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Before I had a baby, I didn’t think much about stains on clothing—getting them or getting them out. If a little mess happened, I’d deal with it. You can Google a solution for anything, right? 

And then Coco, my daughter, came into the world. She’s now 19 months old—full-on toddler mode—and not a day goes by that I’m not dealing with a stain of some sort, from berries and grass to ink and tomato sauce (sometimes all of the above). And not just on her clothes. She’s the culprit behind these blemishes getting on my clothes, too. That is how it came to be that I keep a stain stick within easy reach, on the shelf above my bathroom sink. 

Products & Tools photo
Wow Stain Stick Remover, Nellie’s ($9)

Luckily, before I became a mom, I had the time to leisurely peruse charming shops—and it was at an upscale bodega in San Francisco, which stocks everything from gourmet chocolates and beautifully branded hemp drinks to earth-friendly laundry products in super-cute, retro-inspired packaging, that I stumbled upon Nellie’s Wow Stick Stain Remover. At $9, I figured I should give it a try. Little did I know that six months later I wouldn’t go a day without using it. 

It’s gotten me through the newborn days—which, at the time, I thought must be the worst of it (if you know, you know), and now it has me coasting through the early toddler years, which are much worse (from a stain perspective). I can only imagine that my stain situation will escalate from a fight to a full-on war as the years go by, so I’m looking into buying stock in the company. I’m only kind of joking. But here are the reasons why I’m waxing poetic about a laundry product (and contemplating becoming an investor): First, it’s not made with any harsh or toxic chemicals and comes in recyclable cardboard packaging (e.g., planet friendly—yay!). Second, it’s easy to use: Wet the stain, rub the stick on the stain, and agitate it a bit. The stain should come right out. If it doesn’t, soak for a few minutes, then try again. 

Third, I’ve been using this product consistently for the past year, and it’s been successful every single time—with the exception of the dreaded turmeric-on-a-white-sweater incident that came up last week, just as I was preparing to sit down and write this article (the timing was comical). And that’s when I came across another genius cleaning product: If the Wow Stick doesn’t do the trick, Nellie’s makes an Oxygen Brightener that, combined with the powers of the stick, saves the day. Use the stain stick as previously directed, then make a solution with water and two scoops of the Oxygen Brightener, soak the stain in it, and watch the magic disappearing act. 

The stick gets extra bonus points because it’s widely affordable, especially considering that I’ve been using mine for a full year and there’s still more than half left—which I’ll have no problem putting to work.