The professional, whose main wardrobe choice is the dress shirt, inevitably also concerns himself with ring around the collar removal. The mix of sweat, body oil and the rubbing motion of normal wear all serve to ingrain the substance into the fabric. Leaving ring around the collar removal to the professionals works great–until you realize that the big presentation is due tomorrow and there is no one-hour cleaner in sight.
Gather a few cleaning supplies and get the collar clean yourself:
- Clean spare toothbrush
- Laundry degreaser
- Tub with lukewarm water
- White or light-colored towel
- Oxygenated laundry additive
- Wet the shirt collar. You don’t want it to be sopping wet, but it should be sufficiently wet to allow the degreaser to spread and start working. Make it easy on yourself and briefly put the collar in the tub of water, pull it back out and blot it dry with an absorbent towel. Spread out the collar on the towel and get ready to work!
- Wet the toothbrush and spread the laundry degreaser. Ring around the collar removal requires a clean toothbrush, so don’t use the spare you relied on just last week to clean the spill on the rug. Be gentle with the degreaser! Rub too hard, and the product’s makeup–coupled with the rubbing motion–leads to frayed threads. If you have a hard time finding a laundry degreaser, see what the automotive store offers for hand grease removal.
- Rinse the collar. Was your ring around the collar removal attempt successful? If not, repeat step two until you can no longer see the ring. For very stubborn stains–and those shirts that you ran through the dryer without first checking for proper stain removal–use the tub to soak the collar overnight with the degreaser in place.
- Check the cuffs! If your collar has a ring, there is a better than average chance that your cuffs suffer from the unsightly discoloration as well. Treat them alongside the collar to give the shirt a new lease on life. Treatments steps are identical.
- Wash the shirt in the tub with an oxygenated laundry additive. This prevents the appearance of having a very clean collar and extremely light-colored cuffs, but a grey appearance to the rest of the garment. Allow yourself plenty of drying time. If you are certain that the ring around the collar removal was successful, go ahead and use the dryer to speed things up.
Prevention is the best choice yet. Pre-treat the collars and cuffs of your dress shirts with a spray-on laundry stain fighter before putting them into the hamper.