Trib tested: OxiClean stain removers
In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit I am a confirmed OxiClean fan. I have been a fan for ages. Sexist as it sounds, it may have something to do with having two sons who used to spill every compound known to man on their shirts. Okay, this may be a genetic condition they inherited from their mother. But OxiClean works and it works on more than laundry. Mixed according to the manufacturer's recommendations, the miracle powder has been known to lift red wine stains and greasy paw prints from my carpets. (Never mind how either of them got there. Those are stories in their own right.)
There have been weeks when I'm sure I single-handedly kept OxiClean in business. Look for their stock to go up now that they've added a purse-sized spray-on stain remover to their inventory of miracle products. I've already attacked the remnants of a gyro that migrated to my favorite black sweater -- with great results. If this stuff isn't environmentally-friendly, I'm in trouble.
I used OxiClean Stain Remover Powder when washing a load of dirty white running socks. The socks, washed with Tide detergent, bleach and a scoop of OxiClean, were old and new. The older socks, stained with blood, mud and things too disgusting to mention, seemed noticeably cleaner. The OxiClean was less effective on older socks, where sweat stains had had the chance to set repeatedly in the dryer. These probably require a direct application of OxiClean.
A second test involved immersing a blood stained white running singlet in the suggested ratio of one scoop of OxiClean and 16 ounces of water. The blood stains quickly disappeared.
The OxiClean Spray-A-Way Instant Stain Remover is the real find here. The small spray applicator can be tucked into a pocket or purse and indeed works almost instantly. I sprayed it on a food stain on a pair of dress pants. The stain disappeared. There was no residue or mark left behind. It was difficult to tell where the original stain even was. If you drink coffee in your car on your morning commute, keep this stuff handy.
I tend to make more than my fair share of messes in my apartment, but being the only tenant, there is no one else to pass the blame on to when it comes time to clean. I get a high from cleaning; I don't know if it's the fresh smell or if it is the end reward, but I love to see my place sparkle and shine. And shine it did after using the OxiClean in both my laundry and general cleaning duties.
The Spray-A-Way instant stain remover was a lifesaver with white shorts and a grass stain during a recent football tournament. Following the simple directions (Wipe, Spray, Blot) the concentrated spray made the green dashes vanish, and, later in the wash cycle, the powder made history of the stain.
I was the happiest, though, when using OxiClean to clean stains in my bathroom tile and living room carpet. Once I started using OxiClean, I just couldn't stop! It removed a 6-month-old wine stain and chocolate ice cream from more than a year ago and didn't damage this renter's carpet.
OxiClean works best in hot water, where it can fully dissolve, releasing bubbles that help to lift and remove stains. I was able to get out grass stains, makeup (foundation and lipstick) and a bit of chicken grease from a dinner out. Even my white sheets looked brighter than they have in years!
Everyone has seen the ad on TV, but I proved to myself it works. What's more, there was no foul chemical smell, even while I let a "paste" soak into a tough tile stain for more than an hour. OxiClean is by far the best multi-purpose cleaner I have come across!
OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powders and OxiClean Spray-A-Way Instant Stain Remover
The claim: A chlorine-free and color-safe, oxygen-based stain fighter designed for maximum strength stain removal in your laundry and around your home.
Cost: $3.99-$11.99 for OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powders, $2.99-$4.99 for OxiClean Spray-A-Way Instant Stain Remover
Where: Supermarkets and discount stores