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The best and worst stain removers: Vanish, Sard Wonder, Coles, Aldi and more

How do brand-name stain removers compare with supermarket products? Our lab test reveals all. 

best stain removers
Last updated: 20 November 2020

Got a stubborn stain you need to get rid of? Be careful which stain remover you choose: they're not all created equal.

You've probably heard us say it a million times, but price is no predictor of performance. Some of the top performers in our stain remover test were among the cheaper products on the market – and some of the most expensive failed to impress.

Our expert testers put 32 different products to the test on fabric covered with hard-to-remove stains like cooking oil, perspiration, mud, makeup, chocolate ice cream and blood, then measure how much of the stain has been removed. What they found could save you time and money on your laundry!

The top rated stain removers

It's all about the supermarket brands in this category, with six out of the top seven products coming from Aldi, Coles and Woolworths. 

Aldi is the real winner here, though, with four of the top seven products, and the highest score overall – its Di-San Oxy Action with Enzymes Pre Wash Stain Remover scored a full five percentage points higher than the next top performer. 

It's also only one of two stain removers that our experts recommend, alongside Coles' Ultra Prewash Stain Remover which rated second. In a big win for your wallet, both products were some of the cheapest we tested, outperforming other brands that cost eight to ten times the price. 

aldi di san oxy action with enzymes

Aldi's Di-San Oxy Action with Enzymes Pre Wash Stain Remover topped our expert tests.

These are the top stain removers in our tests, along with their CHOICE Expert Ratings:

  • Aldi Di-San Oxy Action with Enzymes Pre Wash Stain Remover with Eucalyptus Oil (CHOICE Expert Rating: 75%)
  • Coles Ultra Prewash Stain Remover (70%)
  • Aldi Di-San Ultra Degreaser with Enzymes Pre Wash Stain Remover Lemon Fragrance (69%)
  • Aldi Di-San Oxy Laundry Soaker and In Wash Booster (67%)
  • Aldi Di-San Oxy Sensitive Laundry Soaker and In Wash Booster (66%)
  • Vanish Gold Pro NapiSan Oxi Action Colour Safe (66%)
  • Woolworths Clean Boost In-Wash Booster, Soaker and Stain Remover (66%)

To see the full list of 32 products, check our stain remover reviews.

Stain removers to avoid

OzKleen PreWash Power, the worst performer in our stain remover test, is an absolute doozy: it performed even worse overall than just laundry detergent and water. There's literally no reason for using this product, since you're going to be washing your laundry with detergent anyway.

And StainGo Spot and Prewash Stain Remover, the second-worst performer, not only scored a grubby 58%, it also costs a whopping $4.50 per 100mL – the most expensive product in our test! 

Coming in at equal second-last place was Sard Wonder Deo & Sweat Stain Remover, which was barely better than regular old laundry detergent at removing perspiration stains, despite its claims of being a sweat remover. 

ozkleen prewash power

OzKleen PreWash Power performed worse than plain detergent with water.

Here are the worst performing stain removers from our tests, with their CHOICE Expert Rating:

  • Plain water, no detergent (CHOICE Expert Rating: 37%)
  • OzKleen Prewash Power (55%)
  • Detergent with water (56%)
  • StainGo Spot and Prewash Stain Remover (58%)
  • Sard Wonder Deo & Sweat Stain Remover (58%)
  • Earth Choice Prewash Stain Remover (59%)
We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.