4 Stain Removers Under $20 Put To The Test (Watch Video)

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Got a mustard or ketchup stain on your white t-shirt? If you’re like me, then you run home and immediately spray the stain and throw it in the washing machine. Does that stain remover really work though? We put four stain remover brands to the test. Spray N’ Wash and Shout are household products even my mom used in the early eighties to get stains out of my clothes. Their reputation and branding have made them a popular choice among many.

Puracy and Clean AF- Alkaline Formula are two products that are new to the market. Puracy was founded in 2013 and is a chemical free product (no bleach, harsh chemicals, chlorine, sulfates, etc.) while Clean Alkaline Formula was specifically designed to clean dirt out of uniforms. It is highly concentrated and designed to be added to your bleach bin. However, it can be added to a provided spray bottle and mixed with water.

Will the alkaline formula work on regular food stains? And does chemical free really remove stains? Will the popular name brands beat out the newer products? I put all these questions to the test using ketchup and mustard! So which ones did the best? The results are amazing!

To begin my test, I used two clean white t-shirts and made four ketchup and mustard stains on each. Then I sprayed each stain with each of my stain removers. I waited ten minutes to let the stain remover really work its magic and then loaded both shirts in the washing machine. Washed on cold and waited for my results!

Lets’ start from least removed to most removed!

Clean AF Alkaline Formula did the worst on the ketchup and mustard removal test. Both stains were still visible. However, I did know going into this that it is specifically designed to remove dirt. I’m not going to give up on it quite yet and will do a dirt test in the future to see if it really is what it cracks up to be! For now I wouldn’t suggest using it on food stains.

Shout and Spray N’ Wash are neck in neck on this one! Spray N’ Wash did better on the mustard stain while Shout did better on the ketchup stain. Neither removed the mustard stain entirely but Spray N’ Wash definitely removed more. Both removed most of the ketchup stain but there is still some visibility to both, but Shout has the lesser of the two.

Puracy comes in first place on this one! The chemical free formula outdid all the rest on the ketchup and mustard stain test. To be honest, I’m shocked. It just goes to show that natural products can have just as much as an impact as the products with chemicals plus they are better for our health and environment. Puracy removed the ketchup stain and did the best job removing the mustard stain even though it is still visible.

So, the question is what removes mustard? I’d love to know what works for you and we will give it try here in the Wardrobe Hackers test kitchen!

Erin @ Wardrobe Hackers

Erin @ Wardrobe Hackers

Content Creator for Wardrobe Hackers

Erin is a fashion enthusiast, all-around craftsy girl, marketer, and devoted mom. She’s been with Wardrobe Hackers since day 1, as the author and “star” of our very first blog post and Youtube video. Before joining Wardrobe Hackers, Erin had her own custom wreath-making business (Front Door Décor) and prior to that, she managed key accounts with Enterprise. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, two young girls and a beagle that sheds (a lot!).


  1. Laura Hannigan

    try oxiclean laundry stain remover….works on dried in stains too.

  2. Loretta Pearce

    Try Iron Out on the mustard! Works for me!


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