Baking Soda Paste – A Stain Remover

by Nicki on January 5, 2010

in Saving Money

My husband has a job that requires him to wear button-up shirts every day. His work clothes have to be on the nicer side so I do the best I can to take good care of them so they last as long as they can. There are certain spots that deteriorate quicker than others on dress clothes. They may get pills or wear thin on the edges or seams but for dress shirts in particular, I think the first thing that happens is the “ring around the collar” stain. There isn’t much you can do to avoid it because it comes from the oil in your skin. However, there is something you can do to treat it.

I had two dress shirts with ring around the collar stains and wanted to find something that would really work. I have a stain treater but it doesn’t get rid of this stain. I went out on the internet to see what I could find. I found two different ideas that seemed worth trying: baking soda paste and shampoo.


I treated each shirt separately. For the one pictured above I used the baking soda paste, which is just baking soda with enough water added to form a paste. I scrubbed it in lightly with a toothbrush. For the second shirt I used the shampoo, which was recommended because it’s a de-greaser, so it would fight the oil well. That sounded good in theory but it didn’t work very well. I ended up treating the shampoo shirt with the baking soda too. I let them set and then washed them as usual.

You can see the results of the first shirt below. The stain is very nearly gone. There is almost no trace of it. Considering how bad the stain was, I was very pleased.


As a funny bonus, I had a little of the paste left over so I poured it on my counter top (which is very old and stained) and couldn’t believe how it quickly rid the surface of set-in stains. Sometimes, cleaning can be very rewarding :)

Why I do what I do ~ After Chloe’s bath tonight she was shivering and told me, “Mama, my teeth are wiggling.”Have you liked Domestic Cents on Facebook yet?

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy Lynne January 5, 2010 at 8:40 am

Thanks for the info! My hubby and I both have shirts that could use this kind of deep cleaning. Do you know if the baking soda would hurt a colored shirt? Anyway, I will be giving this a shot!
.-= Amy Lynne´s last blog ..Sticking to my Guns =-.


2 Nicki January 5, 2010 at 8:59 am

@Amy Lynne – The second shirt (not pictured) was blue and it didn’t fade the color one bit :)


3 Tammy January 5, 2010 at 8:55 am

Thank you for passing that along! I am going to give that a try with my dh’s shirts. The ring around the collar (and cuffs sometimes too!) has always bothered me, but Shout or Spray N Wash haven’t gotten them out.
.-= Tammy´s last blog ..~Christmas, a Wedding, an Engagement, and a Long Trip Home~ =-.


4 Elisa January 5, 2010 at 8:58 am

Thank you so much for testing this and posting the results. I will definitely try it!

Love the teeth wiggling comment. :D
.-= Elisa´s last blog ..this year I resolve to… =-.


5 Catherine January 5, 2010 at 9:13 am

I wonder if this would work on armpit stains just as well…. I’ll have to give it a try on some of the shirts around here! Couldn’t hurt!


6 Beth @ Smart Family Tips January 5, 2010 at 9:29 am

I love it when solutions are both frugal AND green, especially when they work as well as this does.

I buy baking soda in large bags at Sam’s Club. It’s incredibly cheap. I use it on stains, like you did, and to clean my kitchen sink, which is white, and to scour pots and pans, among other things. It also works well added to laundry powder.

Thanks for sharing this, Nicki!


7 Kelli M January 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

Something else you might could try – dish soap. Whenever I used to get the dread grease stains on my clothes from cooking or something, I would just consider it done for. They were now wear-around-the-house-only clothes. Then someone told me to rub dish soap right into the stain and then wash it. It actually works!!!
.-= Kelli M´s last blog ..Dawn and Shane – Engaged =-.


8 Sherri January 5, 2010 at 10:09 am

Borax is also good on stains, used in the same way as the baking soda. It’s not abrasive like baking soda, and cuts grease like a charm. I tried to get a grease stain off a shirt with detergent with no result, but even after the stain had set in the dryer, the Borax took it out. I also use it for cleaning pots and pans and counters, as well as the shower, since I can’t tolerate the chemicals in other cleaners. It’s great.


9 Jason @ Redeeming Riches January 5, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Great post! Thanks for the tip – I wear dress shirts almost every day and can never find any stain remover that works on the ring around the collar stains!

Can’t wait to try it!
.-= Jason @ Redeeming Riches´s last blog ..4 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Life Insurance =-.


10 Andy @ Retire at 40 January 6, 2010 at 5:19 am

That’s awesome. Looks like it’s come out newly new. Amazing how those old techniques our Grandmothers used to use still work (and how taken in we are of all of these ‘new’ cleaning products).


11 Country-Fried Mama January 6, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Great tip! I am way too quick to throw shirts out when I noticed that stain on the color. Wasteful…
.-= Country-Fried Mama´s last blog ..Maybe I could install LoJack on my three-year-old =-.


12 Kesha April 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm

My Husband gets the worst ring around the collar. I have tried all kinds of home remedies and none of them have ever got the stains out completely. I found this new product, called My Clean Shirt and it gets the ring around the collar stains out completely. When I got it, I tried it on some of his shirts and it worked perfectly. I even got some of his old shirts out of the “Garage Sale” bag and it removed the “set” stains that most stain removes can’t fix. Anyway I hope this information helps….I think the website is http//


13 Nicki April 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Thanks so much Kesha!! I’ll look into it! :)


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