How Does Ring-Around-the-Collar Happen?

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What Is Ring-Around-the-Collar?

  • Ring-around-the-collar is an unsightly stain that happens inside the collars of dress shirts, or other shirts with stiff collars. It often builds up slowly until it is visible as a yellowish-brown stain and it is difficult to remove. It can cut the life of an otherwise good shirt in half and be an embarrassment to the shirt's owner.

What's the Main Cause of Ring-Around-the-Collar?

  • Ring-around-the-collar is mainly caused by sweat. It is made up of body oils, so it can be difficult to clean. As the wearer sweats, the body oils get pushed deep into the fabric. The collar continues to have contact with the skin on the neck, and collects dirt, skin, and more perspiration and body oils. As it builds, a stain will appear in a ring shape, all around the collar of the shirt, hence the name "ring-around-the-collar." The longer ring-around-the-collar is left untreated, the more pronounced the stain becomes, and the harder it is to remove.
    Ring-around-the-collar can happen all year long, but occurs mostly in the summer months when people sweat more.
    Those who walk or bike to work, or who work out on their lunch breaks, may find that for the hour or so after their workout, they are still sweating. This creates more of an opportunity for ring-around-the-collar to occur, as it provides more perspiration. Persons who suffer from conditions that cause them to sweat excessively may find that ring-around-the-collar happens more frequently for them as well.

Other Causes of Ring-Around-the-Collar

  • Ring-around-the-collar can also be caused by bath and body products. Some lotions and skin soaps leave behind oils on the skin. These oils can seep into the fabric of the shirt the same way that body oils can, and can attract dirt and dead cells in the same way. The most common culprit of this is greasy lotion or facial moisturizers. Making sure excess lotions and body creams are removed from the neck area can help prevent ring-around-the-collar.
    Ring-around-the-collar can also be caused by poor hygiene. When a person's neck is dirty, he has a higher concentration of sweat and body oils that will be absorbed by the shirt.
    Ring-around-the-collar can happen to anyone, but when you know the cause of it, you can take extra steps to try to prevent this laundry headache.

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