6 Stain Removers Everyone Needs to Have in Their Cleaning Cabinet
Including the best eco-friendly, bleach-free option.
It's a fact of life: red wine stains, grass stains, and sauce splatters are bound to happen from time to time. To be ready for these inevitable accidents, keep these powerful laundry stain fighters in your cleaning cabinet or laundry room so you'll always have them on hand. From the best stain spray for pre-treating white shirts to the stain stick you should keep in your purse (and your drawer at work), these stain removers will keep your clothes looking like new. Don't worry, with these secret weapons at the ready, no one will ever be able to spot that wine spill on your favorite white blouse.
1 Best Stain Spray: Zout
A powerful combination of three stain-fighting enzymes—one for grease stains, one for starch stains like tomatoes, and a third for protein stains like blood and sweat—Zout is the go-to stain spray whenever heavy-duty stains happen. When the kids come back from the park with grass-stained pants or when you accidentally spill an entire jar of pasta sauce, this stain spray will save the day.
To buy: $9; amazon.com.
2 Best to Keep in Your Purse: Tide to Go Pen
You've probably heard of, and likely even used, a Tide To Go pen—but if you don't have one of these life-savers stashed in your purse, your work drawer, and your laundry room, you're not doing it right. Reach for one of these stain-removing pens when you accidentally spill coffee before a big meeting or when you get some ink on your shirt sleeve. The pen is small enough to fit in a drawer or handbag, but there's also a mini Tide to Go pen that can fit in a pocket or a small clutch.
To buy: $17 for 6; amazon.com.
3 Best Stain-Removing Bar: The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar
Want to bring a trusted stain remover with you on your trip to Europe? Pack this stain-removing laundry bar. Its small size makes it ideal for targeting stains on bra straps and shirt collars, plus reviewers say it works wonders on sweat stains and deodorant residue on their button-ups.
To buy: $6; amazon.com.
4 Best for Small Stains: Clorox Bleach Pen
This dual-tip bleach pen has a fine point on one side and a broad scrubber on the other, making it ideal for those times you want to target a smaller stain. Because it's ideal for precise applications, it's also a popular choice for those who want to create bleach designs and patterns on colorful clothing.
To buy: $10 for 4; amazon.com.
5 Best Eco-Friendly Option: Ecover
If you want a stain fighter that's tough on messes but easy on the environment, turn to this biodegradable, plant- and mineral-based formula. Reviewers love that it comes with a built-in brush tip, which helps brush away the stain without the need for additional tools or cloths.
To buy: $9, amazon.com.
6 Best General Stain Remover: OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover
If you have a large load of dirt-stained clothing, like your kids' baseball uniforms, pre-soak them in warm water with OxiClean before throwing them into the washing machine. This oxygen-based formula bubbles up to break down stains. The best part: It's color-safe and chlorine-free, so you don't have to worry about accidentally bleaching colorful clothing.
To buy: $13, amazon.com.