The 9 Best Laundry Stain Removers to Buy in 2018

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Our Top Picks

Best Laundry: OxiClean Max Force at Amazon

“Removes set in stains on your toughest laundry disasters."

Best Stain Pen: Tide To Go Instant Liquid Pen at Amazon

“Does a great job on stains and keeps you from having to get your hands as dirty”

Best Enzymatic: Spray ‘n Wash Dual Power at Amazon

“This fizzing stain remover breaks down tough stains easily”

Best All-around: Zout Stain Remover at Amazon

“Powerful at knocking out tough laundry stains without a lot of effort from you”

Best Stain Stick: Spray ‘n Wash Pre-Treater Stain Stock at Amazon

“A great pre-treater with a lot of convenience and ease of use”

Best Gel: Shout Advanced Gel at Amazon

“A built-in fabric brush that combines with the stain removal gel to make a powerful cleaner”

Best Eco-Friendly: Bi-O-Kleen Bac-Out Foam Spray at Amazon

“Without any harsh smells or chemicals, Bi-O-Kleen is a fantastic stain and odor eliminator”

Best Bleach Pen: Clorox Bleach Pen at Amazon

“A small precision tip, perfect for navigating around a pattern on clothing”

  • 01 of 09

    Best Overall: OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Remover Spray, 12 Fluid Ounce

    OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Remover

    Courtesy of Amazon

    If you only buy one stain remover in your life, it should be the OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Remover Spray. This chlorine-free formula is safe to use on colors, and it has 4-in-1 stain-fighting power that will get out all your toughest stains, even ones that have already dried on your clothes.

    OxiClean can be used on grease, blood, grass, oil, food, clay, and more, and the formula works in all water temperatures. All you have to do is spray the stain remover on to the affected area and rub it into the fabric. Let the OxiClean Max Force stand and work its magic for 5 to 10 minutes, then wash your garment on the warmest setting it allows. Reviewers call this product the “answer to impossible stains” and “a miracle in a bottle,” so you know it’s got to be good!

  • 02 of 09

    Best On-the-Go: Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover Liquid Pen

    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!

    According to reviewers, these pens are “liquid unicorn magic for the clumsy,” aka a total lifesaver. Well worth the $5 if you ask us.

  • 03 of 09

    Best for Food Stains: Zout Triple Enzyme Formula Laundry Stain Remover Foam

    If you're fighting with tough food stains on your clothes, you need a powerful stain remover like the Zout Triple Enzyme Formula. The triple enzyme foam formula is effective on even the toughest food stains, such as BBQ sauce, chocolate syrup, tomato sauce, and baby food. You can also use it on other stains, such as grass, blood, and dirt.

    Reviewers rave about this product, saying that it is incredibly effective, even removing stains that have been set in for days. It’s no wonder it has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon!

  • 04 of 09

    Best for Clothing: OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover

    OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover is an incredibly effective stain remover to have in your laundry room. The unique powder formula is activated by water, creating a unique bubbling effect that helps to break down and decolorize stains.

    To use OxiClean Versatile, put a scoop of the powder into a few gallons of water and mix until dissolved. You can then submerge stained items in the solution and soak them for one to six hours, depending on the severity of the stain. Load your clothes into the washer with another scoop of powder, and wash as normal to banish stains for good.

    You can also use OxiClean around your home to remove stains from tablecloths, patio furniture, carpets, grout, and more. Reviewers repeatedly call this product “magical,” writing that their clothes come out brighter and cleaner than ever.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Best for White Shirts: OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover

    If you get a stain on a white shirt or other light piece of clothing, you might instinctively reach for bleach to get it out. However, try OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover instead.

    This stain remover works with detergent to break up tough stains and brighten white clothing. Its chlorine-free formula is supposed to be 40% more powerful than bleach! Similar to regular OxiClean, you should pre-soak stains with OxiClean White Revive for a few hours, then add it to your washing machine during the cycle, as well. However, note that this product is not safe for use on wool, silk, or leather.

  • 06 of 09

    Best Gel: Shout Advanced Ultra Gel Brush

    Some people prefer gel stain removers, as their thick formulas don't run as much as liquids, thereby delivering more concentrated product right to the stain. If you're looking for a great gel product, you should definitely consider the Shout Advanced Ultra Gel Brush.

    This product is awesome on set-in stains, and it allows you to treat stains now and wash them up to a week later. It has a built-in brush that lets you apply the gel right to the stain, and the formula is effective in any water temperature. The thick gel works on even the toughest set-in stains like chocolate, cooking oil, red wine, coffee, grass, blood, and more.

    Reviewers write that Shout Advanced Ultra Gel works on just about any stains and is especially effective on white clothing.

  • 07 of 09

    Best Pens: Clorox Laundry Pens, 2 Bleach Pens and 2 Stain Fighter Pens for Colors

    Want compact stain remover pens to stash in your laundry room?  Then you need the stain-fighting power of Clorox Laundry Pens. With this purchase, you got two types of pens—stain removing and bleach—to handle whatever stains life throws at you.

    These Clorox Pens have dual ends: one narrow point for targeted spot treatment, and a thick, broad surface for scrubbing larger stains. The bleach pen is perfect for use on whites or household surfaces, while the stain remover pen is designed to penetrate and dissolve stains on colored clothes.

    These pens are best used as a pre-treatment before washing, so some reviewers remark that they're not great to use on the go. However, many say they're incredibly effective when you need a spot treatment on small stains.

  • 08 of 09

    Best Wipes: SC Johnson 02246 Shout Instant Stain Remover Wipes

    For an effective, portable instant stain remover that you can carry in your purse, travel bag, gym bag, and more, you need to invest in Shout Instant Stain Remover Wipes. These individual-packaged wipes quickly lift stains away, making them an essential for busy individuals.

    These instant stain removers have a textured surface that helps to quickly remove stains. They’re safe on all colorfast fabrics and effective on grape juice, coffee, blood, baby formula and more. These wipes are best used immediately after the accident, as they’ll prevent the stain from setting into the fabric.

    Many reviewers say these wipes work better than some stain remover pens and won’t dry out thanks to their individual packets, but they caution to make sure your clothing is colorfast before using the product.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Best Non-Toxic: Biokleen Bac-Out Stain+Odor Remover Foam Spray

    Many stain removers contain harsh chemicals like bleach, and if you're sensitive to these ingredients, you may want a non-toxic alternative. To remove tough stains without compromising effectiveness, one of your best options is Biokleen Bac-Out Stain+Odor Remover Foam Spray.

    This spray uses live enzyme-producing cultures to remove stains and destroy odors safely and naturally. The product is safe to use around children and pets, and it is effective on pet accidents, wine, laundry stains, and more. One reviewer refers to this product as the “Holy Grail,” writing that it's a must-have for anyone with kids or pets or those who don't like using harsh chemicals to clean their home.

Our Process

Our writers spent 2 hours researching the most popular stain removers on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 18 different stain removers overall, screened options from 15 different brands and manufacturers, read over 45 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 2 of the stain removers themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.