Sussing out the best stain removers.

How to be the best consumer you can be.
June 28 2007 7:10 AM

Will It All Come Out in the Wash?

Sussing out the best stain removers.

(Continued from Page 2)

Ease of use: 2
Effectiveness: 11
Total: 13

Zout, $3.49

Claims to clean: "Ground-In Dirt, Collar Grime, Grease, Makeup, Tomato Sauce, Cooking Oils, Lipstick, Fruit Juices, Chocolate, Food, Baby Formula, Salad Dressing, Ketchup, Dirty Motor Oil."

Before launching my experiments, I asked Nancy Steiner—a Los Angeles-based costume designer who has worked on films such as Year of the Dog, Little Miss Sunshine, and Lost in Translation, and frequently finds herself on emergency stain-removal duty for careless actors—for her stain combatant of choice. "Zout is the best thing for me—hands down," she told me. "That's the one that gets everything out." She clearly knows what she's talking about: Though it had much of the same difficulty as the other products with the mustard, lipstick, and coffee, Zout totally took care of the salad dressing and the barbecue sauce, and rendered the blood stain nearly imperceptible (4 points).

Ease of use: 2
Effectiveness: 14
Total: 16

Did I find the catchall cleaning solution to my problems? Have I found salvation from slovenliness? Not really. Maybe I need to join the Queen of Clean's Priority Club after all. Until then, I'll stick with Zout.

Full results chart.

Dan Crane is a writer and musician living in Los Angeles. He is the author of To Air is Human: One Man's Quest to Become the World's Greatest Air Guitarist.


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.