5 Things You'll Be Happy to Know About Lestoil

By Mary Hunt

May 27, 2019 4 min read

Ever wondered where you've been all your life? That's my reaction to a simple heavy-duty cleaning product, Lestoil.

Apparently, it's been manufactured right here in the USA for decades and loved by many. Curiously, I'd never even heard of it, let alone used it like a rabid fan, until only a few years ago.

On the off chance you, too, are not familiar with the powerful cleaner of all things hopelessly stained, here are five things you will be glad you know.


Lestoil (pronounced "less toil" ... get it?) can be used full-strength on stains, especially really difficult stains, the kind of stains you just give up on like ink, toner, grease, oil, scuff marks, blood, lipstick, nail polish, paint, grass stains, coffee stains, Crayon stains and marker stains on every surface you can imagine, even the sticky stuff left behind by stickers and labels.


Lestoil has been around since 1933. While I have not been around quite that long, this makes me wonder where I have been, since I've only learned about Lestoil more recently.

SO FAR 100%

Lestoil has removed every old stain I'd given up on, as well as every new stain I've acquired, since the two of us met — on clothing, carpet, concrete and all kinds of patio furniture including molded plastic. It removed black stains that accumulated on outdoor furniture covers.

It made short order of some ugly stains on cultured stone. It removed that gross, sticky residue that shows up on vinyl and plastic, restoring it back to its former glory.

So far, Lestoil has worked on everything I've tried, most recently a shirt.


Lestoil contains, among other things, sodium tallate, which is a type of soap. This means that once the job is done, it must be rinsed out, washed off or otherwise removed to make sure the item being treated doesn't retain a residue that will attract a new stain.

Lestoil is a registered trade name of Clorox for a heavy-duty multipurpose cleanser product, used to remove extremely difficult laundry stains; dissolve water-based and oil-based paints; and clean grease, oil, paint and adhesives from floors and surfaces. It was introduced as a dry-cleaning fluid for laundry in 1933.


Lestoil is highly concentrated. A little goes a long way. You want to use it full strength on laundry stains, whites, lights, dark colors and any washable fabric, but in a small quantity, just enough to cover the stain. Then scrub gently (so as to not damage or affect the color or finish of the fabric) with an old toothbrush. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes, and then launder as usual. For large jobs like cleaning tile or linoleum floors, dilute about 1 cup of Lestoil in a bucket of hot or warm water.

Mary invites questions, comments and tips at EverydayCheapskate.com, "Ask Mary a Question," or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of Debt-Proof Living, a personal finance member website and the author of the book Debt-Proof Living, Revell 2014. To find out more about Mary visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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