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Consumer Reports Tests Reveal Which Stain Treatments Really Work

Two products from the same manufacturer score at the top and bottom of the Ratings

Consumer ReportsYonkers, NY – Stained clothing can be a bummer, but are there products out there that can remove even the nastiest grime? Consumer Reports tested out stain treatments applied before laundering and found a couple that worked well on a variety of stains.

Each stain treatment was evaluated for its effectiveness on coffee, blood, wine, sebum, motor oil, and grass. CR Best Buy Resolve Laundry ($0.10 per oz.) was the top scoring treatment and worked well on all the stains. Shout Advanced Action ($0.21 per oz.) was almost as good and can be applied up to a week before laundering. It worked well on all stains but wine. The full test results are available in the July issue of Consumer Reports and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

For its tests, Consumer Reports technicians took swatches of stained polyester/cotton fabric, applied the same amount of each stain cleaner, let the swatches sit for 5 minutes, and then washed them in a mediocre detergent. For comparison, they also washed the stained swatches in a highly rated detergent, using no pretreatment.

The lowest-scoring treatment was also a Resolve product: Resolve Foaming Aerosol Laundry ($0.15 per oz.). It only worked well on removing motor oil.

Most laundry pretreatments do help somewhat: The top products, including old stain remedy Fels Naptha (which was made into a paste using one part Fels to four parts water), worked better than detergent alone. Scrubbing will probably improve stain removal but may also damage fabrics.

Consumer Reports recommends consumers use caution when considering products labeled “natural,” since that word has no standard meaning in cleaning products. Nature’s Source Natural ($0.20 per oz.) and Green Works Natural ($0.25 per oz.) only did a good job on a couple of the stains. Ecover ($0.66 per oz.), the priciest choice, claims “plant based ingredients.”

For more tips on how to remove various stains, including reviews of laundry detergents, washing machines and clothes dryers, log on to www.ConsumerReports.org.


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