How to Get White Collars White Again


Some stains on clothing are especially difficult to clean. Among them are stains on shirt collars -- often called "ring around the collar." Dirt, perspiration and oil from the hair and skin combine to leave unsightly stains that are difficult to remove. The problem is more pronounced on white collars, where stains are not hidden by the color of the fabric. Luckily, there is a way to get stains out of white collars using items you probably have on hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Toothbrush
  • Shampoo or dishwashing detergent


Step 1

Remove the collar stays (if they're removable) from the shirt. Collar stays are metal or plastic strips that are rounded at one end and pointed at the other. They are inserted into the shirt collar to stabilize the points of the collar so that it lies flat against the collarbone. Some collar stays are removable; others are sewn in.

Step 2

Apply shampoo or dishwashing detergent directly to the collar stain and scrub it with a clean toothbrush. Collar stains are oil-based, so degreasing products such as shampoo or dishwashing detergent are effective at removing the stain. For best results, use a shampoo for oily hair or a dishwashing detergent designed to cut grease.

Step 3

Let the shampoo or detergent sit on the stain for 15 to 30 minutes. Check to see if the stain has been removed, and repeat the process if necessary. When the stain is gone, launder the shirt as usual.

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