The best stain removers for clothes

Breathe new life into your stained clothes with the top stain removers.

Best stain remover for clothes

by Jade Moscrop |

Now that life is starting to get back to normal, we're all searching the depths of our wardrobes for the perfect outfits to attend social gatherings, family events, or even to head back into the office.

If you've noticed that your favourite shirt or blouse has miraculously gained a new stain, don't worry - there are loads of products out there that will make removing it a breeze. Whether it's ink, grass, coffee, wine or food, we've rounded up the top stain removers to breathe new life into your wardrobe.

Related: The best carpet cleaner to use if you have pets

We all have cupboards full of cleaning products, but these are the ones you can rely on, tried and tested by the great British public.

Searching for more cleaning life hacks? Don't forget to check out this crease releaser spray that we're loving, too.

Always read the instructions before using a stain remover.

The best stain removers for clothes:

Shout Laundry Stain Remover Trigger Spray - Pack of Three

Best stain remover overall
Shout Laundry Stain Remover Trigger Spray - Pack of Three
Amazon

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With over 1,000 five-star ratings, this US-favourite takes the top spot as the best stain remover to buy right now. It contains stain-fighting ingredients to break up and remove tough stains, just apply to the affected area, rub it in, wait for a few minutes and then pop it in the washing machine. If you have a particularly bad stain, you can leave it overnight to work its magic.

Review: "I was very pleased to see the containers are made from recycled plastic. Well done. The spray dealt with stains very efficiently and so I am happy with that. Many thanks."

Shout Stain Remover Wipes - Pack of Three

Best stain remover wipes
Shout Stain Remover Wipes - Pack of Three
Amazon

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If you'd like an on-the-go stain remover, these wipes will go to work as soon as the spillage happens. Whether that's coffee on the carpet or red wine in the restaurant, you can act quickly and remove the stain before it has time to settle.

Review: "Have only tested one wipe so far! Coffee spilt on carpet. Having soaked up most of the liquid I then used a stain remover wipe on the stained area. I cannot now even see where the coffee was spilt. Fantastic!"

Ace Gentle Stain Remover Mediterranean Bouquet

Best stain remover with a fresh scent
Best stain remover for laundry
Amazon

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Suitable for use on food, grease, dirt, drinks, cosmetics and more, this stain remover not only works hard but smells great too. It'll even work on delicate fabrics, like silk, wool and cashmere.

Review: "Have been using Ace for years now. Mainly use it for silk blouses (for my wife's work uniform) and the occasional work shirt. Thought we'd snap this up when it came available (a new fragrance that smells nice) and has the same reliable results as the original. Would have recommended this anyway (and already have done multiple times) for delicate laundry."

Vanish Fabric Stain Remover Oxi Action Powder

Best stain removing powder
Vanish Fabric Stain Remover Oxi Action Powder
Amazon

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Vanish is known for its stain-removing prowess, and this Oxi Action Powder is one of the top products to buy. You can pre-treat or soak your fabrics before washing, or add a scoop to every wash for great results every time.

Review: "Bought this due to the pricepoint- cheaper than the gold or platinum versions. I was dubious as to whether it would actually work to remove the stains from spag bol and curry on my white t-shirts but thought it was worth a try. The stains were pretty baked in- and the items had been washed normally which had set the stains, so I thought the tops were destined for the bin. Luckily, after pretreating the stain as per the instructions and popping into the wash (normal 40-degree wash) My t-shirts came out like new! No more sauce stains.

"I have also used this to wash pillows and towels, and it has restored them to their former whiteness- no grey washed out colours in sight. I am a convert, and will definitely be buying this again."

Fairy Non Bio Sensitive Skin Stain Remover Powder

Best non-bio stain remover
Fairy Non Bio Sensitive Skin Stain Remover Powder
Amazon

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If you need to use non-bio for sensitive skin or for children's clothes, Fairy's stain removing powder is a great bet. It's independently tested and clinically proven to be suitable for people with sensitive skin, and easily tackles stains on both whites and colours.

Review: "I was really sceptical about ordering it... I used spray from Fairy [before] and it was awesome but is nowhere to [be found] right now. I hate putting clothes in water with stain remover first so it’s not my cup of tea, but my friend told me she buys powder and just put a scoop in the washing machine without soaking it before, so I gave it a try. I am glad I did. All my kids' clothes are nice and clean without much effort."

Astonish Stain Remover Bar - Pack of 12

Best stain remover bar on a budget
Astonish Stain Remover Bar - Pack of 12
Amazon

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Astonish is a budget brand, but that doesn't mean its products are of lower quality. These stain remover bars are a handy spot-on treatment - all you need to do is wet the spot, apply the bar to both sides of the fabric, rinse it well and blot dry with a towel.

Review: "Best stain remover I've ever had. Even takes out false tan on shirts, first time I've found something that actually works. Even took wine stain off my carpet."

Ecover Stain Remover - Pack of Two

Best eco-friendly stain remover
Ecover Stain Remover - Pack of Two
Amazon

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On the hunt for an eco-friendly stain remover? This plant-based option from Ecover is suitable for whites and colours and comes with a brush applicator to really tackle those tough stains.

Review: "Amazing stain remover not only on my kids' clothes but the back of my sofa. Gets even the dirtiest of the kids' socks clean. Really happy with my purchase. Definitely be buying more. The best part about this product is it's cruelty-free and good for the environment with no nasties added."

Dr Beckmann Stain Devils Pre-Wash Bleach Free Stain Remover - Pack of Three

Best stain remover for pet owners
Dr Beckmann Stain Devils Pre-Wash Bleach Free Stain Remover - Pack of Three
Amazon

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While this stain remover will happily remove ink, food and grass stains from your kids' clothing, it'll also work for your carpets, upholstery and anything else you might need it for - which is especially great if you have pets.

Review: "I have tried many types of stain remover, but this one is definitely the best. The applicator makes it very easy to use. My advice for 'old' stains is to apply the remover to both sides of the fabric and the stains disappear like magic!"

Stardrops The Pink Stuff Miracle Laundry Oxi Powder Stain Remover

Best stain remover for white clothing
Stardrops The Pink Stuff Miracle Laundry Oxi Powder Stain Remover
Amazon

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Mrs Hinch fans know all about The Pink Stuff, but have you discovered the stain remover yet? This biological laundry stain remover powder is ideal for use with white clothing, bedsheets and delicates, and is cruelty-free, too.

Review: "I absolutely love the pink stuff products so thought I'd try this one for my whites and it's absolutely amazing. Would definitely recommend to anyone who loves the pink stuff products."

FAQs

How to get dried stains out of clothes

Many of the stain removers we've listed here will do the job when removing dried, old stains from clothes, but a tried and tested way is to soak the garment overnight in your chosen product before you put it in the wash.

You might need to repeat the process a couple of times depending on how bad it is.

Can baking soda remove stains?

Baking soda, also called bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate, can be used to lift stains from fabric. Simply mix four tablespoons of baking soda with 60ml of water to make a paste. Rub into any stains and leave it for a few hours, before washing or rinsing thoroughly.

For any really stubborn stains, you can also soak the stain with vinegar before sprinkling on a little bit of baking soda, and rubbing and rinsing.

Always test the mixture on an inconspicuous patch before going all-in, as some colourful items might be susceptible to fading.

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Jade Moscrop is the Deputy Editor for WhatsTheBest, specialising in lifestyle topics. She also writes for Closer, Heat, and Mother&Baby.

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