(National) Aug. 20, 2004 - People were lined up with stained shirts, pants and dresses, hoping Consumer Reports' testers Stain Maven and Pat Slaven could get the spots out.
Pat was using a new product called Tide Buzz that claims it can remove just about any stain. Pat put the Buzz to work on all kinds of spots and spills. The $50 device uses a special Tide cleaning fluid and an ultrasound wand that you gently rub over the spot. In the case of the white pants, it worked.
For Pat's official test, she used a variety of stained fabrics. Half the swatches were treated with the Buzz and half she put in the laundry. They were tough stains - ketchup, chocolate syrup, mustard, cherry Kool-Aid, motor oil, lipstick and ballpoint pen, "The Buzz excelled with motor oil. In the wash, you still see a stain. When you use the Buzz, there's nothing. Same with lipstick. You put it in the wash, it doesn't come out. But with the Buzz there's absolutely no stain left."
However, the Buzz couldn't remove everything. It didn't get out Cherry Kool-Aid on some fabrics and mustard. And with ballpoint pen, the stain faded, but didn't always come completely clean.
Pat was still pretty impressed, The Buzz isn't as good as advertised, but it worked very well."
For someone like Shelly Simmons, who stained her brand new pants with makeup, the Buzz really delivered.
In this test, the Buzz was hard to use on upholstery and on large stains. It works best on small stains, especially lipstick, ketchup, chocolate and oil-based stains.
(The Buzz is sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Sam's Club, Hammacher-Schlemmer and Amazon.com.)