a toddler in a high chair eats food messily and gets stains on her clothes a toddler in a high chair eats food messily and gets stains on her clothes

How to Choose the Best Stain Remover for Clothes

Got kids or pets? Stains can happen in a nanosecond. Let stains meet their match by pretreating them with a laundry stain remover. They’re an essential part of your laundry routine.

What is a Laundry Stain Remover?

A laundry stain remover is a dedicated spray or gel you apply directly to stains on clothes and other washable items before doing laundry. Some stain removers are powders you dissolve in a solution to soak your clothes prior to washing.

Clothing stain remover sprays are laundry pretreatment solutions that help lift and loosen stains to get them out of fabric. They work with your regular detergent to boost stain-fighting power and target especially tough stains.

Having a stain remover for clothes (or several!) in your laundry room, next to your hamper, or with your cleaning products means you’re ready to tackle whatever life throws at you – or dribbles on your clothes.

Why is Pretreating Stains Important?

Pretreating stains is important because it helps you get stains out the first time, saving you time and effort! The quicker you can pretreat stains on clothes, the more likely you are to completely remove them in the wash and keep them from setting in. And stain-free clothes look newer and last longer, saving your budget and getting extra life for your favorite items.

Some people often skip the step of pretreating stains because they think it’s unnecessary. Your regular detergent can need a boost when a tough stain appears, and pretreating with a stain remover for clothes can save you from having to rewash or discard the item. Stain removers are your “secret weapon” in the laundry process, but that doesn’t mean they need to add much time or cost to that process!

Pretreating stains means you can spend more precious moments with your family, friends, or kids and keep your own clothes looking good. Plus, you can preserve potential hand-me-downs or thrift store finds and avoid constantly buying new clothes!

Are There Different Types of Clothing Stain Removers?

Yes, stain removers for clothes come in a variety of formats. These include sprays, sticks, pens, gels, powders, and wipes. In some cases, you can also pre-treat stains on laundry using powders or liquid laundry detergents. Stain removers for clothes are typically applied directly to the stain and are used in addition to your regular laundry detergent.

There are stain removers that you can apply directly and let stay on clothes before washing. Others will require you to rinse or wash immediately after laundry pretreatment. Not all clothing stain removers are made equal! Some laundry pretreatment products use borax or hydrogen peroxide. Others have specific enzymes that help remove organic stains like grass and blood, that you might see on your kid’s clothes after they’ve been playing outdoors.

The same stain remover may not work for every kind of stain. For example, single surfactant stain removers work to get rid of greasy or oily stains, while enzymatic stain removers are made to get rid of some organic stains, such as grass and mud.

Here’s a run-down of the different types of stain removers for clothes to help you decide which to use, depending on your specific stain.

Laundry Stain Remover Sprays

Stain remover sprays use concentrated ingredients found in your favorite laundry detergents to help lift soil and make it easier to wash stains away from clothing. Applying a laundry stain remover spray directly to a stain before washing gives an added boost right on the spots that need pretreatment.

Enzyme Stain Removers

Some stain removers use enzymes to help lift soils and stains on clothes. Different enzymes work on different types of stains, so the more enzymes a stain remover has, the more stains they can target, such as fatty and oily stains, starch stains, dairy stains, and more.

Enzymatic stain removers also have the benefit of being able to pretreat a stain right away and wash later. So, if you’re on a road trip or going abroad and think you might pick up some tough stains along the way, you might want a handy laundry stain remover like the mini Max Force™ Spray bottle. It’s only 2 Fl Oz. and easy to pack when traveling! You can pretreat those stains while you’re on the go, then wash them away up to seven days later!

Laundry Pretreatment Soak

Put that laundry sink to use with a laundry pretreatment soak, or use a bathtub, bucket, or recycling bin. Follow the directions on the package to create a solution of water and stain remover powder or liquid, then soak your items to loosen and dissolve stains so that they are more fully removed in the wash.

Pretreatment soaks are good for large stains, and some products work to eliminate odors on clothes or musty towels. You can soak those swim trunks after a pool day with the kids or pretreat the pants that Fido got his paw prints all over.

Free & Clear Stain Removers for Clothing

Sneakers being soaked as a form of laundry pretreatment

Some laundry stain removers are made with fewer ingredients. Typically, this means they do not contain any added dyes or perfumes, as is the case with OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover Free! If you do not want to use some of the ingredients in stain removers for clothes, Free & Clear laundry stain removers are a good option for you.

Which OxiClean™ Laundry Stain Remover is Best for You?

No matter what kind of stain you’ve acquired or whether you need to treat stains on the fly or in your laundry room, OxiClean™ has options to help you remove even the toughest stains. OxiClean™ boasts several stain removers and laundry pretreatment products in a variety of formats, depending on what fits your life best. From enzyme-based stain remover gels to color-safe and chlorine-free stain remover sprays, use OxiClean™ to help you get stains out the first time and extend the life of your clothes.

General Stain Removal on Laundry Day

Maybe you need to remove those berry stains after summertime berry picking or grape juice dribbles on clothes. Did you spill some wine on your pants or tablecloth during family dinner or your private wine-time after the kiddos went to sleep?

OxiClean™ Laundry + Home Stain Remover Spray clings to fabric fibers to help loosen stains on clothes before washing. It can help remove stains from laundry while also working to address spot stains on upholstery and fabric furniture*. Laundry + Home Stain Remover Spray is free of chlorine, dyes, phosphates, parabens, and brighteners, so it works gently on your clothes.

Pretreat those stains and help your clothes look fresh with OxiClean™ Laundry + Home Stain Remover Spray!

