This is the Best Stain Remover You Can Buy

Clothes get stained. That is just a fact of life. No matter how new or cherished that top or pair of pants might be, nothing is safe against the messiness of life. As sad as it is to see your lovely garments get stained, there is thankfully a remedy to this fashion disaster!

Enter: the stain remover.

The ultimate fighter of all stains! On more than one occasion, stain remover has swooped in and rescued my wardrobe. What would we do without you, stain remover?

But, as with most things in today’s market, it can sometimes be overwhelming to choose the right remover for you. There are so many brands on the shelves and each one claims to be the best…so how can you thoughtfully chose the best stain remover?

Cleaning products tested.America's Test Kitchen

Well, to save you money and time, America’s Test Kitchen went ahead and tried every major brand stain remover on the market! As professional chefs, the America’s Test Kitchen crew is no stranger to staining their clothes, so we trust their judgement when it comes to matters of food stains.

Two types of fabric were used in the experiment: white tee shirts and a blue fabric used to make button down shirts. The chefs purchased seven brand name stain removers to try out:

  • Resolve
  • Clorox
  • Shout
  • Tide
  • Zout
  • Resolve Extra Strength
  • OxiClean

Seven different types of food were used to stain the clothes:

  • Melted dark chocolate
  • Baking Grease
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Strong Black Tea
  • Adobo Sauce
  • Pureed Frozen Blueberries

If you’ve ever gotten messy in the kitchen, then you know that these are some of the toughest stains to get out of clothes! Any stain remover that can clean something like mustard out of fabric? We’re interested.

All the food stains applied.America's Test Kitchen

Each cotton tee or shirt was stained with equal amount of each food, and then each shirt was assigned a type of stain removers. This was all done so that the results could be tested and collected fairly.

The first thing the chefs noticed? Pretty much all of the removers worked the same: you spray the product on, rub it in, wait for an allotted amount of time, and the launder as usual.

Only OxiClean, which is a powder rather than a spray, worked differently. For this product, you have to fill a tub or bucket with water, add the powder, and the soak the stained garment for 4-6 hours.

Once all the stains on all the fabrics were soaked for the minimum amount of time and lightly scrubbed, they were washed in a regular load with cold water.

Tested stain removers to find the best.America's Test Kitchen

The results? Disappointing, to say the least.

While some of the products managed to get out lighter stains, like the baking grease, none of them completely removed all of the stains. The worst ones even made the stains run together, causing the shirt to become brown and dingy.

Yuck.

The testers decided to amp it up. They repeated the same experiment except this time they waited for the maximum amount of soaking time, scrubbed vigorously with a brush and washed the clothes with warm water.

Luckily, these changes made all the difference!

Before and after of OxiClean.America's Test Kitchen

The clear-cut winner, which managed to nix every last stain? OxiClean, the only product which has you soak the garment with a powder rather than spray! We know what product we’re picking up on our next grocery run.

To see the entire experiment and hear just why the winning product was so much more effective than the others, make sure to watch the America’s Test Kitchen video below.