Best (preferably low maintenance) pre-wash stain remover for laundry

If clothes have stains that have already gone through the washer and dryer cycle, is there any way to get them out?

I think oxyclean says soak the clothes in oxyclean for 1-6? hours or something like that? That seems excessive to soak an entire garment for one little stain, and having to wait that long sucks.

Is there still some kind of spray or roll on I can use that actually works to apply to stains that have been locked in by washing and drying that will still take them out? There are products on the market, but I’m not sure of their effectiveness.

Is resolve any good?

In my experience, those stains are set in the fabric and can’t be removed.

I look forward to being shown I am wrong, though.

Resolve Gold seems to be great at getting everything out, for me. But I keep a bottle right next to my hamper so I am pretty good at shooting stains before they get to the point where you’re at.

Zout is about the best one I’ve found- no more than 5 mins of waiting, and comes in a spray bottle.

High end laundry detergents are a close second, as long as they have enzymes, as they are what digest the stains. Straight detergent isn’t nearly as effective.

The best small-spot stain remover I’ve come across is Un-Du label/sticker remover. It also removes a lot of stains. It is also pricey so suitable for occasional use on small stuff.

For routine, larger scale stains, I use Shout!

I use Shout also, but not after washing and drying. No hope for it then.

I have a shirt that I love that had a grease stain on the front that has been washed and dried several times. Out of curiosity, I saturated the stain with Spray 'n Wash (with Resolve Power) and tossed it into the washer. The stain spray took out most of the stain. I was impressed. I’ll try it again when I wash the shirt next time.

I like a product called “Waush!” that I got at a Mennonite store a while back. I have yet to have it work on a washed-and-dried stain, however.

Some people also use Fels Naptha Soap. I haven’t, but I do use it, or Zote, when I make my own laundry detergent.


1 bar Zote or Fels Naptha, grated (use a face mask)
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoonful of this will clean a load of laundry, and leaves no residual odor.

I’ve had good luck with Ecover stain remover. It has always worked for me on grease and food stains, even if the item has gone through the washer and dryer. I did recently try to use it on a pen stain after the shirt had gone through the W&D and it faded it a little, but didn’t completely get rid of it. I’m going to put it on the stain the next few times I wash the shirt and see if it will eventually go away.