*Spray OxiClean™ Laundry + Home Stain Remover Spray onto a cloth first to blot stains on water-washable fabric and upholstery.

Powerful Enzymatic Stain Removal Up to a Week Before Laundry Day


This satisfying stain removal will scratch your brain 😮‍💨☺🫧 #oxiclean #cleaninghacks #cleantok #cleaning #laundryhacks #laundrytok #laundry #asseenontv #ASMR, #satisfying, #cleantok #cleaningASMR

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OxiClean™ Max Force™ Spray is an enzyme-based stain remover with 5-in-1 power that breaks down and removes numerous stains during the pretreatment process. It works to surround and loosen even the toughest set-in stains that have lingered on your clothes. Max Force™ also comes in a stain removing gel stick format you can apply directly to fabrics to pretreat stains before washing. Additionally, you can pack the 2 Fl oz. Max Force™ Spray bottle for stain removal when you’re away from home.

Say you accidentally spilled some of that morning coffee you tried to gulp down before rushing out the door to work. Working hard during the week and playing hard on the weekends may result in blood stains on your white t-shirt, or a playtime scrape that leaves a blood stain behind on your kid’s favorite pants. Tough organic-based stains are best matched with an enzyme stain remover.

Did arts and crafts time with your child create marker stains on clothes? Max Force™ can help get rid of those stains. It can also help remove those saucy stains after you accidentally fumble the spaghetti during a date night or get some mustard on your shirt during the holiday cookout. Plus, you can pre-treat these stains up to a week before washing, so you don’t need to wait for laundry day to help ensure your items (or your child’s) will come out of the wash looking fresh!

Largescale Stain and Odor Removal

If your item is more stained than not, soaking the entire item (if it’s washable) may be easier than trying to spray every spot. OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover can be used on all washable clothes. Odor Blasters™ Versatile Stain & Odor Remover works to lift stains while also eliminating odors, which is quite useful when you have a bag full of sweaty and smelly gym gear!

Meanwhile, White Revive™ Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover helps whiten your washable clothes without chlorine bleach! Plus, it’s color-safe, so you can use it for all your loads to help remove stains and brighten colors.

*Do not use VSR or other OxiClean™ powders on wool, wool blends, silk, silk blends, leather, or fabrics labeled “dry clean only.”

Stain Remover for Baby Stains

Baby stains and leaky diapers are just the beginning of the stains kids will get on their clothes over the years. OxiClean™ Baby Stain Remover can help parents clean dried-on formula stains, cloth diapers, baby clothes, and crib sheets so your infant can feel cozier. As is the case with VSR and Odor Blasters™, you soak items in Baby Stain Remover powder to help power out those stains. You might also use Baby Stain Remover to refresh their favorite plush toy!

Color-Safe & Chlorine-Free Stain Removal

OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover Free is made without added dyes and perfumes. It’s also free of chlorine bleach and color-safe, meaning those stripes and logos on your favorite sports gear won’t fade when you use it as a pre-soak or in the washing machine! Similarly, OxiClean™ Laundry + Home Stain Remover Spray is chlorine-free and color-safe, offering another option for pretreating clothes if you prefer a spray to a soak.

How to Know Which Laundry Stain Remover You Need

Your regular laundry routine might not be enough for Fido’s exuberant pawprints on your white shirt or after your kid gets more paint on their clothes than the canvas. You probably need more than one stain remover for clothes for different scenarios. When deciding what kind of laundry stain remover you might need, consider the following:

1. Washing Right Away: If you’re pretreating a stained item and throwing it in the wash right away, choose OxiClean™ Laundry + Home Stain Remover Spray.

2. Size of Stain: For large area stains on washable items, opt for a laundry pretreatment soak. You can use any OxiClean™ stain remover in powder or liquid format. This might include Odor Blasters™ Versatile Stain and Odor Remover or White Revive™.

3. Older, Set-in Stains: Sometimes you miss a stain the first time and it went through the washer and the dryer. Or you nabbed some kids clothes in the right size from your local buy nothing club, but there are some lingering stains. Reach for OxiClean™ Max Force™ Spray or Gel Stick to fight back with 5 different powerful enzymes and stain fighters.

4. Organic Stains: When you’re removing stains from things like blood or grass, use an enzymatic stain remover, like Max Force™ Spray.

5. Washing Later: Want to address stained clothes when it’s not laundry day? Choose Max Force™ Spray and pretreat your items for up to 7 days before throwing them in the wash. You can also wash items immediately after pretreating stains with Max Force™ Spray, if you so desire!

6. Stain Removal on the Go: When you’re on the road, bring a portable stain remover that requires less time and effort, like the Max Force™ Gel Stick. You can wash the items up to 7 days later. For small stains or to treat clothes you’re planning to wear again while on vacation *, you can also opt for the OxiClean™ On The Go Stain Remover Pen.

7. Fewer Ingredients: Are you looking for a stain remover without added dyes or fragrances? Reach for OxiClean™ VSR Free for an option that’s tough on stains but without the dyes or perfumes you may be looking to avoid!

8. Refillable bottle: If you’re extra conscious about packaging waste, OxiClean™ Max Force™ Spray comes in a refill size so you can reuse your spray bottle or make a travel size spritzer of your own!

Use OxiClean™ Stain Removers to Get Rid of Any Stain, No Matter How Pesky

Life happens, and stains happen! The key is knowing how to pretreat laundry and choosing a stain remover that works best for you and your family. Regardless of the stains life throws at you, trust in non-chlorine bleach-based, septic-safe stain removers from OxiClean™ to power out stains so you can preserve your wardrobe and feel good about wearing your favorite clothes!

*Do not treat clothes while wearing

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