I am someone who is a magnet for stains. If I wear a striped top, something will fall on the lightest color (never the dark part). Cream colored dress? Invariably, I’ll drink red wine or eat red sauce. While club soda is easy to find and does indeed remove a lot of stains, it can be really obvious on any color other than black, and can even ruin some delicate fabrics. So what do you do? Here are a few stain removers to stash in your clutch in case the worst happens. All of them are purse sized, so you can create a small emergency kit that won’t take up much room in your bag– even a tiny clutch.
My Stain Emergency Must Haves:
For everyday use: Shout wipes are great for a variety of stains. They come in individual packets, and easily slip into your makeup bag. If you carry no other stain remover, carry this one.
Eucalan wipes: We know a prominent wedding dress designer who swears by these. Eucalan is very gentle, and intended for wool, but is also great for fine fabrics — like wedding dresses.
For oily stains: Salad dressing, buttery pasta– all very dangerous for those of us prone to stains! I keep a Janie Stick in my purse. It’s a chalklike powder, so you apply it, it soaks up the oil, and then brush both the stain and the powder off together. It’s very simple to use, and safe for many fabrics that can’t handle a water-based stain remover.
For red wine: Why do I always wear light colors when I drink red wine? A sommelier friend recommended Wine Away to me years ago, and I keep it in my purse. It completely removes red wine stains, and I’ve even used it on a white couch once– it’s miraculous. It’s a must-have if you love red wine.
For silk: Silk and Clean Stain Wipes are great for silk fabrics, like blouses or ties. They are handy wipes and work like dry cleaning: they attack the stain, not the fabric. This stain remover is particularly good on butter, mayonnaise, makeup, ketchup, oil, coffee, tea and soy sauce on delicate fabrics.
For dryclean-only items: Many– if not most– formal dresses are dryclean only. Whether it’s silk taffeta or a poly-blend, you don’t want your stain remover to be worse than the stain itself. Dryel, the home drycleaning solution, also comes in a purse size: it’s essentially drycleaning fluid that will immediately (and safely) remove stains from your dryclean-only clothing. It’s also great for hand-washables and delicates. This one is a must-have.
For cotton, wool: We can’t forget the men, who often accompany us to these formal events. You should have something in your clutch in case his wool tuxedo gets a stain, or even his cotton shirt. Try Spotless & Clean — it works particularly well on pigmented stains, like coffee, tea, red wine, beet or berry stains and is safe for both wool and cotton (if he gets something on his silk tie, try Spotless and Clean).
Travel Wet Ones: Yes, those towelettes you use to clean and sanitize your children’s face and hands can also get that grease stain out of your blouse. The secret lies in the active ingredient Witch Hazel contained in the product. Witch Hazel has long been recognized as a natural cleanser and spot remover and I never leave home without a packet in my purse.
All of these products, along with other stain removers, are available at Manhattan Wardrobe Supply. What’s your favorite stain remover?