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Treating Yellowed Stained Collars on White Shirts

By Dr. Laundry August 21, 2013

How do I remove a year-old yellow stain on neckline of white dress shirt?


Stains that have been on clothing for long periods of time, are more problematic to get out since the longer a stain sits, the harder it is to remove. Also, if the shirt was tumble dried in a hot dryer after your first attempt to get the stain out, that could have heat-set the stain, which will further add to the difficulty of removing it. Even so, it’s still worth trying Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel, which you can do if your white dress shirt is 100% cotton or a cotton/polyester blend (don’t use the gel if the shirt contains any spandex, more likely on a women’s dress shirt). The gel has the same great sodium hypochlorite bleach active as Concentrated Clorox® Regular-Bleach, but at a lower level that is safe to apply directly to bleachable white fabrics. Use the soft scrubber tip to both apply the gel to the neckline stain and rub it in. Then wash the shirt immediately in hot water using a good detergent and ½ cup Concentrated Clorox® Regular-Bleach. Air dry the shirt and check for success. Usually this is quite effective on collar stains. You don’t want to leave the bleach gel on for a prolonged period of time to try to get better results as that can cause yellowing. Instead, if it looks like you are making progress and the stain is lightening, repeat the treatment again.