Effective Ways to Remove Old Ring Around the Collar Stain

If you’ve ever had a favorite shirt marred by a persistent yellow ring around the collar, you’re not alone. This unsightly stain is a common problem caused by a buildup of sweat, dirt, and oil that can be tough to remove.

Why Does It Happen?

The ring around the collar is caused by the combination of sweat, skin oils, and dirt that accumulate in the folds of your shirt collar. As these substances mix, they can create a dark, greasy stain that is incredibly difficult to remove. People who sweat more or have more oily skin are more likely to develop ring around the collar stains.

How to Remove It?

Removing ring around the collar stains requires patience and effort. There are several methods available, and the effectiveness of each one will depend on the severity of the stain and the type of fabric. Here are some of the most popular methods.

Method 1: Pre-treat with Liquid Detergent

The first step in removing a ring around the collar stain is to pre-treat the affected area with a liquid detergent. Apply a small amount of detergent directly to the stain, rub it in gently, and let it sit for at least ten minutes before washing it in the machine with warm water. Be sure to use a high-quality detergent that contains enzymes, as these can help break down the protein in sweat and other organic matter.

Method 2: Use a Stain Remover

If pre-treating with liquid detergent doesn’t work, you can try using a commercial stain remover. Look for a product that contains enzymes or oxygen bleach, as these are effective at breaking down organic stains. Follow the instructions on the label carefully, and be sure to test the product on a small, inconspicuous area of your shirt first to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.

Method 3: Make Your Own Stain Remover

If you prefer to use natural cleaning products, you can make your own stain remover using household ingredients. Mix equal parts white vinegar and baking soda to form a paste, apply it to the stain, and let it sit for at least thirty minutes before washing. Alternatively, you can mix one part hydrogen peroxide with one part dish soap and apply it to the stain, letting it sit for at least ten minutes before washing.

Method 4: Visit a Dry Cleaner

If all else fails, you can take your shirt to a professional dry cleaner. They have access to more powerful cleaning agents and equipment that can remove even the most stubborn stains. However, this option can be expensive, so it’s best reserved for particularly valuable or delicate garments.

Preventing Ring Around the Collar Stains

While removing ring around the collar stains is possible, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting these unsightly stains in the first place.

  • Wash your shirts regularly. The longer you wear a shirt without washing it, the more sweat, dirt, and oils will accumulate in the collar.
  • Use antiperspirant or deodorant. These products can help reduce the amount of sweat and oils that come into contact with your shirt collar.
  • Wear an undershirt. A light cotton undershirt can absorb sweat and oils before they reach your shirt collar, reducing the likelihood of stains.
  • Keep your neck clean. Use a mild soap or moisturizing lotion to keep your neck clean and free of oils.


Removing old ring around the collar stains is never an easy task, but with a little patience and effort, it can be done. Whether you choose to pre-treat with liquid detergent, use a commercial stain remover, make your own stain remover, or visit a dry cleaner, it’s important to act quickly to prevent the stain from setting in permanently. By following these tips and taking preventive measures, you can keep your favorite shirts looking their best for years to come.

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