Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pit Stain & Ring-around-the-collar removal...

Our own Tony here at The Laundress brought his dress shirts in for Rehab.

With typical pit stains and ring around the collar, he needed some help to get in shape for the wedding of our own webmaster Lauren! (and clearly, he had to represent perfectly in spotless Laundress style!)

It was Tony’s turn to follow the recipe and do it firsthand himself. Here is his pit trip…

Here’s the ammunition you will need:

First you want to pre-treat….

Start by turning the shirts inside out. For the pits, pour Stain Solution directly on the stains. I almost covered the whole stain. Then, add the All Purpose Bleach Alternative to the Stain Solution. Work them into each other which makes a paste - then I used the Stain Brush with quite a bit of pressure. (Probably not necessary, but I am neurotic).


Time for the collar…

Fill a basin, bowl, or bucket with hot water and dip the collar in. Remove from the water and work the Wash and Stain Bar into the whole collar.

I learned it was okay to just work on one area at a time. I rubbed the bar into the collar pretty hard, but I’m always nervous about “under-doing it”.

Time to soak…

I put them in to soak. In this case, each shirt got its own basin since they are different colors. I poured boiling water over the shirts, concentrating on the collar and pits. I let them soak overnight.
Rinse well….

I examined my work to see if there were any stubborn left-over stains that you may want to go back and rework before laundering but mine were perfect and all good to go.

The blue and grey shirts were washed together in the machine because the water they were each soaking in did not have any dye released so it was safe. I learned to be cautious and wash the white shirt separately anyway (with some other whites we had to do in the office).

Here are the settings to use…

Select warm water and a medium or normal cycle. I learned I did need hot water since all the stains were already gone.

Remove promptly to reduce creasing, steam when damp.
Now I got to learn about steaming and ironing…

Steaming is pretty straight forward. Hold the shirt to get out the creases and start moving the steamer up and down until the shirt is done. Really easy and quick results.

Ironing - I learned to start with the collar and cuffs first. Go from the outside tips and work your way in as the photo demonstrates so the fabric doesn’t bunch up. Next, lay the sleeves flat and start at the pit and work to the cuff. I do the inside of the sleeve first and then the outside. Then it’s the rest of the shirt. Starting with the front side of the shirt with buttons, iron around the buttons, work your way to the back, and finally the other front side.

Despite the efficiency of the steamer and the iron taking a few extra minutes I preferred the ironed results. I will stick with the iron next time for my dress shirts at least.

My shirts are perfect - and I can’t believe how easy it was!


jcrewphd said...

Thanks for this tip!

I recently ruined a shirt that had a red band of silk around the waist. The red color bled in some areas of the ivory colored cotton shirt. I air dried it so it's not set in. Is there a way to remove this faint red stain? Thanks!

Paula said...

again, a lovely posting! What I like about this posting is the fact that you did take the effort to terat a H&M shirt, while others might just throw it in the bin.

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard one positive thing about any steamer..from my seamstress to my EXTREMELY ambitious friends who prefer to do their own laundry.. PLEASE tell me there is a brand you recommend!?!

elfridabeetle said...

Cynthia, I have a professional Jiffy steamer, the real deal and I have little success with it so I need a lesson. I wouldn't have anything but a Jiffy, but there is a German shirt steamer that is pricey and it works from what I have read. Let me know what you decide.

Eugene said...

This is a great article. One thing to remember is that while it good to be reactive to ring around the collar.... Try being proactive. How can you prevent it from even happening?

Try a cguard from They are adhesive collar strips that prevent dirt and grime build up.

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maracap said...

Thankfully, there is White Collar Grime: adhesive hat/collar protectors. Just cut to length, peel and stick to the inside of your collar (or hat). Stains avoided and collars saved!


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