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Product Review: Tide to Go Stain Eraser

What Is it: The new Tide to Go Stain Eraser is a tiny single-use stain treater with a micro-fiber pad. The product is filled with a small amount of cleaning solution.

Price and Where to Buy: $2.69 for a packet of four erasers at Target. Look for it in your local drug store.

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Pros: A coworker spilled coffee on her shirt, and I handed her one of these rectangular packets of stain remover. Her shirt was soon unblemished, the coffee vanquished by Tide's latest little innovation. I knew I had to try it. Good thing I have no hand-eye coordination. A few hours later, I also spilled coffee on myself—editing is perilous work—and the pressure was on. I snapped the packed in half, releasing a small amount of cleaning solution onto a micro-fiber pad. Pad and stain made contact. I dabbed at the coffee on my white shirt and watched the stain fade from existence. Without a giant blotch of coffee on my front, I could almost pass for a competent professional.

Tide calls its stain eraser, "Tide to Go pen's new best friend." Well, any friend of the Tide pen—which has been in my purse so long that the label has rubbed off—is a friend of mine.

Cons: The stain eraser's packaging is less eco-friendly than that of the pen. With the single-use eraser, you're throwing away some trash every time you treat a stain. But at least you can recycle the cardboard bits.

How it Rates:

  • Usefulness: 10/10. When you're re-wearing clothes on the road, a good-quality stain eraser will take you from slovenly eyesore to fabulously chic in seconds flat. This is a fine product for travelers regularly victimized by overturned coffee cups, kids with sticky hands, and wayward meatball sandwiches.
  • Portability: 10/10. The Tide to Go Stain Eraser is much smaller and flatter than its pen cousin. Those carrying it onto a plane will have to fit it in a clear zip-top bag, as it contains liquid. But since it's pretty flat, it'll take up next-to-no space in your bag.
  •  Value: 8/10. The single-use eraser offers less value than the Tide pen, which removes dozens of stains with each unit. (The pen costs $6.89 for a pack of three at Target.)
  • Durability: 10/10. You have to give the eraser a good snap in half to release any liquid. This product doesn't look likely to spill over suitcase contents.
  • Cool Factor: 10/10. Mr. Clean notwithstanding, detergents typically aren't sexy. But neither is the mustard on your cardigan.

Final Verdict: Yes. Put this on your packing list today.

Editor's Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and "cool factor." Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

(Photo: Tide)

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