How to Remove Brown Stains On Shirt Collar Tips

stubborn brown stains on shirt collar tips

Easy Tips To Remove Stubborn Brown Stains On Shirt Collar Tips

stubborn brown stains on shirt collar tips

Those annoying brown stains on shirt collar tips might seem difficult to fix, but, truth be told, with a little bit of effort and prevention work, you should be able to save your favorite shirts and keep them in tip-top shape for years.


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We all have been there: taking our favorite shirt from the washer or the dryer, only to notice disgusting brown stains on the collar. Even more baffling, the stains were not there when you put your shirt in the dirty laundry basket. Well, there’s an explanation for all that.

If the brown stain is at the very tip of the collar, it might have something to do with the collar stay, that little piece of plastic or wire that’s inserted inside the collar. If the collar stay is made of metal, it might rust and cause stains. But even in case of collar stays made of plastic, if the plastic is heated excessively in the dryer, it starts melting and thus creating stains on the collar tips.

Another possible cause of the stains is the inside of your washer and dryer. The nooks and crannies of those appliances can contain rust, mold and other buildups that will transfer to the collar tips.  Also, the stains might simply be sweat, foods or drinks.

The important part is how to get rid of the brown stains on shirt collar tips. In the case of white shirts, you can use chlorine. The first step is applying a little bit of chlorine directly on the stain, rub it gently with a cloth and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then, wash the shirt at low temperature and allow it to air dry.

In the case of colored shirts, avoid chlorine-based products and purchase a stain remover for colored clothes. Follow the same steps described above. Make sure that you first test the product on a less visible area of the shirt.

You probably have in your house some items are efficient against stains. Lemon juice, vinegar, dish soap, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or hydrogen peroxide are options you should try before moving to heavy chemicals.

Baking Soda

baking soda

A solution made of one part dish soap and two parts hydrogen peroxide is very efficient against food, drinks or sweat stains. The dish soap dissolves the fatty parts of the stain, while hydrogen peroxide is great for removing protein (such as dead skin cells) and plant-based stains.

Lemon & Vinegar

Lemon juice or white vinegar can be used against stains on white and colored shirts. Although it’s very unlikely they could damage your colored shirts, it’s still wise to test them on a small area before applying the treatment on the collar. A baking soda-vinegar mix produces a foamy chemical reaction that can remove certain stains.

Baking powder and warm water paste is an efficient pre-wash treatment. Apply the paste on the collar and let it sit for a few hours. Remove the product from the fabric and rinse it in lukewarm water before washing it.

Baking Power

baking power

A very good use of white vinegar is inside your washing machine. Add two cups of vinegar to the washing machine and run a hot water cycle. This will keep the inside of your washing machine sparkling clean and will prevent the transfer of rust, mold, or limescale onto the clothes.

How To Clean The Ring Around The Collar

mens shirts with stain

The yellow ring around the collar is caused by sweat and dead skin cells that transfer to the fabric. The longer the shirts stay unwashed, the darker the stains get. Also, even if you wash the shirt, but you don’t clean the area properly, the collar will still turn yellow inside the closet.

Make sure you wash your shirts as soon as possible after wearing them. Before throwing your shirts into the washer, apply a pre-wash treatment on the collar area. It can be a water-chlorine mix in case of white shirts, or a stain remover suitable for colored fabrics. You can also use any of the household items listed above (baking soda, peroxide, or lemon juice).

Use long cycles at low temperatures for your shirts and don’t exaggerate with the detergent – only the amount recommended by the manufacturer. It’s better to air dry your shirts to prolong their life cycle.

Preventing Shirt Collar Stains

First of all, make sure that your shirts are properly sized and the collars don’t rub too closely on your skin. Then, make a habit of inspecting your shirts the moment you take them off. Keeping them in the laundry basket for weeks will only make the problem worse. If you can’t wash them right away, at least apply a pre-wash treatment on the collar, rinse it and allow it to dry until morning, then put them in the hamper.

Avoid high-heat cycles on the dryer, and air dry your shirts as much as possible. Use good quality detergents and add an anti-limescale product to the washing machine. Make sure you read and follow the care symbols on the shirt’s tag.

With a little bit of attention and planning, you should be able to keep your shirts stain free and in pristine condition for years. Removing the stains is possible, but preventing them it’s better.


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