A reader stopped by and posted a comment asking about whether or not a mock neck undershirt would help prevent ring around the collar.
Will a higher necked undershirt/t-shirt reduce the amount of oils, dirt, and dead skin in the inside collar of your favorite white shirts? Maybe. But not all of us are willing to trade in our favorite undershirts to find out.
Coincidentally, I’ve been thinking about this very issue recently. Even though I usually wear an undershirt (which allows me to wear a shirt more than once between washings/dry cleanings), I have yet to avoid the dreaded ring around the collar. I get it pretty much every time I wear a collared shirt.
So, there are two ways to think about this problem:
- Cleaning ring around the collar
- Preventing ring around the collar
About a gazillion websites provide ideas on how to CLEAN ring around the collar. However, I was more curious about how to PREVENT it. So I hit the keyboard, started Googling away, and found these tips. Hope you find them helpful!
How to Stop Ring Around the Collar: 6 Tips
- Keep your neck clean
- Wear the right shirt for the right task
- Wash your shirts after each wear
- Minimize using colognes and lotions around your neck
- Powder your neck before dressing
- Wear a shirt collar protector
1. Keep Your Neck Clean
You know what they say about an ounce of prevention. Ring around the collar comes from an accumulation of dirt, sweat and oils on your neck that rubs off on your collar and leaves a gross, yellowish stain. Preventing this gunk from getting on your shirt in the first place is one of the best ways to avoid rings altogether.
Shower regularly, or at the very least, use body wipes on your neck before getting dressed.
Check out these Body & Face Wipes from Men’s Health, $16.99.
2. Wear The Right Shirt For the Right Task
We’ve established that sweat and dirt are a terrible combination when trying to prevent ring around the collar. So if you have to do any strenuous activity, change your shirt if possible.
While you can’t always avoid this, just know that the harder you work in any collared shirt, the more likely you’ll contribute to nasty neck stains that’ll be tough to remove. So if you’re the go-to guy for heavy lifting, think about keeping an extra t-shirt on hand or in your car just in case.
3. Wash Your Shirts After Each Wear
There are a few reasons why you should wash your shirts immediately after wearing them. In addition to preventing collar buildup, immediate washing or dry cleaning helps remove food or sweat stains you may have accumulated during the day or night.
The longer you wait, the easier it’ll be for the stain to set and become permanent. So, save money in the long run by taking good care of your clothing investment.
Note: Many dry cleaners have pick and delivery services. Just saying.
4. Minimize Using Colognes and Lotions Around Your Neck
When it comes to avoiding collar stains, you may be asking for trouble if you regularly use cologne, body lotion or hair products. Any product that leaves moisture or residue on your skin will create a magnet for the ring of yellow ick.
Consider wiping your neck (as above) after using these products, or move on to the next step …
5. Powder Your Neck Before Dressing
Let’s face it: you can’t always shower before getting dressed. If you can’t rinse or even wipe your neck, throwing on a dusting of powder helps. Focus on your neck, but if you’re not freshly showered, you may as well hit your junk with it too.
If you don’t want to smell like baby powder, check out Dude Powder (they had me at “Long Lasting Stank Protection”), $10.42
Chassis Unscented Powder for Men Premium Body Powder, Talc-Free, $17.96
6. Wear a Shirt Collar Protector
If all else fails, try a barrier method.
Shirt collar protectors (also called collar guards) save money by reducing the need to launder your dress shirts while protecting them from ring around the collar stains. In addition, disposable collar protectors can be cut to fit and used for shirt collars or hats, doubling their usefulness.
Check Comments Below
Check out the Comments section of this article for more advice, such as using Scotch Guard Fabric Protector as a preventative measure.
If you’ve tried one of the above products, let me know what you think!
Also, if you know of any other ways to prevent ring around the collar, please share them below.
For more grooming tips, check out the following on my blog: