Are you looking for the best stain remover but not sure whether to use Zout or Shout?
Both are highly rated, but which is better? What’s the difference?
In this comparison of Zout vs. Shout, I break down the key differences between these brands. You’ll learn how they compare in terms of products, ingredients, price, accolades, and more.
I also reveal the results for the test I conducted to determine which stain remover is better at removing common stains, including grass, ketchup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and ink.
Keep reading to find out which stain remover is best for you.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Which Stain Remover Works the Best?
- Product Offerings
- How to Use
- What Others Are Saying
- Bottom Line: Should You Choose Zout or Shout?
Which Stain Remover Works the Best?
Let’s get right to business and answer the main question on your mind:
Which stain remover works better, Zout or Shout?
To find out, I conducted a simple head-to-head experiment.
I cut a white cotton T-shirt in half and applied ketchup, ink, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and grass stains to each side. I chose those stains because they’re fairly common and cover a wide range of stain types.
After applying the stains, I let them sit on the fabric for an hour and a half.
Stain removers are most effective when you use them immediately after the stain occurs, but I wanted to simulate a real-world experience. Stains often happen outside of the home where you don’t have quick access to a stain remover.
Then I applied Zout to the stains on one half of the shirt and Shout to the other half.
Shout offers several products (I’ll cover these in the next section), but the one I used for the test is its most popular, Shout Triple Acting.
I followed the instructions for each product exactly. Both instruct you to spray enough of the solution to cover the stain completely, rub it in, wait five minutes, and then launder in the warmest water the fabric can handle.
Both stain removers did an excellent job removing the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and grass stains.
This fabric was heavily soiled, but there was no sign of those stains on either fabric after using the stain removers.
Ink posed a bit of an issue. Shout and Zout both removed 95% of the ink stain but struggled to remove it entirely.
Here’s the ink stain before and after using Shout:
And here’s the ink stain before and after using Zout:
Oil is notoriously tricky to remove from clothes, and neither Zout nor Shout did a great job removing the stain.
Here’s the olive oil stain before and after using Shout:
And here’s the olive oil stain before after using Zout:
Although the stain removers decreased the severity of the oil stain, you can still see a dark circle where the original stain was when you view it at certain angles.
Important note: Shout Advanced Grease Busting Foam is designed specifically to remove grease and oil stains. If I had tested that product, I might have seen a different result.
The bottom line is that Shout and Zout are both highly effective at removing most stains. However, you may need to take a different approach if you have ink or olive oil stains.
Zout focuses on one central formula, which they offer in three applications: spray liquid, spray foam, or liquid.
The formula is all-purpose, and the application you choose is a matter of personal preference.
Shout offers a wider variety of products and formulas. For comparison, here is a brief overview of its most popular sprays, foams, and liquids.
- Shout Triple Acting: A color-safe stain remover that’s 50x more concentrated than in-wash powder.
- Shout Free: The brand’s dye- and fragrance-free stain remover. It’s ideal for baby clothes or those with sensitive skin.
- Shout Advanced Trigger: A sprayable gel designed for persistent, hard-to-dissolve stains. This spray is even more concentrated than the triple-acting formula.
- Shout Advanced Grease: An aerosol foam specifically formulated for fighting oily stains such as cooking grease and hair products.
- Shout Advanced Gel Brush: A gel formula that lifts stains from fabric and can be scrubbed into the stain using the built-in rubber brush included in the product’s packaging.
- Shout Wipe & Go: Portable wipes containing the basic stain removing Shout formula.
- Shout Color Catcher: A product designed for use in the washing machine. These sheets capture colored dyes and protect white fabrics from discoloration.
The company also sells a concentrated carpet stain remover that can be applied directly to the stain and then vacuumed or washed out.
Now that you have an idea of which stain removal products Zout and Shout offer, let’s take a look at their ingredients.
Since Zout uses the same formula for all of its products — just in different applications — all ingredients are the same.
Zout’s formula is made up of the following:
- Surfactants — used to lift, dissolve, or otherwise break down foreign substances in a stain
- Modifiers and Stabilizers — hold other ingredients together, adapts pH balance, and/or modifies the viscosity and thickness of a formula
- Dissolving Agents/Solvents — aid in breaking down stains and dirt, usually acidic in nature
- Fragrances and Dyes — modifies the appearance and scent
You can review Zout’s exact formula on SmartLabel.com.
Shout’s formulas vary by product, but generally, the major elements stay the same. And, while the ingredients in Shout differ from those in Zout, the types of ingredients are similar.
You’ll also find surfactants, modifiers, stabilizers, solvents, fragrances, and dyes in Shout.
You can review the exact formula for Shout’s stain removers on WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com.
To get an in-depth look at the health and environmental safety information for both brands’ products, check out the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) website.
These ratings are because both brands use harsh chemicals to enhance their effectiveness. Always read the labeled instructions carefully and keep cleaning products out of the reach of children and pets.
If you’re concerned about the health and safety of these products, opt for more natural, plant-based stain removers, such as ECOS Stain and Odor Remover. The EWG scored it “A,” meaning it poses little risk to your health or the environment.
How to Use
Both Zout and Shout clearly label usage instructions for each product on the packaging, so you can refer to these when using any of these brands’ stain removers.
For context, here are instructions for one of each company’s most popular products.
Zout Laundry Stain Remover:
- Turn the spray nozzle setting to “ON.”
- Saturate the stain completely with Zout® Laundry Stain Remover.
- Work Zout into the fabric thoroughly (using a cloth or brush) to penetrate stains.
- Wait 1-5 minutes, then wash as usual. Use the warmest water allowed per the fabric care instructions. (Note: if hand washing, make sure to rinse the garment thoroughly).
Shout Triple Action Spray:
- Turn the spray nozzle setting to “ON.”
- Cover the stain with Shout® Triple-Acting formula and rub it in using a cloth or brush.
- Wait 1-5 minutes. Launder in the warmest water the fabric will accept.
- To refill, unscrew the cap and pour Shout® Triple-Acting liquid into the bottle.
Clearly, there is no difference in how you use Zout and Shout. However, Shout’s instructions vary slightly by product, so always read the directions on the bottle for the particular stain remover you’re using.
What Others Are Saying
One of the best ways to compare product options is by checking trusted websites and reviews for information, ratings, and detailed overviews.
Here’s what some respected outlets had to say about Zout and Shout stain removers.
The Spruce named both brands in its review of the “Best Laundry Stain Removers.” Zout’s formula was chosen as the stain remover “best for food stains,” and Shout was selected as the “best gel” stain remover.
In its recent review of the “Best Stain Removers for Clothes Everyone Should Own,” Reader’s Digest included both Zout and Shout in its list of favorites. Shout Advanced Spray and Wash Gel Laundry Stain Remover were both given the “best stain remover for colors” title, and its Wipe & Go wipes were labeled the “best stain remover wipes.” The reviewers declared Zout’s Laundry Stain Remover Spray the “best food stain remover.”
Bob Vila’s popular home products blog praised Zout as one of the best overall stain remover products for laundry, declaring it the “runner-up” in a lineup of five top-performing products.
Consumer Reports reviewed Shout’s Triple-Acting Spray in its tested lineup of the “Best Laundry Stain Removers.” The reviewers praised its effectiveness for fighting body oils, grease stains, grass stains, and blood after just 5 minutes between application and removal. They noted that certain stubborn stains such as soil, salad dressing, and gravy required an overnight soak.
Finally, Bustle magazine gave Shout’s Advanced Stain Remover Gel the highest overall rating in a lineup of “The 5 Best Laundry Stain Removers for Clothes.” Zout wasn’t mentioned in the article.
Zout and Shout stain removers don’t differ much when it comes to price, so it shouldn’t be a deciding factor in which option you choose.
Remember to compare pricing by ounce rather than the listed cost for each product.
In some cases, Shout is slightly more expensive than Zout. But that largely depends on where you buy, so it’s worth shopping around to find the best price on either brand’s products.
Check out the current prices of both brands’ products at the links below:
Bottom Line: Should You Choose Zout or Shout?
Ultimately, Zout and Shout are comparable stain removers. And, based on my tests, both are equally effective at removing a variety of stains.
So which stain remover should you buy?
Before I offer my recommendation, let’s quickly recap the key takeaways:
- Based on my testing, both are highly effective at removing ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and grass stains but couldn’t completely remove ink or oil.
- Shout is available in several formulas/product options, including a dye and fragrance-free spray, a grease-specific aerosol spray, portable wipes, and more. It comes in various forms, including gels, sprays, aerosols, liquids, and wipes.
- Zout comes in three forms (spray foam, spray liquid, and liquid applications), all of which include the same formula.
- Shout and Zout both receive either F or a D rating on consumer and environmental safety from EWG.
- Both brands are favorably reviewed by several trustworthy outlets
- Both are affordable, and their prices are comparable.
If you’re on the fence, I recommend Shout. It has more reviews and accolades and is a more popular brand overall. It also has greater versatility and can meet more of your needs.
Plus, some of its stain removers score “D” on EWG’s report, while all Zout’s offerings score “F.”
The bottom line is that both work and are inexpensive. You’ll be happy with the results from either.
To read dozens of reviews and compare current prices, check out Shout and Zout on Amazon at the links below:
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- OxiClean vs. Tide: Which Detergent and Stain Remover Is the Best?
- Tide vs. Persil: Which Laundry Detergent Is Better?
- All vs. Tide: Which Laundry Detergent Is Better?
- How to Make 4 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work
- Tide vs. Gain Laundry Detergent: What’s the Difference?