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Cleaning Silk Ties

How To Clean a Silk Tie

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Cleaning Silk Ties
Photo Credit: Mark Weiss/Getty Images
Silk ties go a long way in creating a professional polished look...but not when they have spaghetti sauce drizzled down their surface. Got a stain on your expensive silk tie? The good news is...cleaning a silk tie is possible. The bad news is...cleaning a silk tie is nearly impossible. Want to try your luck?

The Problem With Cleaning Silk Ties

Cleaning a silk tie becomes difficult because the enemy to your tie is water. Above all, resist the urge to use water on the tie. And if you already have? Enjoy your shopping trip for a new tie.

Besides having a severe distaste for water, silk ties are delicate. Too much handling can leave them puckered and misshapen. Trying to clean a stain off of a tie...well, it gets fairly dicey. There are a few things that you can try. There's still a chance the following methods could ruin the tie. But remember it's already ruined, and these may be the only chances to save the tie.

Things To Try When Cleaning a Silk Tie

1. Rubbing alcohol
Dab rubbing alcohol on the stained area of the tie. Immediately blow dry the area to prevent a permanent ring from forming around the stained area. It may take up to three repetitions to see a difference in your tie.

2. Talcum powder
Cornstarch will work too. For oily stains, pour a layer of talcum powder or cornstarch over the area of the tie you are cleaning. Leave it overnight. This process may need to be repeated several times as well, and is only really effective for oily stains.

3. A dry cleaner
If you prefer to let the professionals try to fix the situation, you can try a dry cleaner. Most will tell you up front that it doesn't look good. But they'll try, and in some instances, they might save the tie.

4. Stain remover
Try dabbing a small amount of stain remover on the surface of the tie you are cleaning. Blot the area with a paper towel. Be warned that stain removers will sometimes alter the color of that portion of the tie.

When a Silk Tie Gets Wet...

If your silk tie happens to get water spilled on it, you may be able to salvage it. Try using a blow dryer. Then lay the tie out lengthwise on a clean white towel. Roll the towel up inside of the towel and leave for 1-2 days. Some ties may transfer color onto the towel, so use a towel you can live without.

Tips To Prevent the Need for Cleaning a Silk Tie

Try removing your silk tie, or throwing the tie over your shoulder before you eat. It may not make you look as cultured or refined as you had hoped, but trust me the spaghetti stain won't do much for you either.

Treat your silk ties with a fabric protectant before they are worn. Several brands on the market work well with silk, and can offer an extra layer of protection, just in case.

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