Silk ties go a long way in creating a professional and polished look, but not when they have spaghetti sauce drizzled down their surface. Have a stain on your expensive silk tie? Although cleaning silk ties has its challenges, the good news is that it is possible to salvage them.
The Challenge of 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 your ties, especially when trying to remove a silk tie stain. Silk ties are very delicate. Too much handling can leave them puckered and misshapen. Trying to clean a stain off of a tie can be a challenge, but there are a few cleaning methods you can follow with care and caution.
Things to Try When Cleaning a Silk Tie
1. Rubbing alcohol
You likely have some rubbing alcohol in your bathroom medicine cabinet. First, you want to dab rubbing alcohol on the stained area of the tie. Second, 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 when using rubbing alcohol.
2. Talcum powder
Cornstarch will work for cleaning oily stains. Pour a layer of talcum powder or cornstarch over the area of the tie you are cleaning. When using this method, you must leave the powder or cornstarch on your tie overnight. This process may need to be repeated several times and is only effective for oily stains specifically.
3. A dry cleaner
If you prefer to let the professionals try to fix the stain on your silk tie, you can try going to a professional dry cleaning service and letting them know the situation. Some dry cleaners will tell you up front that they cannot remove your silk tie stain, but others will try and save your tie.
4. Stain remover
Pick up the stain remover of your choice and try dabbing a small amount of it on the surface of the tie you are cleaning. Then, blot the area with a paper towel. The challenge with this method is that sometimes stain removers can 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 by using a blow dryer. After using a blow dryer, lay the tie out lengthwise on a clean white towel. Roll the tie-up inside of the towel and leave for 1 to 2 days. Some ties may transfer color onto the towel, so you may want to use a towel that is older or one you can live without.
Tips to Prevent the Need for Cleaning a Silk Tie
To prevent needing to clean a silk tie in the future, try removing your tie or throwing the tie over your shoulder before eating. You can also treat your silk ties with a fabric protectant before they are worn. Several brands on the market work well with silk ties and can offer an extra layer of protection.