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Why You Get Yellow Sweat Rings Inside Your Shirt’s Collar

It’s obviously not the deodorant

We’ve already written about how yellow underarm stains are caused by the aluminum in your antiperspirant. But what about the gross ochre stains that appear on the collar of your button-down shirts? After all, it’s not like you’re rubbing Old Spice on your neck.

According to just about every men’s magazine as well as cleaning Jolie Kerr — author of My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag…and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha — those nasty collar rings are caused by a combination of sweat, dead skin cells, oil and residue from hair products. And since your shirt collar is usually tightly constricting the back of your neck — which also happens to be just below the back of your hairline — it’s likely to get more dead skin and hair product love than, say, your nipples or your elbows.

The American Cleaning Institute recommends that in order to clean the yellow-y crud stains from your collar, you should follow these four easy steps:

  1. Lay your shirt flat with the soiled collar facing up.
  2. Pour undiluted liquid laundry detergent directly onto the soiled area.
  3. Let the detergent soak into the collar for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Wash as normal.

And if that doesn’t work, just a buy a new white shirt.