How To Clean a Stained Tie

By Vizoni Uomo

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Emergency tie care tips and tricks.

In this article you will learn how to clean a stained tie.

Many people think that once a tie has been dirtied, its the end of that tie’s life span.  Unfortunately, this holds true in most cases.  The most important thing to know when cleaning a stained tie is that ties are not meant to be cleaned! The material is simply not made to be cleaned in a machine or even at the dry cleaners! If you really think about it, when you’re wearing something like silk, chances are you will take all the necessary precautions to keep it, and any other part of your outfit clean!

Obviously, the best thing you can do to keep your tie clean is to avoid staining it at all costs. Just imagine you are James Bond acerbating through a wall of invisible flesh-cutting laser beams. As we said before, silk ties are not meant to be cleaned, because they can’t really be cleaned.  

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Luckily for you, there are a few things you can do to prevent your tie from staining or to salvage it should some accidental after-work-drinks-and-salsa drip onto your tie.

The most important thing to know when cleaning your silk tie is: NEVER USE WATER!

Without getting into the science behind this, water is to ties what kryptonite is to Superman.  When exposed to water, a silk tie will become misshapen or the material may begin to pucker.  Chances are that if you have already used water to try to clean your tie, it may be time for a new one.

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Time is of the essence.

This is the second most important thing to know regarding how to clean a stained tie.  The longer you wait to remove a stain, the less chance you have of saving your tie from doom.

The first thing you should do, if your tie does get stained, is to lightly dab the spot of the stain with a paper towel that has been dipped in stain remover.  Although be careful not to use too much because stain remover may discolor the spot you are trying to clean.  


Don’t worry, we know you are not Martha Stewart or Mr. Clean to be keeping such things within your immediate vicinity, so another good alternative is seltzer.  They’re sure to have that near to wherever you are wearing your fancy tie!

If you did dirty your tie at an event, and none of the above ingredients are available, chances are your tie is a goner. There are some more tie care tips and tricks available. However, at this point, loosen up, take your tie off and enjoy the rest of your evening! Sidenote, ties are one of our specialties.

Once you get home, look for corn starch or talcum powder. These two ingredients can be of great help to any type of greasy or food stains. Put a bit onto your tie and let it absorb as much of that greasy goodness for a few hours. Then with a soft brush, remove any residue.  If the tie is still dirty, rinse and repeat!

Please take into consideration that none of these methods are guaranteed. However, if you are quick enough you may be able to save your tie.  

Use rubbing alcohol.

Another tricks is to apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a silk tie and blow drying it immediately.  

Keeping the blow dryer too close to the day may result in heat damage, so be careful.  It may take a few tries before you see any improvement in the condition of your tie.

Invest in a pre-treatment spray.

This is perhaps the best thing you can do for your tie and for yourself.  Scotchgard Apparel Protector, or any other protectant may cost you initially, but in the long run it’s a life saver!  These types of sprays are designed to repel liquids and block stains. What’s cool about these sprays is that they can be used on any type of clothing too!  With this small investment, you could also protect your suits and shirts! You can learn more about Scotchgard’s wonders here.

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Dry cleaning.

We still stand by our earlier statement that silk ties should not be dry cleaned. If you were unable to save your tie using any of the above methods, your tie is probably finished.  However, if you are attached to it, why not try dry cleaning it. If the dry cleaner uses very light chemicals and water vapor (not liquid!), you may get lucky with this method.

Although it may require more effort than needed, hopefully these tie care tips and tricks helped you!

Here to help you always,

The Vizoni Team

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