Skip to Content


How to clean a shirt collar

How to clean a shirt collar

Sign-up now to take advantage of member exclusives!

As a member of Ask Team Clean, you get access to exclusive offers and the best cleaning tips.

Nothing is more frustrating than finding out your nice clean dress shirt has got a dirty collar. It definitely needs to be cleaned before it can be worn again. But what’s the best way to get the shirt collar clean?

Those stubborn stains around the collar are caused by a combination of sweat, dead skin cells, oil, and even residue from hair products or makeup. Let’s look at a few different ways to wash a shirt collar  and return the shirt to perfection using products that you most likely have around the house:

Method 1: Stain remover or laundry detergent

  • Lay your shirt flat on a laundry table with the soiled collar facing up.
  • Rub the stain with a wet bar of  Purex® Fels-Naptha® Laundry Bar & Stain Remover and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Alternatively, you can also apply undiluted liquid laundry detergent such as Persil® ProClean® plus Active Scent Boost or pre-wash stain remover directly onto the soiled area.
  • Let the detergent soak into the collar for at least 30 minutes.
  • Wash and dry as normal according to the instructions on the garment care label.

Method 2: Dishwashing Soap

  • Apply a generous amount of undiluted dish soap directly onto the collar and scrub it in with an old toothbrush for 1–2 minutes. You will see the stain begin to lift off the collar.
  • Soak the collar only for an hour or so in a bowl of warm water with a little more dish soap.
  • After the soak, throw the shirt into the washer and afterward check to see if the stains are gone. If so, toss it into the dryer and iron as needed!

Method 3: Shampoo

  • Most shampoo will do the trick. Grab your shampoo and spread it over the dirty shirt collar.
  • Rub the cloth on itself and with your hands. Scrub for 2–3 minutes. Use a second layer of shampoo as needed. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse in a small bowl of water to make sure all the shampoo is out.
  • Wash and dry the shirt as normal.

Collars and cuffs

These techniques can also be used on the cuffs of the shirt, as you may have the same kind of wear and tear with oils, dirt and dead skin cells. Consider washing both the collar and cuffs at the same time.

Shirt collar protection

To go the extra mile to protect your shirts, consider purchasing disposable adhesive or cotton-reusable collar protectors. It will minimize the dirty shirt collar stains and help extend the life of the shirt.

We hope you found our tips on how to clean a shirt collar useful. Don’t forget to check out our other cleaning and laundry tips such as the best way to wash clothes, how to wash your white clothes and how to get blood stains out of your clothing.

Make sure you register with Ask Team Clean to get more advice and rewards sent to you!