Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
I spill a lot, and not in, like, a cute way. When I spill my food and drink it is full-on, destructive, and sometimes inexplicable — a little bit of guacamole (... I think?) found on the lapel of a blazer I’m pretty sure I wasn’t wearing any time I ate tacos in recent memory, a pointillist pasta sauce pattern on the back of the calf (??) of my jeans. I cook and eat like I am running out of time, which, when you think about it, is true. I don’t know how to slow down, so I accept that I will continue to spill and stain hard-to-remove things in hard-to-reach places. And it’s okay, because I have the best stain remover on Earth.
You might think Nordstrom Scented Lingerie Wash is just a Scented Lingerie Wash from Nordstrom, but you’d be wrong — it is also the most effective (and least corrosive) stain remover I have ever encountered. My mom taught me to use it as such when I was a crabby teen spilling Diet Coke and Mary Kay eyeshadow on my off-white bedroom carpet, and I have remained loyal ever since.
Here’s all you have to do: Squirt a tiny bit of this liquid directly on a stain and rub it in, preferably using the stained area itself to do the rubbing, if that makes sense. You know the way you get deodorant out of clothing by kind of rubbing it in with the same piece of clothing? Kind of like that. In many cases, this alone will do the trick — if what you’ve spilled on is dark, or thick like jeans, the liquid will dry invisibly and you’ll be good to go. With lighter clothing, you’ll probably see a faint outline after it dries, but when you throw it in the wash, it will come out as good as it was before you slobbered all over it. I think ideally you’d always wash the thing right after you spilled on it, regardless of stain remover application, but you are a busy human who probably operates on a laundry schedule. You do the laundry, the laundry doesn’t do you!
If you spill on something un-rub-into-itself-able (like carpet or a couch, not that I EVER spilled on my mother’s or roommate’s couches! Ever!), you can use a damp cloth to do the rubbing. I know it feels counterintuitive to smash a stain further into a surface, and I don’t pretend to understand the science of it, but it works. I have used this stuff to get lipstick off the foot-end of a seafoam green duvet. I have used it to get green smoothie out of a cream-colored rug. I have used it to get chocolate and (sorry!) blood off clothing and sheets alike. I am making my home sound like a literal goblin hovel, so please trust me when I say these incidents happened weeks and months apart. That’s the other thing — a bottle of this stuff may cost $18, but it will last YEARS. Seriously. I have had my current bottle since I moved to New York three and a half years ago, and the only reason it’s not even older is because I left the last one back home for my former roommate to enjoy. The only thing wrong with it is that it doesn’t come in travel size. Yet.
Oh yeah, and you can also use it to wash your bras, if you’re into that kind of thing. Definitely don’t buy special detergent just for your bras, but if you’re buying this stuff for stain removal anyway, why not make the most of it? Fill your sink or a bucket with cold water, squeeze in a little liquid (or a lot, who cares, it’s not going anywhere), swirl your bras around a bit, and let them soak for, I don’t know, an hour. Do that once every month or two and you’re doing better than most of us.