroxide, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Alcohol, Sodium Citrate, Magnesium Sulfate, C10-16 Alkyldimethylamine Oxide, 3,4,5-Trimethoxybenzoic Acid, Fragrances.

2. OxiClean Max Force Gel Stain Remover Stick: This ultra-concentrated gel formula comes in a plastic tube and the formula easily stays where its applied. The stain grabbing nubs on the head of the plastic tube allows you to work the gel into the fibers. 

Ingredients: Water, C12-15 alcohols ethoxylated, Propylene glycol, Sodium borate, Citric acid, Alkyl imino dipropionic acid, monosodium salt, Modified acrylic copolymer, Sodium hydroxide, Fragrances, Protease enzyme, Amylase enzyme, Benzisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Mannanase enzyme, Calcium chloride.

3. The Laundress Stain Solution: This is a liquid stain remover, free of petroleum, phosphate, phthalates, artificial color, and no animal by-products. The 16-oz plastic bottle claims to contain up to 200 uses.

Ingredients: Concentrated blend of plant-derived anionic and nonionic surfactants.

4. Tangie Stain Remover Bar: A plant-based stain remover. Users and reviewers say it removes set in stains as well as fresh stains from grass, mud, grease, blood and more. This solid 3.5 ounce bar is packaged in a small cardboard box which doubles as its storage box. You can cut off smaller pieces for travel, carrying in your purse/briefcase, car or keeping in your desk drawer.

Ingredients: Coconut oil, Grapeseed oil, Soap nuts liquid, Oxalic acid, Sea salt, Citric acid, Lemongrass essential oil, Rosemary oleoresin for preservative.

When purchasing laundry stain removers, the packaging is definitely something to consider and the amount of waste produced from that packaging. The product container might be easy to care or store, but the plastic waste left behind after it is empty is something your kids or grandkids will have to deal with. Only you can decide how comfortable you are about that.

How do you get stains out of clothes that have been washed?

The type of stain matters but a set in stain has its own set of issues. Most of the time we hope putting clothes in the washing machine with laundry detergent in will be effective at removing the stains. This may not be enough when stains are old or set in from being washed or worse have already been put through the dryer. Heat and effective stain removal is not a good combination. The heat from the dryer can set stains in, becoming even more difficult to remove, no matter what stain remover brand you choose.

Pro stain removers tip for untreated, previously washed stains: Soak them out!

You may think the best way to handle stain removing is to give it elbow grease, vigorously scrubbing the stain with detergent. But that’s not the best course of action, and it could even result in the stain spreading. First try gently dabbing the stain with some of your best laundry detergent, working from the outside in. The earlier you treat tough stains, the better chance to remove the stain completely. Then the stained item can be placed in the washing machine to soak or into a bucket or bowl. 

Allowing the stain to soak 

Adding a soaking routine to your stain remover process can be very helpful! Some soaking time added with additional detergent or oxygenated bleach might give the stain the extra boost it needs to free itself from the fibers.

Allowing the stain to soak 

Adding a soaking routine to your stain remover process can be very helpful! Some soaking time added with additional detergent or oxygenated bleach might give the stain the extra boost it needs to free itself from the fibers.

Is Shout or OxiClean better?

Many of us have grown up with brand names that we recognize as the best stain removers. The ‘Shout It Out’ stain remover commercials have been around since the late 1970’s! You probably remember the famous 2-minute infomercials Billy Mays did back in the early 2000’s, when he hand swished some OxiClean in a glass bowl filled with dark, dirty water and immediately the water turned white.

The Shout brand has continued to improve their stain removal product line with gel formulas and Shout Advanced. The ingredients might be effective but they certainly are not natural.Here are the ingredients in Shout Advanced: Water, Ethoxylated Alcohol, Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulphonate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Polyacrylate Polymer, Sodium Borate, Acrylic Copolymer, Benzisothiazolinone, Subtilisin, Fragrance, Lyase. SCJ Formula 35*20467.

Bleach can be handy.*

There are times when using ‘bleach’ can be really handy for removing tough stains like from wine and various oil stains. If you got a stain on your white shirt, OxiClean is best to remove the stain with little effort but it will also brighten and whiten. It is a color-safe option until chlorine bleach. For best overall instant stain removal, OxiClean beats the pack when soaking is necessary.

*Chlorine bleach has many harmful side effects for us and the planet. But that is for another discussion. 

We have become a society of seekers for more natural options.

Ingredients like what is found in OxiClean have become mainstream. The original OxiClean was made with one ingredient: Sodium Percarbonate aka oxygen bleach. Sodium percarbonate (Na2CO3•H2O2), an adduct of sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This breaks down into hydrogen peroxide when dissolved in water. These ingredients break down safely in the environment and leave no toxic byproducts.

Just like the Shout brand, OxliClean has expanded their stain remover product line, including OxiClean Versatile. But as the product line expanded, so did the ingredient list. Ingredient list for OxliClean Versatile: Alcohols, C12-16, ethoxylated propoxylated, Citric acid, Hydroxyacetic acid, Sodium xylenesulfonate, Sulfuric acid, Fragrance, Colorants.

What is the best laundry stain remover for clothes?

There are many great stain removers on the market today. Most work with the same efficacy, it just comes down to what your own personal brand standard is and what your needs are. If packaging and toxins are not a concern for you, I’m not sure why it would not be, but we all haven’t different standards; then brands like Tide and Shout will work for you. If you want more natural ingredients, then The Laundress and OxliClean will fit your bill. If you want natural ingredients and plastic-free packaging, then Tangie Stain Remover is perfect for you.

No matter which stain removers you choose, extending the life and look of your clothes is a good thing!

What are the best laundry stain removers?

There is not one best stain remover because stain removers are meant to fit a variety of circumstances. You should make sure you pick one that fits your lifestyle. Treating stains as soon as they happen is the key to successful stain removal.

I keep a ‘soaking bucket’ in my laundry room just for stain removing when I can’t pretreat a stain. I can quickly toss in a tablespoon or two of sodium percarbonate and water along with the stained item and deal with it later. 

How to treat a stain when no stain remover is handy?

The best advice for stain removing when you have no stain remover handy, is to use water to keep the stain moist until you can pretreat it at a later time.

I hope you found this stain remover article interesting and gives you more confidence about treating and eliminating stains from your clothes and other fabrics.

Thanks for reading!
Angie Ringler

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