Although most people can live with a light stain or two on the garments in their wardrobe, what happens when you get ketchup on your favorite white shirt? Running it through the wash alone won’t solve the issue, and dry-cleaning or replacing the shirt entirely are options that are often out of budget. That’s when you turn to stain removers. But have no fear — the best clothes stain removers will save your garments from imminent ruin — just keep a couple of things in mind when you’re picking one out.
If you share your home with pets or small children, you may want to avoid toxic chemicals like bleach, chlorine, and ammonia. If you’re more of a purist with cleaning solutions, I’ve included a plant-based stain remover just for you.
Top 10 best clothes stain remover UK 2021
Stain fighters come in many different forms—sprays, bars, gels, and powder—and each has its pros and cons. For that reason, you might want to have a couple of the best stain remover options at the ready for different types of material and dirty stain sources.
All stain removers should tackle stubborn stains that detergent leaves behind. Take a look at our guide to better understand the different types of stains, along with our top picks for the best clothes stain remover to keep on hand in the laundry room.
1. Tide Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover
You might not always be near a washing machine when stains hit, which is why you should always have a Tide-To-Go Instant Stain Remover Pen handy. These compact pens work quickly to get rid of stains, helping to save the day when you’re on the go.
Tide-To-Go pens contain a bleach-free formula that can be used on many different fabrics, including wool, polyester, and cotton. All you need to do to use them is press the tip of the pen onto the stain to dispense the liquid and rub it gently across the affected area. The formula is advertised for use on coffee, tea, wine, spaghetti sauce, grape juice, and more!
2. Dr. Beckmann Pre-Wash Stain Devils
This is a strong-performing all-rounder that will tackle most of the tough stains your family throws at you. At 250ml, the bottle will last you for a good number of washes and it’s good value for money too, considering you can typically get it for only £2.29 per bottle.
This pre-wash option performed well across the board on test on both fresh and dried-in stains. It fully removed eight out of ten fresh stains on both polycotton and cotton, including hard-to-shift red wine and lipstick. It didn’t fade or discolour brightly coloured fabrics, either. It’s also bleach-free, meaning it’s gentle on fabrics.
3. Ecover Stain Remover
This cruelty-free and eco-friendly stain remover is a good choice for the conscious consumer. As expected with a gentler stain remover, there was also no bleaching or discolouration of brightly coloured fabrics.
When used on freshly stained cotton fabric, there was still visible staining from foundation, lipstick and biro pen. These included some trickier ones, such as red wine, curry sauce and oil. When we left the same selection of stains to dry for 24 hours, curry sauce, foundation and vegetable oil weren’t eradicated.
When we tested on freshly spoiled polycotton, it removed red wine, oil, curry sauce and coffee, to name a few. Yet, visible signs of biro pen, foundation and red lipstick remained.
4. Stain Devils survival kit
Dr Beckmann Stain Devils Survival Kit with three bottles contained within the nifty, little kit promise to remove over 40 stubborn stains including baby food, crayon, felt tip, milk, yoghurt, blood, sun cream and wee!
Quick and simple to use, it determines which Dr Beckmann Stain Devil you need to get rid of your stain and lets you order it directly from the app for a flat fee of £1.99 including p&p. Place the order before 2pm for next day delivery. Super fast and super handy.
5. Astonish Stain Remover Target Spray
Astonish Stain Remover Target Spray is specially formulated to dissolve and disperse a wide range of stains from clothes, carpets, curtains and upholstery and can also be used as a laundry prewash to obliterate stains on clothing and more.
This spray-on stain remover by Astonish is suitable for use on wool. It claims to swiftly remove stains from fabrics instantly or can also be used as a pre-treatment prior to washing. This stain remover worked best on stained polycotton fabrics. When used on cottons, we found that it worked better on fresh stains than on dried-on ones.
6. Shout Triple-Acting Stain Removing Spray
This is a no-fuss stain remover that was straightforward to use and removed the majority of stains from cottons and polycottons.
We liked that it could be used on wool. Yet, like most stain removers we tested, it struggled to properly extract stains from it. When applied to freshly stained polycotton fabric, it didn’t remove foundation and biro pen. Meanwhile, vegetable oil and foundation marks were also still present. That said, all other stains including red wine, coffee and curry sauce were fully eradicated, even when they were left to dry for 24 hours. It didn’t discolour any fabrics, too.
7. HG Stain Away No. 4 35 gr
HG stain away no. 4 removes stains caused by sauce, gravy, herbs, blood, milk and egg whites, but also chocolate, mayonnaise, whipping cream and exudate. HG stain away no. 4 is one of our 7 special HG stain removal products.
From resilient to greasy, mould to mildew, it removes all sorts of stains… and won’t fade colour-fast fabrics. We just love it because it’s kinder to the environment than chlorine-based stain treatments, is totally plastic-free, and of course, is super effective at lifting stains.
8. Astonish Oxi Active Stain Remover
This powdered stain remover claims to be a versatile choice. It can be used in your usual wash, as well as for pre-treating or soaking. It’s vegan-friendly, too. It’s not suitable for use on wool, silk or leather though.
This stain remover worked well in the majority of tests. Although, it wasn’t able to remove foundation. Otherwise, it tackled most stains with ease and we saw no fading or discolouration of brightly coloured fabrics.
9. Prochem Stain Pro Professional Stain Remover
Prochem Stain Pro is a must-have for your professional carpet cleaning kit, as it will remove a huge range of tough stains from carpets, meaning less stain treatments to carry with you. Stain Pro will help to remove a range of tough stains commonly found on carpets including food, coffee and red wine.
Stain Pro is easy to apply and works quickly and effectively to ensure great results for your professional carpet cleaning tasks. Use Prochem Stain Pro to remove common household stains such as blood, vomit, wine, ink, tea & coffee and most food based stains.
10. Vanish Oxi Spray 500Ml Fabric Stain Remover
We were particularly impressed with this spray’s stain removal on polycottons. Unlike most of its competitors, it performed better on spoilt fabric with dried-in stains than it did on fresh stains. When treated with this spray, most fresh stains were completely removed – but it only partially removed mustard and foundation. However, when left to dry for 24 hours all of the stains were completely removed, which was a great result.
Generally, it didn’t fade or discolour coloured fabrics. It’s worth noting that after rubbing the product into the stain, one of our testers experienced some white residue and discomfort on their hands. We’d also say it’s a bit messier than some other sprays, so we’d advise wearing gloves.
How to choose the best clothes stain remover?
Is there a stain remover for everything?
No matter what the packaging may claim, there is no miraculous cure-all stain remover on the market. Different stains are caused by different fluids, after all. The tannins in a red wine stain are completely different to the acids of a coffee stain; the soil in a muddy footprint is completely different to the oil-based particles in a grease mark.
So, rather than search for an all-purpose stain remover, you should buy with specific stains in mind.
Which kind of stain removers should I buy?
This depends on the activities you or your family do on a regular basis. It’s fair to say that everyone will benefit from having a general clothes stain remover, especially if you regularly do sports, outdoor activities, or anything where getting dirty is likely. People who enjoy a glass of pinot noir in the evening will probably be thankful for a red wine stain remover at some point. If you’re a mechanic, or enjoy cooking at the stove, a grease stain remover will also likely come in handy
In reality, it’s not easy to buy for a situation that isn’t planned. So, given how relatively cheap these products are, we suggest you invest in a variety, and have them ready beneath the sink. Better safe than sorry.
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 easily and effectively. Overall, always consider the active ingredients and the fragrance to make sure that the product you choose will be kind to your skin. Doing laundry properly means treating stains properly. Pick the right treatment and your stains will come out like magic!