Choosing a stain remover for clothes can be overwhelming given the sheer volume of different brands to choose from.
That’s why we’ve taken the time to narrow the seemingly never-ending list down to the top seven best options for you to choose from.
These options consist of the most affordable, best quality, and most effective stain-removing options, and should have something that suits everyone, depending on what you are looking for in your stain remover.
Best Stain Removers for Clothes in the UK
1. Napisan Non-Biological Stain Remover
Napisan is the only non-biological option on the list, which makes it the best option for anyone with sensitive skin.
It was designed with babies in mind and is targeted at removing those tough stains that are often left on baby clothes after colourful dinners or potty-related accidents.
The best part is that it doesn’t have to be used solely on baby items; it is just as effective on adult clothes, bedding, and any other materials with tough-to-remove stains.
This product is an excellent disinfectant, even when used in colder cycles, like a 30°C wash. It has a noticeable brightening effect and will take away any grey tinge that may have been lingering on your favourite white items.
Napisan will be an effective stain remover on most materials, but should not be used on silks, wool, or items that are not colourfast. It can be added into your machine’s drawer right along with the detergent.
2. Vanish Fabric Remover Action Colours
Vanish is a reliable stain remover that will also successfully remove stains, even in a cold wash.
It is particularly effective at removing unpleasant odours and leaving clothes looking as bright and colourful as when they went into the wash.
This product works best on everyday coloured fabrics, including cotton and polyester.
It has a mild scent that should leave your clothes smelling pleasant and it boasts widely recycled packaging.
For best results, mix 10 grams of Vanish powder with an equal amount of water and rub it onto the stain you are trying to remove.
Leave this paste on the stain for at least five minutes before putting the garment into your machine with the rest of your items and add another scoop of Vanish into the drawer along with the washing powder.
3. Dr. Beckmann Stain Devils Pre-Wash Stain Remover
Dr. Beckmann’s Stain Devils product is designed to remove both new and dried-in stains with equal effectiveness. It aims to be tough on stains while simultaneously remaining gentle on the fabric. It works successfully in both short cycles and cold washes.
This gel product is bleach-free and comes with a soft brush applicator to properly spread the gel deep into the stain. There are some reports of the bottle being slightly difficult to use and the gel being hard to squeeze onto the applicator.
It is also sometimes a challenge to rub the gel into the material where the stain is. If you want to ensure the best results, try applying the product to both sides of the garment.
It is not advised to use this product on delicate materials like silk or wool, and it may cause damage to leather, rayon, carpets, and upholstery.
4. Ecover Stain Remover
Ecover’s stain remover is one of the pricier options on this list but is also entirely plant-based and is the best option to purchase if you want to remain environmentally friendly.
The container is created from polyethylene and polypropylene, which are both biodegradable products that can successfully be recycled using a low-energy process.
It also comes with a convenient brush applicator and is effective on tough grease, grass, and blood stains.
It works on light colours, is particularly effective on cuffs and collars, and does not leave any sort of residue on your clothes.
The product was never tested on animals, is designed to have a minimum impact on aquatic life, and is safe for septic tanks.
Like many other stain removers, it is not advisable to use this on silks, wools, or any other particularly delicate fabric.
5. De-Solv-it Stain Remover and Pre-Wash Spray
De-Solv-it’s product is great for stains of all kinds and is effective on both clothes and furniture. They advise that the best course of action is to test the product on a discreet area before using it in an entire wash cycle or on a piece of furniture.
For clothes, start out by spraying the product onto both sides of the garment where the stain is and then wait for between 5-10 minutes for stubborn stains. Make sure to rub the product fully into the target area with an absorbent cloth.
The cans are only 100 millilitres each, which makes them pricey to buy in bulk, but it does not require much of the product to have a substantial, visible effect on stains.
It has a pleasant smell that is not overwhelming and is known for its effectiveness on oily, greasy stains.
This product comes in a pressurized bottle, so be careful not to leave it in a heated environment, or it could be at risk of bursting.
It also can be quite harsh if you breathe it in directly after spraying, so try not to lean in too close when spraying, or even consider wearing a mask if you are particularly sensitive.
6. Ace Gentle Stain Remover
This stain remover is not only very affordable, but it is also our only option on the list that is suitable for all fabrics, including silk, wool, and even cashmere.
Ace’s product comes at environmental sustainability from a science-based approach and will remove stains, even on a cold (30°C) wash. It effectively removes unpleasant odours and has a very pleasant smell, leaving your clothes fresh and bright.
The best way to use this stain remover is to pour a capful of it directly into the drum of your machine, right along with your load of laundry.
