I Tried Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Scrubber—And It Even Got Gross Blood Stains Out

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One bottle of Carbona Pro Care and a few minutes of my time was enough to make chocolate, mud, and even blood stains lift with ease.

Carbona Stain Remover being used on a stained white sheet with the Reader's digest editor tested logoBryce Gruber/RD.com

I’ve been on the hunt for the best stain removers since I became a mom years ago, but by the time I had my fifth child (and second dog), I knew I had to up the stain-removing ante. On any given day, my laundry pile is plagued with grass stains from soccer practice, blood stains from falling off scooters and bikes, and the all-too-common chocolate stains that somehow appear on every t-shirt.

As a Home Editor, I’m always checking out new laundry products. When I heard about Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Scrubber, I decided to give it a try to see if it really worked, and wow—I was impressed. It is easily my new favorite cheap cleaning product.

What is Carbona?

Each bottle of Carbona Pro Care Laundry Scrubber is brimming with bio-enzymes that break up most stains in a matter of minutes. If you’re looking for how to remove stains without bleach or especially harsh chemicals, this scrub-top bottle is definitely the easiest way I’ve seen yet. While it isn’t a detergent itself, it’s a stain-specific booster that works alongside laundry staples like our favorite Cleancult Laundry Detergent and Reader’s Digest most trusted laundry detergent, Tide. Carbona goes to work on most grease, oil, fruit, ketchup, chocolate, wine, and yes—even old blood stains.

It’s also dermatologically tested to be safe on skin, so you don’t have to worry about scrubbing an entire load of post-soccer camp uniforms. The best part? You can use Carbona on any water-safe fabric, which means cotton, nylon, blends, and other materials are just fine. (Applying it on stained sheets and mattress covers was the most satisfying use of all.)

How we tested it

Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Scrubber blood stain before and afterBryce Gruber/RD.com

I had originally planned to test a bottle of Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Scrubber on a few t-shirts my husband had managed to ruin with BBQ sauce (queue the Tim McGraw song) and chicken wing drippings, but as fate would have it, my daughter woke up with a nose bleed the morning I planned to put Carbona to the test. Drops of blood dotted her all-white comforter and, because it took me a few hours to realize, the blood had dried and set to a dark brown color that made me wonder if we’d need a new comforter. I broke out a bottle of Carbona, squeezed some of the stain-removing fluid to the top of the scrub brush, and gently massaged the product into each stain.

I was SHOCKED to find the dried blood stains lifting within moments, but I still didn’t hold hope of them coming out completely—blood is the impenetrable stain force that has existed to challenge even the strongest-willed moms across the time-space continuum. I followed the instructions on the back of the bottle, working about a nickel-sized amount of product into each bloodstain and allowing it to sit for a few minutes.

I popped the comforter into my large-capacity washing machine, added a capful of my best smelling laundry detergent, and kept my fingers crossed. An hour later, a stain-free and totally crisp, white comforter emerged thanks to this brilliant laundry booster. I was so excited with the results that I ran to my husband’s laundry pile and tried the Carbona on his BBQ wings-stained tees and also found myself thrilled with the results.

And, because life is messy and so is everything in my life, I ended up using Carbona on the muddy paw prints my Aussiedoodle left on my new jeans when she hopped up in search of a hug. Success! It also worked marvelously on the chocolate ice cream stains that looked like the work of Jackson Pollock on my son’s favorite sweatshirt. And it was basically magic on the red wine stain I’m ashamed to admit my go-to pink blouse fell victim to on my anniversary.

Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Scrubber product features

For starters, the bleach-free formula makes Carbona a total winner. Natural enzymes do the heavy lifting in this formula, going to work on even the toughest spots without damaging fabrics or ruining dyes. The bottle’s squeeze-to-scrub function is a total winner for agitating stains, and the liquid has a gel-like consistency that’s easy to work into most materials. You don’t need to use any additional products aside from a bit of warm water.

Pros

What we liked about Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Scrubber:

  • All-in-one stain removing product with built-in scrubber so you don’t need extra tools or gadgets
  • Works on a variety of tough stains ranging from mud and grease to red wine and blood
  • Affordable
  • One bottle easily treats dozens of large stains, adding significant value
  • Bleach-free; powered by natural enzymes
  • Rinse away with warm water or throw pre-treated products into the washing machine for a rinse

Cons

What to consider about Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Scrubber:

  • Not ideal for upholstery or materials that can’t stand up to water, like suede
  • A small amount of patience is required, because after you treat and scrub a stain, you need to wait an additional 10 minutes before rinsing (but anyone who is prone to pre-treating knows this is no big deal)
  • Not as effective on stains found after washing (treat clothes before putting them into the laundry)

FAQ

Does Carbona remove mold and mildew from clothes?

Some reviewers have reported success removing mold and mildew from improperly dried clothing, but Carbona isn’t meant to remove mold or mildew from furniture and other household surfaces.

How much Carbona fluid does each bottle contain?

Each bottle comes with 8.4 fluid ounces of stain-fighting gel. That’s enough to treat dozens of stains.

Will Carbona get rid of poop and protein stains?

Yes! You can treat protein stains (like poop, blood, and vomit) with Carbona. I had a 100 percent success rate with blood stains.

What other reviewers had to say

“It works great on chocolate, grease, ink, dirt and ketchup,” writes one happy five-star Amazon reviewer. “Great product!”

Another verified purchaser, Helen, shares how easily Carbona lifted pet stains from a rug: “My dog had peed on my rugs—she was ill. Nothing would take it out, but this takes it right out. Spots on clothes come right out. Can’t say enough good things about this product.”

“I have used this on several types of stains (food, grease, dirt, and pen marks),” shares Melissa, a verified Amazon purchaser. “It’s gotten all the ones caught before washing. Those stains not found until after washing—it’s helped to get rid of a few. Overall I love this product. It’s easy to use with the gentle rubber scrubber on top to help rub it in.”

Product comparison

Until I found Carbona, I had been using Shout Stain Remover. Overall, the gel-like texture of Carbona blew Shout out of the water and was easier to use thanks to the built-in scrub brush. Working through tough stains with Carbona requires less elbow grease and time, and I found that my success with removing blood stains simply couldn’t be matched.

Final verdict

Buy the Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Remover—you’ll be happy you did. It works easily on just about every type of clothing and bedding stain I’ve tried it on. The only caveat is that it’s important to use it before running clothes through the laundry. It’s simple enough for even the most novice laundry doers, requires very little effort, and the bottle is even shaped perfectly for young helpers and those with weak grip strength to maneuver. Just think of all the money you’ll save on clothes, too!

Where to buy Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Scrubber

Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Scrubbervia merchant

The best place to buy Carbona Pro Care Laundry Stain Remover is Amazon, where a three-pack of full size bottles costs under $20 and boasts an impressive 4.8-star rating. Reviewers repeatedly note how hard to it is to find Carbona in supermarkets and large retailers, so skipping the frenzied chase and ordering this three-pack is the most efficient way to get your hands on some.

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Bryce Gruber
As Home Editor, Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce at Reader's Digest. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.