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NY Times Road Test : Stain Removers

Images + Post By: | June 24, 201079 Comments

Over here at Blogue, we are always talking about new collections and our favorite vintage brands but it is equally important how to maintain these garments. We love to eat and party, so tomato sauce and red wine spills are par for the course. Last week, the NY Times road tested a bunch of on the spot stain removers – according to this article: For the stains, I chose ones that are often mentioned in advertisements: blood (beef, from my butcher), red wine (dry, Italian), ketchup, mustard, chocolate syrup (Hershey’s), grass (wheat grass juice), ink (rollerball and ballpoint), makeup (Cover Girl’s Classic Tan foundation) and lipstick (Revlon’s Ravish Me Red). Find out the results after the jump…..

It turns out that no stain remover gets out everything, since each stain is unique in composition and contains varying amounts of oils, proteins, pigments and other substances. To look pristine, you might have to use several products, treat your stains more than once or limit your exposure to certain agents.

Condiments were the easiest stains to treat, in general, though mustard was slightly trickier than ketchup. Chocolate syrup, surprisingly, did not present much of a problem, either. Makeup and red wine were the hardest to get out.

Acting quickly is important, as the products I tested worked better on fresher stains. The following five were the most effective.

The best overall performer was a gel from Shout, which comes in a squeeze bottle with a plastic brush on top. Because of its viscosity, it stays where you put it, and the brush removes any excess gook from the surface of the fabric. It did a better job than the other products on the makeup, removing nearly everything after a second treatment, and an excellent job on the ink as well, completely removing ballpoint pen after a second application (some rollerball ink was left behind). It did not remove all the stains completely — there was a slight ghost of red wine visible even after two rounds — but it got out more substances on the first try than the other products.

A liquid from Whink, which comes in a squeeze bottle, can be applied efficiently to a large area. This product performed much better after the second application than the first. Like Shout’s gel, it got out nearly all the lipstick, although it left behind a lot of foundation. And it was excellent on ink, but not as good on red wine. Also, it took a second pass to achieve these results.

Most of the natural products I tried, which were plant-based and produced without animal testing, performed poorly overall. But a gel with a brush top from Ecover held its own with the chemical-based products. It got out about half of the freshly applied stains, including a fair amount of rollerball ink, on the first go-round. After a second round, it faired well on everything but the cosmetics and the red wine.

OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover, a spray, was more effective on large stains and textured fabrics than the gels and solids were, as it was able to cover a greater surface area. The application was also cleaner, and it was less drippy than the Whink. This product left a few ghosts after the first round, but did much better on the second. The cosmetics did not completely come out and the red wine left a trace behind, but the ink was almost completely gone.

The tidiest of all, in terms of application, was a stick from Spray ’n Wash, similar to roll-on deodorant in shape and consistency, which did not drip, run or splatter. It did the best job over all on both types of ink, leaving the least behind after Round 1, and none after Round 2. It also performed admirably on foundation and lipstick. On the blood and grass, though, it didn’t do as well.

These five products worked well on most of the stains, but it’s worth noting that nothing was entirely effective on red wine or makeup. Consider yourself warned.

Via: NY Times

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