10 stain removers we couldn't live without

·3-min read
must have stain buster tools
10 must-have stain removersPeter Dazeley - Getty Images

Spills happen when you're least expecting them to, and even the cleanest among us are likely to make an unintentional mess sometimes! That's why it's a good idea to keep your cupboard stocked with must-have stain removers, and luckily, they don't have to cost you a fortune.

We've rounded up 10 non-branded stain removers we just couldn't live without to help you avert disaster.

1. Biological washing powder

This laundry staple is excellent for washing stained cotton and synthetic laundry, but also amazing at removing burnt-on food from saucepans and brightening up dirty bathtubs.

2. Chlorine (household) bleach

It’s not just for cleaning your toilet — a solution of bleach and water can be used to brighten whites (always check the label first to ensure garments are safe for bleaching). You can also scrub mouldy or stained white grout with a toothbrush dipped in a bleach solution to bring it back to white.

3. Cornflour or talcum powder

Sprinkle on fresh fatty or oily stains and leave for up to twelve hours to absorb the grease. It can then be removed with a brush or using your vacuum cleaner with its upholstery tool.

4. Nail polish remover

The very best thing for removing nail polish, and not just from your nails! Ensure you always test it on an inconspicuous area of whatever you're cleaning first and don’t use it on acetate-based fabrics, as it can damage them.

5. Bicarbonate of soda

Mix bicarb with water to make a paste and use to clean all sorts of kitchen and bathroom stains, from stained ceramic sinks to burnt pans and countertops.

must have stain buster tools
La Bicicleta Vermella - Getty Images

6. Methylated spirits

Really good at dissolving greasy stains, such as crayon and ink, and essential if you’re a fan of curry as it’s the best thing for removing curcumin-based stains. Use the colourless variety and keep it away from coloured and acetate fabrics.

Once you've washed clothes spot-treated with methylated spirits, we recommend rinsing them again with detergent to remove the smell of the chemical.

7. Washing-up liquid

Not just for crockery and cutlery! A solution of washing-up liquid is great for fighting oil-based stains on clothing and upholstery.

must have stain buster tools
Jonathan Kitchen - Getty Images

8. White spirit

Good to have around – use to remove paint or nail varnish. Test on an inconspicuous area first.

9. Glycerine

The ultimate softener when applied to old, dried-on stains. It will soften the stain and help to loosen it from the fabric making it easier to remove and treat. It’s readily available online and from some pharmacies.

10. Pre-treat stain remover

Pre-treat stain remover can provide an added boost in helping you shift a stain. Available in a variety of formats: gel, powder, liquid spray and bar. Really effective at removing protein-based stains, such as blood and egg. Also known as biological pre-soaking agents.

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