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Laundry

Can the plant-based Cleancult Stain Stick really tackle stains?

See if it beat blood, marker, and grease

A Cleancult cleaning bar lays on a green towel. Credit: Cleancult

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I’ll be honest: While I love cleaning my home, and do so often, I’m not on top of my laundry game. I do know that having a good laundry detergent is important, and it’s best to have one that you like, one that works against smells, and one that cleans fabrics without ruining the color or the material.

When it comes to getting out tough stains, I’ve learned that it’s important to pretreat it as soon as you can after a spill. A stain stick is one way to go on the offensive; it is like detergent, only more concentrated and intended for spot treatments. At home, I haven’t typically had a stain stick on hand, like the consumer-popular Tide-to-go stain removing pen.

However, as a fan of zero-chemical cleaners, I heard about the newly released Cleancult Stain Stick, and I had to try it out.

I grabbed a white t-shirt and spilled everything from red wine to dirt on it to see how well Cleancult’s stain stick would work.

What’s in the Cleancult Stain Stick?

CleanCult scrubbing bar against its package.
Credit: CleanCult

Can the Cleancult Stain Stick beat tough blemishes?

The Cleancult Stain Stick is biodegradable, free from harsh chemicals, and composed of plant-based ingredients, including Sodium Cocoate, Distilled Water, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate, and Organic Rosemary Extract.

The stick itself is like a long bar of soap—not too chalky and not too slimy. It’s fragrance free, which is great for those of us with skin sensitivities and allergies.

When applying the stain stick to clothing, use it like a crayon. I found that it was easiest to apply if I spread the fabric between my fingers and then rubbed the stick into the fabric in a zigzag motion. The second time I applied the stain stick the fabric was wet, and it was much easier to rub the solution on.

What I liked about the Cleancult Stain Stick

Cleancult’s stain stick impressed me, removing marker, blood, and most of the smudges of dirt and grass. The marker and blood stains were completely gone after one wash, which is ideal for what we look for in a stain stick. Who wants a product that makes more work for us?

After one washing, the fabric was clear and didn’t have any grease, residue, or discoloration from the stick itself, which is a problem I’ve had with other stain spot treatments.

I also used the stick on an oily grease stain I found on a shirt I bought at a thrift store. I was hopeful that the Cleancult formula would remove the blotch, but since I had thrifted the item I wasn’t sure how long the stain had been there or what it was made of.

I applied the stick and tossed the shirt in the wash. When I took it out the stain was gone! Oil and grease stains are notoriously difficult to remove, so I’d consider this a win for Cleancult.

What I didn’t like about the Cleancult Stain Stick

(left) a white t-shirt covered with spots of stains. (2) the plain white shirt after several washes.
Credit: Reviewed / Liv Birdsall

The red wine and chocolate stains didn't fade away completely.

Sadly, the stain stick couldn’t remove two of my favorite foods: dark chocolate and red wine.

The stick was able to lighten both stains, and it actually removed the outer edges of the stain and the lighter concentration of the red wine that had seeped through to the front of the shirt. But, the red wine stain remained a light pink blob on the shirt.

The chocolate stain proved to be the toughest to remove, still a dark square even after several applications and washes.

Is the Cleancult Stain Stick worth buying?

I like using the stain stick, and I like the results it provides. In the last month of owning it, my clothes are cleaner, and I’ve saved some from having to be cut up into rags or thrown out altogether.

Its small size makes it easy to store with other laundry supplies. It packs a lot of power, especially considering it’s plant-based. It’s also fragrance-free, but most notably, it works well and leaves your fabric looking as it was before the stain occurred—what more can you ask for, especially for just $7.

Get the Cleancult Stain Stick at Cleancult for $6.99

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