Getting rid of ring around the collar

Ring around the collar on shirts is caused by your own body oils soaking into the shirt due to the collar rubbing the back of your neck. Luckily, there are several ways to get rid of it cheaply and quickly! The one tool that I strongly recommend to use with all of these methods is a toothbrush. Designate a retired but clean toothbrush to laundry room duty and use it to rub mixtures into stains thoroughly. This method is a lot better than rubbing fabric on fabric to scrub a stain as you stand the chance of spreading the stain even more doing it. Make sure to inspect the collar for any remaining stain after washing and before it goes into the dryer. If there is still a stain try the same method again or move to the next one on the list!

  1. Solvent based stain removers- Shout and Spray-n-Wash ( now Resolve) are both made with this. But they are just the tip of the iceberg as far as things to remove it. (All shirts)
  2. Make a solution of 50/50 white vinegar and water and apply to the stained area. Let sit for a few hours to overnight then launder as usual. (White shirts)
  3. Mix a little bit of your favorite dish washing detergent with water to form a paste. Apply to the stain and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes then wash as usual. (White shirts)
  4. Degreasers- Most cleaning agents labeled as degreasers will remove ring around the collar. Depending on the strength and active ingredient of your cleaner you may want to test a small area of your shirt to see if it is going to make the dye bleed if it’s a dark color. Note: Dawn dishwashing liquid is good for this also as it cuts thru grease easily.
  5. Shampoo- This is my favorite & preferred method! After all, shampoo is designed to get rid of dirt and body oils! The bonus being that it does’nt matter what kind you use so it’s a perfect opportunity to use up shampoo that you didnt like but couldnt bear to throw away. And since a little goes a long way on stains you can just keep a little container of it handy in your laundry room for whenever you need it. Apply directly on the stain with toothbrush and let sit in for 15 to 30 minutes then wash as usual!! (All colors and whites)
  6. Lemon Juice- The strong acid in a lemon can rival some heavy duty cleaners. Apply to stain, then launder clothes as usual. ( White only, lemon can have a bleach effect on some fabrics)
  7. Make your own laundry pretreater- In a clean spray bottle mix together a ratio of 25% household ammonia, 25% liquid laundry detergent, and 50% water. Spray solution onto stain and rub into it, let sit for a few minutes then wash as usual.
  8. Lanolin hand cleaners- Think of the soaps that mechanics use to remove grease and oil from their hands and arms. Several of these even say on the bottle that they can be used as a laundry pretreater! Just apply and rub into stain, let sit for 15 minutes and wash as normal. This method may not get all of it the first try and need repeated.  (All colors and whites)

Hope you find these helpful and Happy Laundering!

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12 thoughts on “Getting rid of ring around the collar

  1. Thank you thank you! I’ve been baffled by ring around the collar for some time now, but your shampoo and toothbrush idea is a terrific one! It made those grease marks turn into white shirt again! You’re my new best friend :).

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