Whether it's food grease or red wine or grass and mud or sweat stains, it is almost inevitable that your clothes will, at some point, fall victim to staining. We’re here to help de-mystify stain removers for you with our buying guide, which will help you unravel which are best for your particular needs from trusted brands like Ecover, Tide and Dr, Beckmann all available on Amazon and eBay.
There are three main types to choose from, which act on different types of stains, and you also have the option of different formats for added convenience. But which do you choose? From white shirts to baby clothes, read on to find out the best stain removers for getting those pesky blood, ink, oil, or other marks out of every fabric!
There are a few key factors that will help you determine which stain remover for clothes will best suit your needs. The prime consideration for choosing the best stain remover will be the type of stain you need to treat; treating a red wine stain requires a different type of stain remover to treating greasy stains. The format of the stain treatment is also a consideration as this affects how convenient it is to use.
Choosing the best stain remover to get stubborn stains out of your clothes starts with identifying the type of stain you need to get rid of. Stain removers generally fall into one of three different types, based on their key ingredients. These work in different ways and it’s best to choose which suits your needs based on the type of stain you need to treat.
However, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions on your garments and on the stain remover before using them as some coloured garments can fade following stain treatments.
Oxidising stain removers work best on stains such as coffee, tea, wine and ink and include ingredients like hydrogen peroxide and bleach. They work by attacking the chemical bonds in the molecules that make up the stains, changing their chemical structure and making them colourless.
The drawback of this is that they can also attack the chemical bonds in the dyes used in clothing, causing them to fade or have patchy colouration - we’ve all had accidents with bleach! It’s important to read manufacturers’ instructions carefully before use and be careful when using these stain removers on coloured fabrics.
Surfactants work - as indicated by their name - on the surface between the fabric and the stained area. They reduce the surface tension at this interface to allow the agitation of the machine cycle to lift the stains from the fabric.
These types of stain removers work particularly well on oil-based stains like grease, as well as water-based stains. These are one of the more common types of stain removers and often include ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate or soap.
Although enzyme-based stain removers are less commonly found than the other two types, they are the best choice for stains such as chocolate or blood. Enzymes are chemical compounds that break down particular molecules such as fats, starches or proteins.
From stain removal pens or wipes you can carry in your bag for on-the-spot treatment to sprays that target specific areas and gels to cling to the stain to maximise contact time, there are many different application methods to consider. Think about whether you want a stain remover for out and about or for use at home, as well as what types of clothing and stains you might need to treat.
Stain removal sprays are a great way to treat stains before adding them to the wash. These are usually liquids or gels but come in a spray bottle.
Great for treating fairly large stains like collars and underarm areas on shirts, sprays can be used on its own or in conjunction with in-wash stain treatments to pre-treat the stain and ensure that your clothing comes out of the wash looking pristine.
Stain removal liquids from bottles offer easy, targeted application. As liquids can drip more than other formats, it’s advisable to place the garment flat while treating the stain. However, a great benefit is that the treatment will soak right into the stain to get working quickly.
Ideal for instant action while you’re out and about, stain removal pens offer the convenience of being travel-sized and precise. These are perfect for treating small stains like a little splash of wine or coffee but are not really practical on larger areas. Stain removal pens are just the thing to take with you when travelling or to keep in your bag for touch-ups on the go.
Wipes are also an excellent option for fast and convenient stain removal on the go. By treating stains quickly, you improve your chances of getting the stain out for good, so wipes are a great way to get rid of small, localised stains.
Powders are probably the most popular format for stain removers as many can be used as a pre-soak as well as an in-wash general stain remover. While stain removers sold as powders are usually oxidising type removers, other types are available, so it’s important to check the product details and ingredients.
Checking on the manufacturer instructions is important as some powders can fade colours. Make sure you wash on a low temperature, particularly when washing colours, as higher temperatures can often set stains.
Possibly the best value is offered by the solid bar form of stain removers. These are usually available under £3 and last for a long, long time. Stains are easy to treat by simply rubbing the bar on affected areas before placing in the wash and the treatment stays on the stain until you wash it out.
You have now been introduced to some of the key features to look for when choosing the best stain remover to suit your needs and you can now decide whether oxidising, surfactant or enzyme stain removers would be best for the stains you need to treat. Happy browsing!
|Treats||Coffee, wine, ketchup, fruit juice stains|
|Treats||Makeup, juice, blood, red wine stains|
|Treats||Red wine, coffee, blood, ink, juice and drink stains|
|Treats||Food, grease, dirt, drinks and makeup stains|
|Treats||Mud, grass, blood and sweat stains|
|Type||Hybrid: surfactant and enzyme-based|
|Format||Liquid with applicator brush|
|Treats||Makeup, drinks, food, ink stains and more|
|Treats||Grass, fruit, blood, grease and chocolate stains|
|Treats||Chocolate, grass, fruit, food stains and more|
Gold Oxi Action Trigger Spray
Stain Remover Powder
Non-Biological Stain Remover
Stain Remover Bar
Gentle Stain Remover
Wipe & Go Stain Removal Wipes
Instant Stain Remover Pen
Tried and Trusted Stain Removal on a Variety of Stains
Effective at Low Temperatures, Tough on Stains
Brightens Whites, Removes Stains and Disinfects Clothes
Long-Lasting Bar That Tackles Clothing, Carpets and Upholstery Stains
Plant-Based Stain Remover With Applicator Brush
A Great Choice for Stain Removal on a Budget
Red Wine Stain Treatment Made from Plant Extracts
Convenient Stain Treatment in a Wipe
Effective Targeted Stain Remover Range
A Great Choice for Fast Stain Treatment on the Go
|Treats||Chocolate, grass, fruit, food stains and more||Grass, fruit, blood, grease and chocolate stains||Various stains||Makeup, drinks, food, ink stains and more||Mud, grass, blood and sweat stains||Food, grease, dirt, drinks and makeup stains||Red wine, coffee, blood, ink, juice and drink stains||Makeup, juice, blood, red wine stains||Various Stains||Coffee, wine, ketchup, fruit juice stains|
|Type||Oxidising||Enzyme-based||Oxidising||Surfactant||Hybrid: surfactant and enzyme-based||Oxidising||Enzyme-based||Surfactant||Various||Oxidising|
|Format||Spray||Powder||Powder||Solid bar||Liquid with applicator brush||Liquid||Spray||Wipes||Liquid||Pen|
To guarantee clean, fresh-smelling clothes, you'll need more than just stain remover. However, with so many options available online nowadays, it can be hard to decide on which laundry detergent and fabric conditioner to purchase. Luckily we've already found the best products available to buy online, so check out some of our other articles!
There are so many stain removers available that it can be confusing to work out which one would work best for you. However, we hope that by identifying the different types of stain remover and which stains they work best on, as well as considering which format would cater to your needs, we have helped you better understand which type you need most.
Author: Sonata Winchester
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