OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder can be used for a variety of applications, including as a spot treatment, laundry booster and carpet and upholstery cleaner. It can be mixed with water as a pre-treatment for stained clothing or added to a load of laundry to brighten whites and colors. Both professional testers and consumers find OxiClean effective against a wide variety of everyday stains, including grass, mud, juice, mustard and armpit stains. When added to a load of laundry, users say, it brightens whites as well as, or better than, chlorine bleach. Reviewers note that OxiClean should not be used on any fabric labeled "dry-clean only."
OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder is the only laundry add-in for which we found a significant number of reviews. It also appears to outperform all the laundry pre-treatments covered in our sources. However, since it must be mixed with water to pre-treat clothes (creating a paste), it is not as easy to use as a spot treatment like Shout Advanced Ultra Concentrated Gel (*Est. $3.50 for 8.7 oz.). If you need a stain treatment you can carry with you, you might consider the instant stain-removal pen Tide to Go (*Est. $3 for 0.4 oz.), which effectively removes many food stains as long as they are fresh.
Professional reviews of OxiClean Versatile are available from Real Simple magazine as well as About.com, where Laundry Guide Mary Marlowe Leverette tests more than 30 products. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.) On Amazon.com and Viewpoints.com, consumers describe and rate their experiences with products from the OxiClean line.
About.com Laundry Guide Mary Marlowe Leverette reviews more than 30 stain-fighting laundry products. OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover and 20 Mule Team Borax are the only in-wash stain removers to receive 5 stars. In addition to removing stains well, Leverette says OxiClean also brightens whites and colors. Plus, OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover is safe for all washable fabrics, unlike some pre-treatments. Leverette explains how the product works chemically, and says its cleaning agents are natural for the most part, and safe for the environment. She says OxiClean works best for grass, wine and food stains, and for dingy or dulled linens. There is also a version without dyes or perfumes. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Laundry Guide Product Reviews: Stain Removers, Mary Marlowe Leverette
2. Real Simple
Real Simple magazine tests a variety of "As Seen on TV" products to see if they live up to their claims. It's unclear how the products were tested, but based on the reviews, some hands-on testing was done. Abramson reports the tester said the product lived up to its claims, even removing a set-in wine stain and armpit stains. However, OxiClean is not compared to any other laundry products in this review.
Review: As-Seen-on-TV Products That Really Work, Stephanie Abramson
Not many stain-removal products receive enough reviews on Amazon.com to delineate a true favorite, but some comparisons can be made. OxiClean Versatile is clearly a user favorite, earning nearly 5 stars with several reviews for each product (products of different sizes are listed separately, so OxiClean reviews can be found on multiple pages). One reviewer says OxiClean is just as good as the old infomercials claim, calling it a "miracle." Another reviewer says that while other detergents irritate her skin, she can actually use OxiClean in place of regular laundry soap to wash clothes without any negative effects. One consumer complains that the cardboard box packaging is inconvenient.
Review: Stain Removers, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2010
More than 100 reviewers on Viewpoints.com give OxiClean 90 out of 100. Reviewers say it is as effective as, or more effective than, chlorine bleach, and it is worth the price. Reviewers note the product does not work as well on oil-based stains as it does on other types of stain. It also can dry out skin, but presumably only when used with bare hands (as with presoaking), not when simply adding to a load in the washing machine.
Review: OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com