Best stain fighting products

Plenty of products promise to remove your toughest stains, but which types of products deliver the best bang for your buck? We investigated the world of stain removal and selected our favorite types of products to help you fight the clean fight!

1Woman with washing machineLaundry detergent

Though laundry detergent isn’t exactly cheap, it’s a great multitasker, even when it comes to stains. Not only can full strength detergent pretreat, soak, and wash your clothes, but it also can remove tough grease, stains, and dirt. As an added bonus, some liquid detergents include fabric softener, bleach, and fabric refreshers.

2Stain stick

A stain stick is the perfect go to product to treat your nastiest stains quickly and effectively. Nab a few and keep them in your purse, car, and laundry room. This enzyme-based cleaner is most effective on food, oil, grease, and dirt-based stains. It’s also cost-effective since it may be used on just about any fabric and color. Another bonus—it can usually remain on fabric for up to one week.

3Dry cleaning solvent

Sometimes heavy duty stains require a professional strength dry cleaning solvent, which may be purchased at your local grocery or hardware store. For your safety, and that of your family, choose a nonflammable version. Many dry cleaning solvents aren’t too pricey, although some are specific to the type of stain. So, you may need to invest in several in order to meet your most common stain removal needs.

4Laundry stain remover

A laundry stain remover is the perfect remedy for your most common stains, from spaghetti sauce to grass. Keep in mind that laundry stain removers may not work on rust, bleach stains, dried paint, or permanent ink. Don’t forget to test the product in an inconspicuous area before applying to the actual stain. If the color changes, don’t use the product. Instead, seek a cleaning professional for advice.

5In-wash stain remover

Even the most efficient laundry goddess is bound to miss a stain here or there. The perfect backup plan? Use an in-wash stain remover. This easy treatment can nix your toughest stains directly in the wash.

6Dishwashing liquid

A mild liquid hand dishwashing detergent isn’t only good for sparkling clean dishes—it also can help remove waterborne stains from clothing. Mix about 1 teaspoon of detergent with 1 cup of warm water. After soaking the garment in this mixture, flush the stain with more water.


Use it to set your ‘do and to remove ink stains—talk about a multitasker! Place a clean rag underneath the stain and spray the ink until the fabric is saturated. Let it soak for several seconds and blot with another clean rag. Repeat until the ink stain is gone and launder as usual immediately after.

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