7 Ways to Easily Clean a Tie

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Washing a tie may not be the first thing on your mind, but when you spill your coffee down yourself on a Monday morning or somehow draw on yourself during a important meeting (cause who knows how pen ends up all over your hands, arms, legs?) a tie refresh may be just what you're after.

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It may not be the most exciting thing to read about (or write about) but it is something that every man should know or need to know at some point in their life. How to wash a tie may be what you type into Google but the results could be different for a silk tie, cotton tie, nylon tie (who knew there were so many) so here at The Idle Man we have put together the ultimate guide for you to keep them ties clean and ready for anything.

Men's knitted tie's should be acted on immediately

How To Clean A Tie Without Dry Cleaning

A men's tie can be cleaned without having to take a trip down to the dry cleaners and embarrassingly show the guy a toothpaste stain that landed right in the middle of your tie. There are a few different methods for stain removal but first you need to know what your tie is made from. Ties are most commonly made with silk but cotton, polyester and linen blends are also popular, you'll be able to see this on the label so don't stress if you're not sure.

How To Clean A Tie

Neck ties can be made out of any fabric that is reasonable light, this can include polyester, cotton and wool. Although the most common tie is made from silk, the alternatives do the job just as well. Plus, cleaning them can be slightly easier, which is a bonus. As for most spills, the longer you leave it, the harder it is to get out. This means you should probably act immediately or as soon as possible once you've spilt something on your tie. However, stains such as pen or ink should be left for it to dry first as we all know adding water or moisture will just make the pen run further.

Instead of wiping the spill, use a blunt knife or any useful instrument close to you to scrape off the stain, avoiding any further rubbing in. If the spill is a liquid like wine or soda try to soak up as much of the moisture as possible by using a clean cloth or napkin. Using some club soda or water damped a cloth and dab the stained area, try not to vigorously rub it as it may ruin the fabric and spread the stain. For some stains this will get rid of it straight away, if not there are additional methods to keep your ties clean and unstained.

Brown Tweed Jacket and Tie
How to clean a neck tie is easier than it sounds
PHOTO CREDIT: The Trashness Blog


A over the counter stain remover can nearly always do the trick, this method usually consists of dabbing the stain remover onto the tie and rinsing under the tap. Most shop bought stain removers do the trick so this is something you should probably have under the kitchen sick especially if you're a clumsy person and spilling drinks left right and centre.

How To Clean A Tie With Grease, Oil Or Ink Stains

Cornstarch or talcum powder will be your best friends when it comes to grease, oil or ink. Once you've dabbed away any excess spill or splatter, lay the tie flat and cover the stain with cornstarch or talc. Leave this for a few hours and the cornstarch and talc will help to absorb the stain out of your tie. Brush off the powders and, fingers crossed, the stain will have disappeared as if by magic. If not, repeat this step until the stain can no longer be seen.

If the stain is more ink based, rub some alcohol (hand sanitiser works a treat) onto the stain as this lifts the stain for the ties surface. Again, repeat this until you can no longer see the stain. Leave the tie to air dry and no one will ever know you missed your mouth and ketchup ended up on your tie and not where it should've been.

mens white shirt check suit tie
Silk ties need more care and delicacy when cleaning


How To Clean A Silk Tie

Silk ties are by far the most common material for a tie due to them being able to 'bounce' back into shape after they have been tied and untied on a daily basis without creasing. However, they may look and feel like a gift sent from heaven but, don't be fooled when it comes to cleaning them and getting out any stains. Silk is delicate and not a big fan of water. The water can leave rings and marks on the silk so be sure to remember this before you start dabbing away at your silk tie. Spot cleaning is therefore the best option when it comes to silk and stains.

How To Spot Clean A Silk Tie

Similarly to any other tie, use a dry cloth or blunt instrument to remove any of the excess spill or stain from your tie. You now need to spot treat these stains, to do this blot the stain with cool water and be sure not to rub the stain as this can ruin the fabric lustre. If the stain is still deciding not to budge, there are many silk hand washing available over the counter.

So, if you are really not feeling taking the silk, stained tie to the dry cleaners, a silk stain remover can be used. This will usually consist of immersing the tie in lukewarm water that contains the stain remover. Make sure not to exceed five minutes and rub the stain gently using your hands or a soft sponge. Rinse it thoroughly in cold water and leave to air dry.

jared leto black suit white shirt black tie mens street style
Men's skinny ties add an element of sophistication and coolness

When To Dry Clean A Tie

If you do have a silk tie that needs expert attention, this is where the dry cleaners come in. Make sure to choose a dry cleaners you either trust or one that says they can treat ties (most do but it's always good to check). If you know what the stain is it will make the stain removal much easier and quicker so it is worth letting the dry cleaners know.

How Much Does It Cost To Dry Clean A Tie

Dry cleaning costs of course will vary depending on the location, dry cleaners and if the dry cleaner set their own prices. However, prices can range from prices starting at £5/7 but will usually be around the £10 mark. It is always a risk dry cleaning a tie as they shouldn't be pressed as this can distort the body of the tie. It is therefore best to check with your dry cleaner and make sure the outcome is what you want.

mens silk tie street style suit smart
Sometimes it's better to dry clean your silk ties to keep them looking new
PHOTO CREDIT: He Spoke Style


How To Clean A Tie

  • First figure out what material your tie is, silk is most common and most difficult to remove stains.
  • Use a blunt instrument or dry cloth to remove any excess spillage without rubbing in the stain further.
  • For non-silk ties, cornstarch, talcum power or alcohol can help get out the stain.
  • Silk ties are delicate and partial to water, spot cleaning is the best way to remove stains.
  • The dry cleaners is always an option but make sure to check they are capable of tie cleaning.

mens suit tie purple white shirt sunglasses watch
Keeping your tie's clean will keep you looking smart

On That Note

If you follow these easy steps and take note of the tips you will have a stain free tie wardrobe. Men's shirt and tie looks add an element of smartness and style to an outfit so keeping them looking new is essential. Try avoiding any spills in the first place or, if the stain is not removing how you'd like it to, invest in a tie bar and call it a day.


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