We've all been there: After wearing the same white shirt over and over, we're faced with the horrible realization that an unsightly, yellowish mix of deodorant and sweat has built up on the underarms area, rendering the garment unwearable.
Surely, there must be a smarter alternative to discarding your pit-stained shirts? That's the conundrum that Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd, founders of The Laundress, have worked on solving when they launched the brand, in 2005. "We studied fiber science, and working with luxury brands such as Chanel and Ralph Lauren, we had these great wardrobes and fine textiles, but we were spending so much money at the drycleaner, and things kept on getting ruined," Whiting says.
"We knew from handwashing things on own own that there had to be a better way to do this," Boyd adds. "So we created on owns formulations, and everything is designed with a specific fabric in mind for each product." With the opening of their first flagship store in SoHo, the pair hopes to prove New Yorkers that any stain can be conquered.
In addition to their non-gender specific products, which are suited for everday laundering, the store offers a selection of top-notch home goods, including Le Labo candles, Redecker feather dusters, and Fog Linen aprons.
The elegant 400-square foot space also includes an "Ask The Laundress Bar," a demo station where customers can come in with their dirty laundry and receive on-the-spot care recommendations from trained laundry experts. Whiting and Boyd will also host specials washing workshops covering specific fabric care, from wool to silk.
Here, the pair tells us how to deal with some of the most common stains we'd love to get rid off.
"It's a combination of your body oil, the deodorant you use, and the textile. To get rid of it, make a paste using a small amount of The Laundress All-Purpose Bleach Alternative (32 fl. oz, $15) and our Stain Solution (16 fl. oz., $18). Do a pre-soak with hot water, and throw it in the wash. Continue putting the mix before every wash to completely eliminate the stain."
Olive oil splash:
"Our Wash & Stain Bar ($6) is the best to get rid of any oil stains. Wet the bar and the fabric, rub the bar on the stain, and wash your garment in your regular load of laundry."
Red wine spill:
"Put the Stain Solution on the spill. You will see it turn from red, to gray, to green, before disappearing. For a larger surface, use the Bleach Alternative."
Chewing gum on denim jeans:
"The Wash & Stain Bar lifts the gum right out. Use the Stain Solution on the residue, and put it in the wash with The Laundress Denim Wash (16 fl. oz., $19)."
"Use the Wash & Stain Bar as a pre-wash treatment for every wash, soak it, and put it in your regular laundry cycle. If you keep doing that after every wear, you'll never see that stain again."
Lube on the sheets:
"Use the Stain Solution, and add some Bleach Alternative before throwing your sheets into the wash cycle. Lube be gone!"
The Laundress 199 Prince Street, New York, NY. For further information go to TheLaundress.com