Add your detergent and softener as usual before setting the machine to your washing cycle.
For particularly tough stains, you can pre-treat the area by rubbing some of the product into the stain and leaving it for around five minutes.
It is not advisable to pre-treat rust stains, don’t leave the product for long enough that it dries, and be sure not to expose it to sunlight.
This product does contain bleach, which makes it incredibly useful around the house as well, as it can remove other pesky things, such as limescale and oven grease.
How to Choose the Best Stain Remover for You
The best way to narrow down the best option for you would be to consider a handful of key things.
Are you environmentally conscious?
Some products on this list are designed to be more friendly to the environment. If you are someone who is actively trying to lower your environmental footprint, then Ecover’s stain remover is likely the best option for you.
It is gentle on your skin and was not tested on animals at any point. In addition, the packaging is made from polyethylene and polypropylene, which are both biodegradable products that can be recycled together.
Do you have a lot of delicate clothes?
Very few stain removers can be used on delicate materials like wool or silk, but there is one product on our list that can be used on most materials while remaining both affordable and effective. This stand-out product is Ace Gentle Stain Remover.
Do you have sensitive skin?
If your skin tends to react to products containing bleach and other harsh chemicals, then it is advisable that you try out a non-bio laundry detergent and a non-bio stain remover as well.
The only non-bio stain remover on this list is Napisan Non-Biological Stain Remover, which is specifically designed with the sensitive skin of babies in mind.
This makes it extra trustworthy, and you can relax with the knowledge that it will be effective on the toughest of stains because it was created to combat the large variety of stains that arise when you have a baby in your life.
Are you on a budget?
Most of our options are pretty budget-friendly but there are a few that are both affordable and effective. If you’re wanting the cheapest option, then again Ace Gentle Stain Remover will be the best choice for you.
This stain remover is sold at a very competitive price considering how well the product works at eradicating tough stains!
How Do You Get Deep or Old Stains Out of Clothes?
The key to removing deep stains in clothes is to soak the stain for as long as possible in your chosen stain remover.
Dr Beckmann’s Stain Devils from our list is an excellent choice for this task, but De-Solv-it’s pre-wash spray and Vanish’s stain remover are both valid choices too.
Depending on how bad the stain is (how old it is), it is best to leave the stain remover to soak in overnight.
You can use the stain remover concentrated by simply spraying it on the area and leaving it to work. You may want to check the stain remover every few hours. If it has dried, you can reapply it.
You can also leave the clothes in a solution of your chosen stain remover and water overnight. Just ensure there is enough stain remover in the solution that it can loosen the stain.
Once you have left the clothes soaking in the stain remover overnight, test whether it has worked with a tea towel or some kitchen towel.
Wet the towel and start dabbing the area. If the stain has loosened up, it should transfer to the towel.
You can either continue using the towel and remove the stain that way, or you can wash it on the usual program you use.
Adding some more stain remover to the wash should ensure that the stain comes out completely.
- Soak the clothes in stain remover overnight – Either use concentrated stain remover directly on the stain or soak the entire item in stain remover and water overnight.
- Reapply if needed – If you are using concentrated stain remover directly on the stain, ensure that it doesn’t dry out by applying more every few hours or when needed.
- Try removing the stain by hand – Grab a wet tea towel and try removing the stain by hand. Just dab the tea towel over the stain a few times and look for residue left on the towel. If the stain remover has worked, the stain should begin to lift up. If it hasn’t, the stain remover may need longer to work.
- Wash the clothes – After the overnight soak is complete, wash the clothes on a normal cycle and add stain remover to the wash. This should take out any remaining stains.
- Repeat if needed – If the stain is really well established, you may need to repeat these steps several times to remove it. If this is the case, you may want to consider a trip to the dry cleaners, who can help get rid of most stains from most clothes.
There is a chance that really deep stains in clothes may not come out at all. If the stain has dyed the fabric, it is nearly impossible to lift it and remove it.
However, following the tips above should help remove some of the deep stains from your clothing.
Just remember to test a small area on the garment with the stain remover to ensure the dye in the fabric or the fabric itself isn’t effective.
After all of this research, if we had to pick just one product to recommend, it would be Napisan Non-Biological Stain Remover.
This product is our number one choice because it remains gentle on the skin while still attacking the toughest of stains, and it leaves clothes bright and with a pleasant clean smell, even after a cold wash.
An adventurous book lover with an animal obsession and a proclivity for travel and spontaneity. Used to passionately despise cleaning but has grown to enjoy it thanks to learning all the best tricks and shortcuts to guaranteeing a stress-free routine and a spotless home.