Dirty Cuffs

Every day to work I wear a suit (sans tie) with a nice dress shirt (sometimes made-to-measure and prone to wrinkling, sometimes Brooks Brothers wrinkle-fre and rather, um, billowy). I spend my days sitting in front of a computer, typing and mousing and the like. I have begun to notice that the cuffs of my shirts, particularly the right (mouse) hand side, are getting rather dirty. Presumably this is a result of sliding my wrist around on the desk/blotter while I’m mousing.

The trouble is, this dirt seems impervious to laundering. Probably no one notices it but me–but then, I do notice it. Is there anything I could do to reduce or reverse this effect, or am I condemned to dirty cuffs?

Do you soak them in a degreaser before laundering? That seems to work for me, if I’m reading the situation aright.

Every time I recommend this to someone for cuffs or collars, I hear back that it worked. This stuff is really effective.

I think this is the part where someone responds ‘Reported’.

With new shirts, try applying Scotch Guard or a similar product to the cuffs (and perhaps collar, as well).

For your existing stained shirts, try scrubbing them with a stiff brush, like a nail brush, and Fels-Naphtha soap, which is a bar laundry soap sold inexpensively at most well-stocked grocery stores, or rather expensively online. Let it sit for several minutes before throwing the shirt into the regular wash. You may also want to incorporate a product like OxyClean into your regular laundry procedure, or just occasionally for long soaks. If you have acidic water, consider adding a half-cup of baking soda to each load–you can get a huge bag of it from warehouse stores for less than $10.

If you notice new stains on a shirt haven’t come out in the wash, do NOT put the shirt in the dryer before attempting to remove them again, as the heat will make them more difficult to remove.

Also, wiping down your desk and keyboard each morning with Windex might reduce future staining. If you have a cloth mouse pad, think about replacing it with one you can clean with Windex–cloth, as you have noticed, can absorb and retain grunge! :slight_smile: