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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Treating a “ring around the collar”

By Dr. Laundry January 2, 2013

The collar of my shirts get very dirty, how can I treat this?

I’m guessing you have a shirt with “ring around the collar”, a combination of sweat and body soil that rubs off the neck and onto the inside collar of a shirt, leaving a dark stain that can be difficult to remove when it has been allowed to build up over time. On a white dress shirt, pre-treating is key, and we have a great product that makes this easy and convenient—Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel. It’s got the same active as Clorox® Regular-Bleach but at a much lower level so it’s safe to apply directly to bleachable white fabrics, providing concentrated cleaning power for tough stains. Just apply a little gel directly to the stain, gently rub it in with the soft scrubber tip, and then wash the shirt immediately in hot water using detergent + ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach (or ½ cup if you are using New Concentrated Clorox® Regular-Bleach). You didn’t mention the color of the shirt with a dirty collar—if it has color, then you’ll want to use liquid Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster to pretreat the stain before washing. Just pour a little Clorox2® directly on the collar and gently rub it in. Wait 3-5 minutes, then wash the shirt in the hottest water recommended on the garment care label using detergent and more Clorox2®. You can prevent collar stains from building up by doing this each time you wash the shirt, and it’s also good to only wear a shirt once before washing it.  Please let me know if you have any other questions, and thanks again for writing.