It’s unavoidable: Right after a wine tasting, spaghetti dinner, or spirited rib-eating contest, your white shirt will look like the fledgling stage of a Jackson Pollock painting. A additional dignified option to wearing a bib? The Tide To Go stain releaser pen, a handy detergent highlighter you rub on blotches to make them disappear. For this magical weapon of stain destruction to deal with an array of food stuff threats, the chemists at Tide enlisted ingredients that assault distinct stains in distinct means, functioning in mixture to erase anything from coffee to ketchup. Out, damn places!

Hydrogen Peroxide

This widespread household product or service is listed here to delete stains. The chemical tends to produce totally free radicals—yes, the types that men and women fight with antioxidant-prosperous superfoods—but listed here their electron-thieving, mobile-damaging powers are utilized to destroy chromophores, the molecular structures that give crimson wine and BBQ sauce their eye-catching hues. As soon as the structures are disrupted, the colour vanishes, and it’s like the stain was hardly ever there.

Trimethoxybenzoic Acid

Hydrogen peroxide’s totally free radicals are successful colour busters, but they can react with molecules they are not intended to, frittering away their electricity on nonstain distractions. So the benzoic acid acts like a kind of corridor keep an eye on, scooping up rogue radicals and that contains their chaos to the stains they are decolorizing.

Alkyl Dimethyl Amine Oxide

Water sucks at obtaining grease off, so Tide works by using compounds identified as surfactants that blend effectively with both of those. Alkyl dimethyl amine oxide’s water-­loving head grips the H2O in this remedy, and its alkyl chain latches on to oils, prying off small chunks of stain and encompassing them, wherever they remain imprisoned right until you do your laundry. That way, the hydrogen peroxide can perform its bleaching work additional totally, and those people globs of penne alla vodka never finish up back again on your clothes in the clean.

Sodium Alkyl Sulfate

Compounds in this course of surfactant molecules are acknowledged for their foaming and emulsifying prowess. Discovered in anything from shampoo to dish detergent, listed here SAS emulsifies stains, pulling them away from your treasured fabric.

Citric Acid

The ingredient that tends to make lemons and limes sour, this acid lowers the pH of the remedy towards neutral, which allows the active ingredients work effectively and retains this stuff from annoying your pores and skin. It also does double duty by snapping up magnesium and calcium ions that may interfere with the surfactants.


The booze molecule has beneficial properties other than obtaining you shwasty—it’s also one particular of the finest solvents out there. Right here, it retains all the other ingredients in liquid variety so the surfactants can get to the stain appropriately instead of gunking up inside the pen. As soon as the stuff is applied, it evaporates.

Sodium Hydroxide

Also acknowledged as lye, this caustic compound has been utilized for anything from unclogging sinks (as a principal ingredient in Drano) to giving standard Bavarian pretzels their crusty exterior. Considering that its pH is so high, the base can work alongside citric acid to tweak the (generally acidic) food stuff stain back again to neutral, which allows the hydrogen peroxide and surfactants work additional successfully.

Dipropylene Glycol Butyl Ether

A cleaning solvent that, like ethanol, allows hold the surfactants liquid so they can infiltrate and clear away the stain from your clothes’ fibers. But it also one particular-ups ethanol by dissolving oily content from the stain by itself and does not evaporate into so considerably vapor as before long as it leaves the pen.

Magnesium Sulfate

Right after you have erased the offending spot from your fancy dress shirt, this material allows dry the remedy so it does not depart a telltale moist spot when you are out and about. Magnesium sulfate is also identified as Epsom salt, and its brands assert that, dissolved in a bath, it relieves anything from muscle aches to anxiety. We never know about that, but at minimum listed here it dissolves the anxiety of a stained shirt.

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