Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 11.58.08 AMOur first Digital IQ Index: Home Care report featured stain removal mobile apps from the top two brands in our Index, Tide and Clorox. Tide’s Stain Brain app features 20 of the most common stains for quick retrieval of removal instructions, and a searchable database for rare ones. Stain Brain’s colorful design and icons make the arduous task of stain removal slightly more pleasant, but the instructions lack as an informational resource. All feature Tide products and ignore remedies such as salt and vinegar which, if included, would have made the app’s product placement aspect subtler.

The Clorox myStain app lags behind Stain Brain in design, but is more useful and complete. The searchable and alphabetical database has on-the-go remedies with water, paper towels, dish soap and products that can be found in a pinch. The at-home remedies involve Clorox, but not always, and not gratuitously.

MyStain has email and social media sharing capabilities and laundry advice. Its Take A Spin feature lets users browse stains that can arise in hypothetical situations.

Overall, Clorox myStain seems to be an app users will come back to because of its utility. Ironically, sponsored content can be more effective when focused less on the brand and more on users.

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