We've tested popular stain removers for carpets, clothes and other fabrics and three out of four of our top recommendations cost less than a fiver.
If you're about to embark on a Spring clean and want to get the best cleaning oomph for your budget, look no further than these stain remover heroes.
A fast and effective carpet cleaner on both fresh and dried-on stains with a practical built-on brush which makes it super easy to use. Bear in mind that the sharp bristles on the brush could snag on more delicate carpets that the one we tested it on though.
We found OzKleen particularly effective against red wine stains but it required a bit more elbow grease on dried curry stains. We like that the adjustable spray setting allows you to switch between a wider or more controlled burst of stain remover. We weren't so keen on its lavender scent though when it combined with some of the smells of the stains. But you could hold your nose if it troubles you.
Armor All packs a punch with strong foaming action which we found effective against almost all stains. The only stains it wasn't great against were blood and curry on cotton blend fabrics, but that was the same with all stain removers for clothes and fabrics we tested.
A brilliant stain remover for almost any type of stain you can think of. It even made a gravy stain on a white shirt vanish.
However, like all of the fabric stain removers we tested, it wasn't overly effective with blood and curry stains on cotton blend fabrics.
We tested a variety of household cleaning hacks and home remedies to remove stains from carpets and fabrics.
Here are our favourites:
We found a small squirt of washing up liquid mixed with warm tap water did just as well as most of the dedicated carpet stain removers we tested, though it did require a lot more elbow grease to fully shift the stains.
Once again, washing up liquid impressed us most of all but another home remedy worth trying is baking soda (aka bicarbonate of soda) made into a thick paste with a little bit of water. Apply it directly to the stain and leave it to work for a bit.
You will need plenty of elbow grease but we found this concoction removed red wine, curry, blood, tomato ketchup and chocolate stains.
To separate the best stain removers from the worst we put them all through a challenging series of tests.
Each stain remover was used to clean up a variety of stains including curry sauce, red wine, tomato ketchup and more.
For fabrics, we stained cotton blend and wool blend material, while for carpets we used grey Saxony carpet tiles.
Each stain remover and home remedy selected for our tests was given five chances to clean up the mess and remove the stain.
The fewer chances each needed, the better it scored.