Tuesday 31 July 2012

Vanish Oxi Action Fabric Stain Remover review

You may remember, just before the Jubilee celebrations, I told you that Sophie was gutted because she'd had a nosebleed on her Union Jack cushion and Vanish offered to send through some Stain Remover products. They sent me two Oxi Action products, the Fabric Stain Remover Powder on the left and the Oxi Action Crystal White Gel which promises to keep your whites whiter as well as removing stains.

Well, with three under elevens, I didn't have to wait long to have some stains to test it on. Sophie came home from art club with these mysterious black stains all over her trousers. We couldn't actually work out what it was - marker pen, ink or black paint maybe?

As the stains looked like they'd be difficult to budge, I started off by applying a small amount of gel directly on them.

I rubbed it in with a little water to make it foam up a bit, then shoved them in the machine with the rest of the load, adding a dose of gel to the machine.

This is how it came out. Slightly paler and the brownish tinge around the edge of each stain where it had "bled" has disappeared, but the stains are certainly still there. Hmmm.

OK, time for a more easily identifiable stain. Sorry for any non-parents reading this who might be a bit squeamish about poo but this is what happens when your toddler has an upset stomach and his night time nappy can't cope ! Lovely !

I made the pyjamas wet, poured over a little gel and squished it into the fabric a bit.

That already got rid of quite a lot of the stain actually but there were still visible brown marks on the fabric. Time to throw it in the machine and cross fingers.

I decided to do a test by also washing the changing mat cover, also with a poo stain on it (from the same leaky nappy, for a fair test), without pretreating it with Vanish.

I was quite impressed to see that most of the stain actually came out even without the Vanish, but you can still see a slight mark if you look closely. I did have to compare with the top photo because I couldn't remember where the stain was, which shows that it's pretty clean.

The pyjamas are also pretty clean - much better than I expected - but if you look closely, you can see some slight brownish discolouration still on the fabric.

So I'm not sure really. The Vanish products do seem to get some stubborn stains out, but certainly not all of them, as the first test showed (they don't claim to remove ALL stains, just 101 of them - there's probably a list somewhere), and the "placebo" test with the changing mat cover shows that even without the extra boost from the Vanish, it came out quite clean anyway.

I'll need to keep experimenting as new stains come up to see what it can and can't deal with. I'd love to know how you've got on with it if you've tried it.

star rating : 3.5/5

RRP : Vanish Oxi Action powder £5 for 1kg, Vanish Oxi Action Gel Crystal White £4.60 for 1litre

Disclosure : I received two Vanish products in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. I quite like the oxi action for getting stains out, but I have found if you let them dry first then it isn't as effective!

  2. Thanks for this review. I'm in the middle of weaning and getting frustrated with how many stains non bio cannot get out of my daughters clothes and she ends up just wearing them once! I was umming and arghing whether to try vanish as it is quite expensive for it not to work. I may consider trying it after look at the poo disaster results lol! x My bug bear is carrot! damn things never come out of clothes unless in the sun and what sun does the UK get! lol xxx

  3. I dont remember in my childhood soap powders leaving grass stains etc on our clothes, so cannot understand why all these "new and improved" formulas fail so miserable. And back then you threw your clothes in a twin tub for 6 minutes it didnt take 2 hrs to do a wash.

  4. I am very fed up with Vanish, I bought Vanish Oxi Action 2 in 1 magnets followed the instructions and it didn't get the stain out, if anything made it worse. I wrote to them complaining that the packet said "amazing stain removal guaranteed 1st time or your money back", which is what made me buy it, thought they wouldn't say that if they weren't confident it works, however, they don't seem to want to give me my money back!! It took them a month to reply to my email and then offered me a coupon, I don't want a coupon for more of their products that I no longer believe work.

    1. If they offer a money back guarantee, they should honour that. Read the small print and see what it says. You could try contacting them on twitter for a quicker reply.


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