Part of my job is to scour my clients' closets and assess every garment they own. This ensures that all items are not only relevant and flattering, but also in good shape. Among other factors, this means NO STAINS. Witness a typical heartbreaking conversation:
Me: I love this shirt and I can tell you love it too. [Said while suspiciously eying yellow underarm stains.]
Client: Yes! That's my favorite shirt. I wear it everywhere.
Me: I can see why it's your favorite, the fit is perfect. Unfortunately, though, the armpits are yellowed beyond repair.
Client: [Crestfallen] No! You don't mean I have to...I mean, I couldn't...I LOVE that shirt.
Me: [Commence firm yet sympathetic speech.]
New York's The Laundress promises to make such conversations a thing of the past. They have created a line of products that are said to rid your favorite shirt of its pit stains in three easy steps:
Tools: Stain Solution, Stain Brush (using a clean toothbrush should also do the trick)
Step 1: Pre-treat
• Apply Stain Solution to the stain.
• Work solution into stained area with soft brush.
• Pour hot water from a height (weird but supposedly more effective) and soak.*
• If stain has faded, but isn’t completely gone, repeat the process until satisfied.
• To remove odors: pre-soak with The Laundress Scented Vinegar. Apply vinegar directly on odor areas and work stain solution into the fabric. Soak well.
-Launder as normal.
*This process is recommended on durable fibers such as cotton, linen and some synthetic materials.
*For stain removal on delicate fabrics such as silk and cashmere, use tepid water. Do not soak silk longer than 30 minutes at a time.
Step 2: Machine wash
• Pre-soak for super dingy whites. Make a bath of hot water and All-Purpose Bleach Alternative. Apply Stain Solution directly on stained areas. Soak items for 1-12 hours depending on intensity of stain. You may also rinse dirty water and repeat.
• Launder with hot water and The Laundress Whites or Signature Detergent which combines color guard and enzymes optical brightener. Add All-Purpose Bleach Alternative directly to the drum of the washing machine.
Step 3: Dry/Finish:
• Do not dry any items that still have stains.
• Hang to dry on a line in the sun for energy efficiency, natural whitening and that awesome fresh line experience…or use the dryer.
The Laundress products have been tested at Cornell University. In my experience, Ivys sweat a lot (Competition! Competition! Competition!). So, if they say it works, I am inclined to believe.