Best laundry stain remover

Laundering & Fabric Care

Every laundry stain remover is designed differently, which means each option is safe for use with different fabrics and takes different times to work effectively. Make sure to read the instructions on the bottle before use.

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Which laundry stain removers are best?

It’s a sad fact of life that accidents are going to happen and cause plenty of difficult to clean stains on your clothes, especially on the days you wear whites. The most common kinds of stains are also frustratingly the most difficult to clean and remove, which is why having a high-quality laundry stain remover at the ready is imperative.

The best laundry stain remover is the OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Remover. This brand is one of the most well known for a reason, as this laundry stain remover is engineered to remove almost any stain, including blood and grease.

What to know before you buy a laundry stain remover

Types of laundry stain removers

There are three main types of laundry stain remover: enzyme-based, surfactants and oxidizers.

Enzyme-based laundry stain removers work just like the enzymes in your body. They break down the stain into smaller, more manageable pieces that effectively hide a stain from sight. They’re best suited to stains like chocolate and blood, depending on the type of enzyme the laundry stain remover contains. They’re also less common than other types of laundry stain removers.

A surfactant laundry stain remover reduces the surface tension between your clothing and the stain, which allows your washing machine to lift the offended stain away with greater ease. They’re best for water and oil-based stains.

Oxidizing laundry stain removers break apart the chemical bonds that make up the molecules of the stain to turn them colorless. They work best on many types of stains like ink and various drinks such as tea and coffee. However, they can also adversely affect the fabric they applied to if improperly used, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Forms of laundry stain removers

Laundry stain removers can be found in either spray, gel or powder forms.

Spray laundry stain removers are the most common and the easiest form to apply. The clothes do need to be flat on a surface, as the liquid of the stain remover can otherwise run down and away from the stain it’s supposed to be cleaning.

Gel stain removers are a little more difficult to apply though the better stick to the surface of your clothing, nearly eliminating any risks of them running away from their stain.

Powder laundry stain removers aren’t directly applied to your clothing but instead are mixed into water that the clothing is then soaked in before being washed. It can be time consuming, but it can also be one of the most effective applications.

What to look for in a quality laundry stain remover


Laundry stain removers aren’t all meant for strictly clothing. Many laundry stain removers can also be used on surfaces like carpets, drapes and upholstery. This can save you plenty of money by eliminating an additional product purchase.


Certain laundry stain removers can have scents attached to them like other laundry cleaning chemicals, such as detergents. Just like those scented chemicals, it can be very unpleasant depending on your personal tastes.

How much you can expect to spend on a laundry stain remover

Laundry stain removers can vary in price depending on the type of stain remover and the amount a particular option contains, but even the most expensive option is still very affordable. In fact, most laundry stain removers can be found for less than $10 a bottle, with only the luxury brands or high-end formulas causing that cost to rise above the $10 threshold.

Laundry stain remover FAQ

How can I tell which type of laundry stain remover I need?

A. Which type of laundry stain remover you need depends entirely on the type or types of stains you’re trying to rid your clothes of. Most laundry stain removers will effectively clean your clothes of food-related stains, but specialized stains like wines, bloods and grasses might need a specialized formula, like oxidizing laundry stain removers for wines or enzyme-based laundry stain removers for bloods.

Can I use a laundry stain remover on silk or wool clothing?

A. Silk and wool are some of the most delicate materials you can find in a laundry room and as such, will always require special, gentler versions of cleaning materials. Any given laundry stain remover should explicitly state if it can be used on silk or wool. If it doesn’t ,then you shouldn’t apply it to your delicates. As always, make sure to follow any other instructions, such as limiting the time the laundry stain remover is allowed to sit on your clothing or washing your items by hand instead of in your washing machine.

What are the best laundry stain removers to buy?

Top laundry stain remover

OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Remover

OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Remover

What you need to know: This stain remover is known for its ability to remove stains with only one round of treatment.

What you’ll love: This laundry stain remover can treat all major stains, from food to grass to even blood.

What you should consider: Some consumers may not enjoy the scent of this laundry stain remover.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top laundry stain remover for the money

Shout Advanced Stain Remover Gel

Shout Advanced Stain Remover Gel

What you need to know: An excellent budget laundry stain remover that nonetheless admirably performs its task.

What you’ll love: This gel based laundry stain remover is safe for use with colors and in any water temperature.

What you should consider: The spray nozzle can occasionally be difficult to use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Zout Triple Enzyme Formula Laundry Stain Remover

Zout Triple Enzyme Formula Laundry Stain Remover

What you need to know: An enzyme-based laundry stain remover that’s highly efficient on food-based stains.

What you’ll love: This laundry stain remover works even better when clothes are washed quickly after treatment.

What you should consider: The spray bottle has a few reports of being unreliable and inconsistent.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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