Here are a few things to consider when shopping for the best stain remover for your garments.
✔️ Form: There are sprays, gels, powders, solid sticks and liquid stain removers, plus on-the-go options in wipe and pen forms. The form you choose for your stain remover all depends on personal preference and where you are when you notice the stains. Gels and sprays are the easiest to apply but powders and liquids offer the most versatility. Solid sticks often require a little extra elbow grease to apply evenly to garments but are convenient to pack for travel.
✔️ Type of Stain: There are four kinds of common stains: protein (e.g., blood and eggs), tannin (e.g., tea and coffee), dyes (e.g., mustard and berries) and oil-based. For the most effective results, wash protein stains in cool water as heat can cause stains to become set in. For all other kinds of stains, wash in the warmest water the garment can withstand.
✔️ Fabric: A stain remover’s label should state what kind of fabrics it is safe to use on. Some stain removers contain bleach which is not safe to use on colored garments. Your garment labels should also be carefully inspected before applying any laundry pretreatment or soaking in hot water. Equally as important is checking the fabric for colorfastness by applying the stain remover to a hidden spot of the garment, allowing it to sit for five minutes, rinsing and allowing it to dry. If the fabric color is affected, do not use this stain remover anywhere else on the garment.
✔️ Time: How soon do you need to wear the stained garment? If you notice a stain on your shirt after you’ve already ordered your Uber, you won’t have enough time to apply a stain remover overnight and throw it in a load of laundry. For quick fixes, wipes and pens are your best bet. If you can stand to wait overnight or whenever you’ve scheduled your next laundry day, opt for a spray, gel or liquid formula.