Clothing

Stain Devils

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Effective stain removal

I’ve used Stain Devils for at least two decades now, mostly the formula made to remove fats and oils. The number of times I’ve washed clothes with a Chapstick left in a pocket is high, and this stain remover has saved many favorite items.

Stain Devil makes nine different stain removers:

  • Ink, marker and crayon
  • Grass, dirt and makeup
  • Chocolate, ketchup and mustard
  • Fat and cooking oil
  • Coffee, tea and juice
  • Blood, dairy and ice cream
  • Motor oil, tar and lubricant
  • Rust, perspiration
  • Nail polish, glue and gum

I’ve used all but a few in my regular life and tested out the rest for this review (except the formula for nail polish, glue and gum – I wasn’t able to find this one).

The results are very good. I tested them on 100% woven cotton (white), and let the stains sit an hour before trying to remove them. And while the directions call for dabbing the stain remover onto the fabric and repeatedly pressing it into the fabric, I found that it’s far more effective to scrub the fabric between my fingers while thoroughly saturated with the stain remover. After this step, I washed the fabric, per the instructions.

I was able to try each of the stains, with the exception of tar and perspiration. All stains were removed either 100% or about 95% with one wash. The remaining spots (grass, chocolate, coffee, bike chain grease, and rust) which weren’t completely removed the first time where totally cleared up with a second application and wash. The Stain Devil formulation for makeup had virtually no effect on the makeup stain (Nars oil-free foundation). I was especially impressed with the complete removal of Bic pen ink with just one wash. However, Sharpie ink cannot be removed with Stain Devils – but they don’t claim it can be.

The bottles are small, but don’t let this fool you. They are also cheap and last for a couple of years, depending on how often ketchup and oil jump onto your shirt.

-- Wendy Shefte 07/23/20

(This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2015 — editors)