Stain Removers

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Accidents happen, but donít let a stain ruin your favourite clothing. With so many stain removers available on the market, we set out to find that magic, stain-fighting formula


The Basics

  • Enzymes are key ingredients for stain-fighting. For protein-based stains like blood, enzymes help break it down.

  • Tough stains from red wine, coffee and tea are best fought with bleach, but that’s not always an option. If “oxi” is written on the label it might do the job. “Oxi” is a formula with hydrogen peroxide, which is a safe alternative to bleach.

  • Stain removers come in a variety of formats:

    • Liquids are dispensed either by pouring (squeezing) or with a spray bottle. Usually they are left on for a few minutes and then rinsed or washed normally. If they dry, they many possibly change the garment colour.

    • Sticks can be applied up to a week in advance of washing. They’re less messy than liquids too, and won’t transfer to other clothes in your laundry pile.

    • Gels are a concentrated formula thicker than liquids. Most are applied using a squeeze tube and/or with a brush. They should be used only up to an hour before laundering to avoid garment damage.

    • Wipes are new on the market and are designed to take with you out and about, to help pre-treat stains so they don’t set before you can wash them.

  • Always test the stain remover on an inconspicuous part of the garment first to ensure it won’t affect the colour.

Other Considerations

  • The most important thing is to get to the stain as soon as you can, before it really sets in.


We soiled some white sheets (both cotton and synthetic) with impossibly difficult stains, including mustard, red wine, oil, and eggs, and tried out these stain removers:

  • Didi Seven Ultra: $7.99
  • Shout Gel: $3.59
  • Spray ‘n Wash Dual Power: $4.49
  • Oxi Clean: $9.99

Stain Removal Test

  • The Spray ‘n Wash left the cotton sheet a bit dingy and the synthetic sheet yellow.

  • The Oxi Clean is added to the wash as opposed to being directly applied to the garment. It missed the mustard and the red wine.

  • Didi Seven made the stains disappear, with the exception of a bit of mustard, and left both sheets clean and white.

  • Shout Gel also did a great job on the stains and we really liked the little scrub brush on the applicator, which as really easy to use.

  • Upon close inspection, it seemed that Didi Seven did slightly better on the cotton sheet and Shout did better on the synthetic sheet.


We recommend either Didi Seven or Shout. If your clothing is mostly cotton, Didi Seven did better. If your clothing is mostly synthetic, Shout worked well.



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