Q. Can one remove during the nine days only the stains and spots from clothing, without washing the garment?
During the Nine Days, may one remove “ring around the collar” (sweat stains that form around the collar on a white shirt)? Or is this included in the prohibition of laundering?
A. Shulchan Aruch (O.H. 551: 3) rules on the prohibition of washing clothes during the nine days, even by using only water without soap or other cleaning substances. Even the removal of a stain by rubbing it with water can be considered as washing. However, brushing off a stain or removing dust with only a dry a brush, is permitted. (Hagr’Y. Kanievsky zt’l quoted in Orchos Rabbenu 2: 1320). It would also be permitted if someone does not have another piece of clothing available and is ashamed to be seen that way. (Nitei Gavriel – Ben Hametzorim 1: 35: 10, Piskei Teshuvos 551: 18).
However, Halichos Shlomo (Moadei Hashana 3: p. 421), Shevet Hakechosi (O.H. 172) and others are lenient in the removal of stains using a wet cloth or drops of water.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is similar in regard to the removal of just a stain, but not on the washing of the collar of a shirt.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a