Save Your Clothes From Stains With These Powerful, Spot-Removing Cleaners

by Margeaux Baulch Klein

Whether from wine, grass, or grease, clothing stains happen to the best of us. When they do, the best spot removers for clothes can aid in lifting stains away. For best results, take action as quickly as possible after a stain occurs. If the garment's fabric is machine washable, treat the stain and then immediately run it through a wash cycle. However, if you’re not able to launder right away, using a stain-removing spray and letting it soak in might be the next best course of action. Portable options like pens and wipes make it easier to tackle stains when you’re away from home.

A few words of caution: Before attempting to remove any spots or stains, make sure to read the garment's care label. You will also want to be extra cautious when using a stain remover on wool, silk, or leather. You may be better off taking those types of clothes to get professionally dry-cleaned instead.

Regardless of the fabric, it never hurts to test a stain remover on a small or inconspicuous area of a garment first, before proceeding to treat a larger stain, since you never know how the fibers or dye will react to the chemicals in spot-removing products.

With that said, take a look at the best spot removers for clothes below.

The Best Overall, All Things Considered

You won't find a better value for the price than with this OxiClean stain remover. A single box can treat 156 loads of laundry. At its current price, that's about 8 cents per treatment, making it an affordable option for removing spots and stains from machine-washable whites and color clothing. This stain remover's oxygen-based formula is activated by water and is safe to use in both regular and high-efficiency washers. To use, simply pre-soak stained clothes in warm water with the recommended amount of OxiClean and then run a cycle.

The Best Spray For When You Can't Get A Washing Machine Right Away

If you can't get to a washing machine right away, using this Shout advanced stain removing gel may be the next best move for removing spots from washable, color-safe clothes. Its enzyme formula effectively breaks up and lifts stains away. Simply spray it on the stain, gently blot, let the gel soak in overnight, and then run your clothes through a laundry cycle as soon as you can.

The Best Pen For On The Go

This Tide To Go stick is ideal for tackling small stains and preventing them from setting in when you're away from home. Its tiny, compact size makes it convenient to stash away in a bag or desk drawer for emergencies. And because a lot of clothing stains stem from spilling food and beverages on ourselves, this stain remover specializes in removing common fresh food stains, such as coffee, wine, and ketchup from clothing. You only need to gently press the tip of the pen on the stain for it to work. Plus, it's safe to use on most colorfast and dry-clean-only fabrics.

The Best Wipes For Larger Stains On The Go

These Shout stain-removing wipes are useful for tackling bigger-sized stains while on the go. The wipes are pre-moistened, allowing you to easily blot out stains. Plus, they're approved to use on most colorfast and dry-clean-only clothing. Each of the wipes is individually wrapped, so they're equally convenient as a pen to keep in your bag or car.

The Best All-Natural Option

For the most green option among stain removers, look no further than this free and clear Puracy natural laundry stain remover. While it's a bit pricier than some other options, this non-toxic spray has the benefit of being hypoallergenic, enzyme based, cruelty free, and still effective at removing stains. To use the spray formula, apply it to a machine-washable fabric, gently blot, allow the stain remover to soak in, and then run the item though a cycle in your washing machine.

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