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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Collar & Cuff Stains

By Dr. Laundry August 10, 2011

Q:  How can I get rid of collar & cuff stains?

A: Because collars and cuffs can easily build up a lot of body soil that is rubbed into the fabric, pre-treating is a good way to get great stain removal results.  The color and fiber of the shirt determines what products you can use.  For white cotton and polycotton shirts, try the following:


  1. Apply Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel to the stain—use the soft scrubber tip to gently rub in.

  2. Wash immediately in the hottest water recommended on the care label with detergent plus ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach.

  3. Air dry and check for success—you can always treat the area again if the stains are really stubborn.


For colored items, you can pre-treat with liquid Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster:

  1. Apply Clorox2® directly to the stain and rub in.

  2. Wait 3 – 5 minutes; don’t let the product dry on the fabric.

  3. Wash immediately in the hottest water recommended on the care label with detergent and more Clorox2®.

  4. Air dry and then check to see if any stain remains.  Stubborn stains may need to be treated again.


Another consideration for white shirts is to be sure to check the care label and identify if your shirt has a small percentage of spandex in it.  Spandex (along with wool, silk, mohair, and leather) should not be bleached regardless of the color.  For any shirts with spandex, just follow the instructions for a colored item. 

Readers – do you have problems with collar and cuff stains?  What’s your solution?