Ring around the collar on Dress Shirts has been a thorn in the side of housewives forever. Just like any issue, you can react to it, or you can prevent it.
Preventing Ring Around the Collar:
Just like your Mother said, clean your neck! It's unknown how many people follow this advice, but paying special attention to your hygiene can do nothing but help. Some even find applying a small amount of talcum powder helps to absorb sweat. Using mock neck undershirts is also an options.
You might not have a dirty neck but still have ring around the collar. Body oils can attract dirt...and you don't have to be outside in a dust storm to get the dirty ring. There are plenty of pollutants inside buildings to help with this.
There is even evidence that eating certain foods, like greasy fried foods, can cause the body oils to tarnish your collar.
There are many products on the market designed to prevent dirty collars. Everything from collar guards to adhesive absorbant tape. Like the mock neck undershirts, they work on the principle of acting as a physical barrier between the neck and the collar of your shirt. A simple google search can bring a plethora of choices.
Finally, while wearing your shirts multiple times between cleanings might be a popular thing to do for some people, it's not what's best to maintain the look of your shirt. Wearing a dress shirt more than once between washing is not recommended as the body heat generated from the second wearing can set in stains from the first wearing. Collars may even look clean at this point but oils can appear invisible until heat is applied.
And if you decide to touch up the press on a previously-worn dress shirt, keep in mind that this can can cause the dirty collar (or any other spills or dirt on other parts of the shirt) to set in as a permanent stain.
Treating Ring Around The Collar At Home
Tons of sprays, sticks, and pretreaters exist on store shelves claiming to blast away ring around the collar. Trial and error is the most common method of determining the efectiveness of such products. Since everyone has different body chemistry, there's no one product that will work best for everyone. This ring may be sweat, skin cells, grease, make up, souring of aftershaves and colognes, etc.
Some pretreaters may even set in the stain. That is why we suggest taking it to your Dry Cleaners. A good Dry Cleaner will pre-treat the ring with one or more formulas that will either remove or lighten, but definately will not set in the stain.
Our process here at Champion Cleaners in Birmingham, Alabama involves saturating the stain with a proprietary blend formula and allowing it to soak in, breaking up the stain at a microscopic level. By pre-treating the stain like this, it loosens the grime enough to be easily removed during washing. Sometimes this isn't enough and the shirt is still dingy after it's run a full cycle. When this happens, we treat the stain again with a different formula. This process can be repeated. Many rings, specifically the old, set in ones, cannot be removed completely.
For Best Results With Keeping Dress Shirts Looking Great
- Take your dress shirts to the Laundry or wash them yourself after every wearing, especially the white and pastel shirts
- Allow the shirt to dry out before putting it in the hamper or laundry bag
- Scrub your necks well
- Minimize use of cosmetics and fragrances around your neck
- If needed, invest in some sort of barrier to protect your collars
On Site Cleaning = Access To Professional Dry Cleaning Management
At Champion Cleaners we do our dry cleaning and laundry on site. This gives you access to professional dry cleaning management in Vestavia Hills, Hoover and Calera, all with Certified Garment Care Professional credentials.