I’ve Used This Stain Remover on Everything from Clothes to Furniture and It’s Truly Magic in a Bottle

published Mar 31, 2022
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Credit: Andrea Monzo for Apartment Therapy

Here’s the deal: I’m a mess. Known to spill every liquid I carry — completely sober, mind you— I have either purchased or been gifted (you read that correctly) every stain remover under the sun. Some are effective, some disappoint, and some work great on certain materials but not others. But a few years ago, a friend’s mom introduced me to the magic that is Melaleuca PreSpot Concentrate. As someone who invests not just money, but time and care into her clothes and textiles, she’s got all the secrets.

Not only does the PreSpot Concentrate work on everything from brightly dyed linen garments to white cotton upholstery, but it’s meant to be decanted into whatever vessel you prefer at whatever strength you need. Now I can’t go a week without this natural, enzyme-powered stain remover saving my clothes, my couch, or my car seats! I had to spread the word — but if Cindy ever asks, you didn’t hear it from me.

What makes Melaleuca so special? The formula relies on tea tree oil and three naturally derived enzymes to lift stains so you can simply dab them away with a damp cloth. Protease enzymes debond protein stains like grass, blood, and milk from textiles; amylase enzymes work on starch stains like chocolate, tomato sauce, and gravy; and lipase enzymes attack oily stains like dressings, cooking oil, and cosmetics. Since the formula is completely natural, you can apply it to stubborn spots multiple times without harming the fabric itself or damaging the surface. That’s the key: With this magical find, you can start small and increase the potency of the concentrate from there for tougher stains.

To use Melaleuca, simply dilute the concentrate with water in a ratio that’s totally up to you (1:1 is a solid place to start). You can apply the mixture directly to stains or throw it in with your detergent for loads of laundry that need a little extra help. For delicate materials, a more diluted combination does the trick, and for more stubborn and set-in stains, you’ll probably need a higher contrate-to-water ratio. I keep it diluted in an amber spray bottle at home.

For on-the-go spills, I carry a hand-sanitizer-sized spray bottle with a mix that’s a bit more potent. It works in seconds to lift out everything from spaghetti sauce to puppy paw stains and even (the notorious) blood. It’s not as thick as other to-go stain removers that take longer to dry, so you won’t have to deal with those unsightly damp marks on your clothes that last way too long and look (almost) worse than the stain itself.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

The Melaleuca PreSpot Concentrate is a holy grail product — a cliche claim I managed to stave off in my writing career up until now. But what can I say? It’s the truth, and I cannot recommend this laundry lifesaver enough.

Buy: Melaleuca PreSpot Concentrate, $19.69