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31 Mar 2022

Three stain removers under a fiver that really work

Discover the budget carpet and fabric stain removers that topped our tests

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.

Ease the squeeze on your household bills with our latest cost of living advice and tips

Carpet stain removers we loved

Simoniz Upholstery Carpet Cleaner

Best Buy: Simoniz Upholstery & Carpet Cleaner

Cheapest price: £2.50 Available at Wilko, also available at Morrisons.

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.

OzKleen Carpet Power Cleaner

Best Buy: OzKleen Carpet Power Cleaner

Cheapest price: £3.80 Available at Wilko, also available at Amazon, Robert Dyas.

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.

See all the carpet stain removers we tested:Best carpet stain removers.

Stain removers for clothes and fabrics we rated

Armor All Carpet and Seat Foaming Cleaner

Editor's Choice: Armor All Carpet and Seat Foaming Cleaner

Cheapest price: £5 available at Wilko, also available at Amazon.

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.

Shout Triple-Acting Stain Removing Spray

Editor's Choice/Great Value: Shout Triple-Acting Stain Removing Spray

Cheapest price: £2.10 available at Ocado, also available at Sainsbury's.

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.

To see all the stain removers we tested and how they all did, read our full reviews in theBest stain removers for clothes and fabrics.

The stain remover home remedies we loved best

We tested a variety of household cleaning hacks and home remedies to remove stains from carpets and fabrics.

Here are our favourites:

cleaning a carpet

For carpets

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.

To find more home remedies that can remove stains in a pinch, check outWhich carpet stain remover home remedy is best?

Lemon and baking soda

For fabrics

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.

Curious about what can shift a troublesome bloodstain? Then check outthe easiest way to remove bloodstains.

The tough tests we put these stain removers through

Stain remover test

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.