There’s nothing more versatile than crisp, white, dress shirts, and their utility make them a closet staple. If you’ve ever worn a white or light colored shirt, however, you may have noticed a discolored ring form around the collar after a few wears. This ring can appear quite dingy, and can be unsightly. But how did the ring get formed, how do you prevent it, and how can it be cleaned? We’ve got some answers.
What Is the Ring Around the Collar?
There are many culprits for the ring around your shirt’s collar, and they all cause a similar discoloration.
Typically, the ring around the collar is a sweat stain. The crease in the collar makes it easy for sweat to accumulate and sit, slowly discoloring the seam of the collar over time. As sweat stains settle they become darker and more pronounced, turning light colored fabrics a light yellow or gray. The collar is an area many people don’t pay much mind to, so stains go unnoticed until they’re more obvious.
Dead Skin Cells
Another culprit is dead skin cells. The skin cells slough off then build up and collect in the seams of the collar, leaving a dingy, gray mark.
Lastly, product buildup can also leave a ring around the collar. Products like hair gel, shampoo, cologne, or lotion can rub off on clothing and collect within the seams of the shirt. As the collar has close contact to the skin, it’s easy for the product to transfer onto the fabric of the shirt.
Preventing the Collar Ring
Preventing this ring is key to protecting your shirts for years to come. Here are a few helpful tips to keep your shirts clean and ring-free.
Clean the area. If you’re prone to collar rings, consider showering before putting on a shirt or giving a quick swipe to the back of your neck with a body wipe. This will clear the area of any excess oils and residues that cause stains.
Use powder. A light dusting of talc powder will soak up sweat and oils and prevent friction between your neck and shirt collar.
Wash your shirt after each use. Laundering your shirts after wear keeps them clean of all stains and reduces any residue buildup from the day. Consider getting your shirts dry cleaned professionally to keep them fresh, clean, and stain-free.
Check your collar after each wear. Stains thrive when they’re unchecked, so keep an eye out for any small stains that might crop up. Paying special care to the collar to check if it’s clean will help stop stains in their tracks and prevent them from developing further.
How to Clean the Collar Ring
Cleaning the ring around your collar is simple, and requires only a few products. You may already have some of them at home.
The best way to rid your shirts of the ring is to spray a pre-treatment on the affected area. Products such as OxiClean will do. Allow the product to sit on the stain for at least 30 minutes to an hour to fully maximize its effectiveness. Avoid any products that contain bleach, as the bleach may react with the sweat or oils and cause it to become yellower.
Once treated with the stain remover, feel free to launder your shirts as normal.
If you’d like to let the experts handle the cleaning, look no further than EcoClean. Our dry cleaning professionals can dry clean all your dress shirts and remove any stains, including the ring around your collars. For clean, pressed shirts, EcoClean is there.