What do oil, coffee, mustard, and grass have in common? They're all tough stains to get out of clothes. And if your regular products and laundry routine aren't working to get stains out, not to worry.
All pre-wash stain removers promise extra help in tackling stains but according to Consumer Reports testing, there is one stain fighter that beats the rest.
Stains are inevitable, so Consumer Reports compared concentrated, spray-on stain removers from Oxi Clean, Shout and Spray n Wash.
"We use fourteen swatches each saturated with a different stain," said Rico DePaz.
These are swatches stained with things like coffee, chocolate ice cream, grass, blood, gravy, cherry juice, lipstick, baby food, used motor oil and mustard.
Testers sprayed half of each piece of stained fabric with the stain remover, rubbed the stain remover into the stain, let it soak for 5 minutes or overnight and then washed each with a normal load of laundry.
They used a colorimeter which measures the color of the stained fabric swatches before and after treatment. An additional test was done by comparing the stain removers to two of CR's top-rated liquid laundry detergents.
"What we did is we took some of the best detergents that we have, applied them to the swatches, rubbed them into the stain and then put them in the laundry and washed them. And we found out that some of these detergents did better than a lot of the stain removers," said DePaz.
In fact, only one of the stain removers performed better than the two laundry detergents, it's the OxiClean Max Force Spray.
The regular detergents that came close to the cleaning power of the OxiClean spray are the top-rated Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release and the Persil Pro-Clean Stain Fighter.
Remember before you use any stain remover, test it in an inconspicuous part of the garment, like the inside part of the seam, to be sure that it won't bleach off the color or damage a fine fabric.
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