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How do you clean shirt collars yourself?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by josepidal, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

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    I've been having problems cleaning shirts. I wear ties on many days, and there are grayish stains caused by sweat and dirt in the inner neck area. They don't go away in the washer, and I was wondering if people had any tips regarding these.

    I guess I'll have to pony up to have them cleaned and ironed professionally if I can't do it myself.
     
  2. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This does not happen to my shirts.
     
  3. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    I've been having problems cleaning shirts. I wear ties on many days, and there are grayish stains caused by sweat and dirt in the inner neck area. They don't go away in the washer, and I was wondering if people had any tips regarding these.

    I guess I'll have to pony up to have them cleaned and ironed professionally if I can't do it myself.


    There are various products you can spray or squirt onto the collar, and then wash under the tap. Just directly applying some laundry soap by hand probably would work, too.

    Someone once gave me a tip that using a small amount of shampoo is good for cleaning the tops of collars (near the fold), because stains there come primarily from oils from your hair, and shampoo is designed to break these down. I have no idea whether the explanation is correct, but it always seemed to work. (For all I know laundry soap or a plain old bar of Dial might have been equally effective.)
     
  4. PITAronin

    PITAronin Senior member

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  5. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    Take a shower before you wear the shirts.
     
  6. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    The darker you are, the bigger problem it is of having your inner shirt collar turn a brownish yellow color. This is a problem I have with white shirts, even only having worn a shirt for a couple of hours. Taking a shower before hand doesn't help much.

    What I do is take a stain sticks/gel and apply it liberally after a day of work. You can leave the pre-stain treatment in about a week before actually laundering the shirt. This approach has given me the best results. Being Filipino and having brown skin, it's something you can't avoid with lighter color shirts.
     
  7. augustin

    augustin Well-Known Member

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    I figure Kabbaz knows what he's talking about so I always try to use the nail brush/bar soap/let it sit overnight in a plastic bag strategy and it's worked out just fine

    http://www.customshirt1.com/ASK/laund01.html


    I've done this too, but you have to be careful with the nail brush. I once became too enthusiastic in my application of brush to shirt, and shredded the collar. Old shirt, new brush. Get an old mail brush or even an old toothbrush. Then read Kabbaz on ironing. There are a number of ironing demos on youtube. Watch with care.
     
  8. Roy Biggins

    Roy Biggins Senior member

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  9. Sartorian

    Sartorian Senior member

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    I get ring-around-the-collar and -cuffs. It just happens for some people, has nothing to do with how much you shower beforehand, or even how much you sweat (I don't sweat much or get yellow stains in my 'pit areas).

    I have used regular soap and brush to some effect, but not great effect. But I recently started spraying the stains with white vinegar and rubbing it in a bit. I do this as soon as I note the stain AND before I put it in the wash. Seems to help quite a lot--the grease comes out immediately in many cases.

    I also like the shampoo idea.
     
  10. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    If a trip in your washing machine is insufficient then something is wrong.

    I have never had such a problem and i doubtles sweat as much as anyone.
     
  11. Sartorian

    Sartorian Senior member

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    If a trip in your washing machine is insufficient then something is wrong.

    I have never had such a problem and i doubtles sweat as much as anyone.



    Sorry, I'm a master of stain removal, but I think this problem is very unique for some people. It's one of the hardest stains to get out for some of us. I'll bet it's very specific to one's body chemistry, much like body odor. It's kind of something you really can't prove unless you have to deal with it yourself, so don't be hatin' on us RATC sufferers, yo!
     
  12. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

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    Being Filipino and having brown skin, it's something you can't avoid with lighter color shirts.
    Thanks. By the way, I'm not ethnically Filipino and actually have much fairer skin in comparison.
     
  13. Sartorian

    Sartorian Senior member

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    Thanks. By the way, I'm not ethnically Filipino and actually have much fairer skin in comparison.

    I'm fair-skinned, mixed Asian. I am curious if it has to do with my genes. In general, I don't have any of the other body oil staining problems others suffer, but my RATC is really bad, even after a few hours, there'll be a prominent mark.
     
  14. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    The darker you are, the bigger problem it is of having your inner shirt collar turn a brownish yellow color.

    What? [​IMG]


    I have a dark olive/light brown complexion and have never found this to create any sort staining issue on my shirts... [​IMG]
     
  15. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    Thanks. By the way, I'm not ethnically Filipino and actually have much fairer skin in comparison.

    Ok. Whatever the case may be, a stain stick/gel will work well to pre-treat, then wash as usual.
     
  16. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    What? [​IMG]


    I have a dark olive/light brown complexion and have never found this to create any sort staining issue on my shirts... [​IMG]


    Didn't mean to pass this off as a general rule, but in the cases I'm aware of, those with darker complexions, tend to have melanin from the skin transfer to shirts, regardless of being oily or sweaty. I'm glad you don't have this problem, because it sucks with white shirts.
     
  17. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    ^ no worries, I probably over-reacted in my reply anyway so my apologies.

    And yeah, I'm glad not to have this problem.
     
  18. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    It doesn't matter the reason for the stain appearing, more importantly, it does happen to normal people. You don't remember the commercials "ring around the collar"? Those commercials were definitely targeting lily white folks.

    If it's mild, you can just stain stick it after you take it off, or rub some detergent on it before you wash.

    if its a little worse, you should use stain stick and also get it wet and rub it a little before you wash.

    if it's even worse than that, do all of the above as well as presoak it in some mild detergent in your sink.

    If its even worse, soak it in oxyclean and warm water.

    If its the worst I can think of, you can make a paste out of the oxyclean as it describes on the packaging and rub that on the collar, and still do all of the above.
     
  19. Stax

    Stax Senior member

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    Wet collar, rub with Fels Naptha bar laundry soap, gently scrub with nail brush, pre-soak in cold water and a scoop of Oxyclean for about six hours, gentle cold machine wash, hang dry.

    Since we're keeping track, they call me whitey.
     
  20. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

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