Got an awful stain on your shirt? Banish it with an instant stain remover.

We tried using  different brands on various stains on a white T-shirt. The streaks across the coloured circles show the effects of the stain removers. The stains are made with (1) laksa, (2) coffee, (3) red wine, (4) ink.

1. CLOROX BLEACH PEN, $4.35, FROM MAJOR SUPERMARKETS

CLOROX BLEACH PEN AND STAIN TESTProduct review: Clorox instant stain removers

Our fave: the Clorox bleach pen

The pen-style stain remover contains bleach. Just “colour” over the stain as if you’re using a correction pen. It works only on white, not coloured, fabrics.

HOW EFFECTIVE: Laksa, red wine, coffee, ink and blood – each one on our white cotton tee literally vanished before our eyes. There wasn’t even a faint discolouration – not even for the laksa stain.

VERDICT: 9.5/10. The Clorox bleach pen restores a stained white garment to pristine condition in seconds.


2. DYLON STAIN REMOVER, $6.10, FROM MAJOR SUPERMARKETS

Dylon stain remover and stain testProduct review: Dylon instant stain remover

 Best value: Dylon stain remover

How effective: Not meant for ink stains but even that was totally removed. The blood stain disappeared totally while the wine, coffee and ink were barely there. The laksa stain faded to an orange hue which was still noticeable. We had to wash the tee afterwards to remove the stains entirely.

VERDICT: 8.5/10. Just roll over the stain – like a roll-on deodorant. Can be used on white or coloured fabrics.


3. CADIE LAUNDRY STICK, $7.05, FROM HOME-FIX

Product review: Cadie instant stain testCadie laundry stick and stain test

The Cadie laundry stick

Convenient as you don’t have to dampen the stain to use it. The glue-stick lookalike works almost the same way. Push the balm up from the bottom and rub over the stain. Can be used on white or coloured fabrics.

How effective: The blood stain turned a light brown, the wine and coffee stains became slightly visible marks, but the ink blot only faded a little. It had almost no effect on the laksa stain.

VERDICT: 6/10. Easy-to-use but not very effective.


4. DE-SOLV-IT PLUS, $8.50, FROM HOME-FIX

Product review: De-solv-it instant stain testDe-solv-it plus and stain test

 The De-solv-it plus


Spray two or three drops of the liquid on the stain, and use a damp cloth to work it into the fabric and rub the stain out. Can be used on white and coloured fabrics.

How effective: Fades stains slightly, but the tee has to be washed for stains to be removed totally. The blood faded away, but the laksa stain remained a light yellow and the wine stain turned grey. The coffee and ink stains were still visible.

VERDICT: 7.5/10. Fades stains; complete stain removal achieved only after washing.


5. Tech stain remover, $8.90, from Home-Fix

Tech stain remover and stain testProduct review: Tech instant stain remover

The Tech stain remover. Photography: Winston Chang, Art Direction: Kathleen Chan

Moisten the stain and spritz the solution over it. Then, use a towel to work the stain out of the garment. Can be used on white or coloured fabrics.

How effective: The laksa stain faded only slightly, but the solution worked quite well on other stains. The ink, wine and coffee mostly disappeared, leaving faint marks. The blood stain was entirely removed.

VERDICT: 8.5/10. Works well on most stains but fabric needs to be dampened.

All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine’s publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.

This article was originally published in SimplyHer November 2010.