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How to Clean Silk Ties? A Foolproof Guide for Clean & Care

The silk tie reigns unchallenged as an option for shoppers pursuing aesthetics and superiority. As you know, the fineness of silk offers your tie a crisp and sleek shape, as well as a vibrant and sheeny color.

A silk tie is prone to getting stains as its counterparts. Unlike other accessories, it requires an immediate cleaning, or the stains may turn permanent. However, it is knotty to clean your silk tie at home. That said,  you do not need to have it dry-cleaned every time. This post covers everything about tie cleaning. After reading, you can keep your silk tie clean and attractive with higher efficiency and on a lower budget.

method spot cleaning wet cleaning dry cleaning
application scenario new stains, especially water-fast ones daily dirt and bad smells stubborn stains or yearly clean
cleanser dry cleansers: salt, cornstarch, etc.

wet cleansers: rubbing alcohol, gasoline, etc.

a mild detergent /
special lists no rubbing or grinding; a hair dryer or iron no wringing or twisting; less than 10 minutes inform the cleaner where your stain is and what causes it


You can absolutely do most of the cleaning work at home as long as you get some know-how.  It is advisable to spot clean the stains as soon as possible and wet clean your tie once in a while. To better deal with your delicate silk tie, you should make the following preparations.

Check the Care Label

Cleaning techniques of silk ties vary from fabric to fabric. So make an inspection on the care label. First, try to find out if your silk tie is dry clean only. You can not clean a silk tie only withstand dry cleaning by yourself. Second, check if it is acceptable to water. For a silk tie unable to touch water, you can only use oil-based detergents to spot clean it without water. 

Choose Proper Cleansers

Above all, stain removers and detergents specialized in silk are your best choice. They are conducive to both cleaning and protection of your silk tie. However, if these cleansers are not available for you right away, you can try some common items at home.

On the one hand, club soda, rubbing alcohol or other ethyl alcohol with high purity can dissolve stains, including grease-based ones. You can remove some simple stains directly with these wet cleansers, such as a water stain. As for stubborn stains, such as ketchup, steak sauce, etc, colorless solvent gasoline above number 120, can perform extremely well alone. However, many families do not always have gasoline at home. Then you need another treatment of dry cleansers. You can add some salt to the stain to absorb grease. Meanwhile, cornstarch or talcum powder is also good at lifting these stains. 

Spot Test

Before washing, make spot tests to ensure your silk tie takes kindly to the cleansers. You can soak a cotton ball with cleaners you plan to use, and then dab it on the reverse side of the tie.

How to Clean a Silk Tie?

Now, let me walk you through a step-by-step guide about silk tie cleaning. With the following tricks at your command, you can restore the pristine state of your silk tie with ease.

Spot Cleaning

Remember, the sooner you deal with the stain, the higher the chance of completely removing it. Thus, you had better cope with it on the spot. Here are steps for handling a new stain.

  • Remove the food or liquid residue: First, get rid of the spilled food or liquid lingering on your tie. Make a gentle effort to scrape off chunks of food with a spoon and absorb excess liquid with a cloth napkin.
  • Spot clean the stains with a silk stain remover: Dab or blot a little remover to the stain with a clean cloth. Leave it to dissolve the stain for 2 to 3 minutes. Then scrub it with a cloth or a soft brush. Repeat this process several times. Let the cloth not soak too much solution at once, or your tie may be oversoaked. You can wring the cloth before blotting it. When the stain is lifted, dry the area with a hairdryer. 
  • Spot clean the stains with other cleansers:  Other than a professional stain remover, each type of stain has its natural enemies at your home. You can also utilize cleansers at hand to repel it, preferably before it adheres to the fabric.
type of stain cleanser how to spot clean special point
water club soda or baking soda Dip soda with a cotton ball and dab it at the stain. Repeat this process several times.  Do not use plain water again as it has stained your tie.
oil cornstarch or talcum powder Pour a large amount of powders on the stain. Let them work more than 12 hours. Then bruise them away and check the stain’s condition. If it remains, repeat the process. Avoid water, for oil does not dissolve in it.
wine  salt Put some salt on the stain. Let it absorb the wine for about an hour. Then dust the salt away and wipe the area with a damp cloth. /
dark-colored liquids(coffee,beer, etc) club soda, a neutral soap Add some soda and water to the stained area first. Then apply some soap to dissolve the liquids in the fabric. Make a gentle wipe of the soap water.  Do not be rough to avoid a dye residue.
ink rubbing alcohol Wait for the stain to be dry. Then blot some rubbing alcohol on the stained area gently. Repeat this several times until the stain disappears.  Ink may diffuse while spot-cleaning a wet stain.

After using an organic solvent, you should dry your tie with a hairdryer or iron and it will not leave any marks. Remember to adjust your hairdryer or iron to the coolest setting. Since the silk tie can not withstand high temperatures.

Wet Cleaning

Wet cleaning is riskier than spot cleaning. You need to get the knowledge about it preciously. 

Before wet cleaning, have a double-check on 2 things. The first one is your tie can withstand gentle handling. Second, the detergent is suitable for your cleaning.

  • Spot test for dye bleed: Dip a cotton ball or a cotton swab with some water. Dab it at the reverse of your silk tie and check if it has a dye bleed.
  • Prepare a soapy solution: Find a large clean sink, or wash the washtub. Fill it with cold water. Then, add a proper amount of mild detergent and mix it with water. You should make sure that your silk ties do not get folded during washing to reduce the chance of crumples and creases.
  • Agitate the tie: Submerge the tie for less than 3 minutes. Agitate the tie with gentle swirls and wipe dirty areas in a spiral movement. Remember, oversoaking is of no benefit to your tie and may ruin its smooth texture. 
  • Rinse the tie: Flush it with flowing water or repeat changing the soapy water in the sink into clean ones. Try to avoid chemical residue, for that silk fabric is delicate and may get damaged.
  • Rid the tie of excess water: Flat the tie on a clean towel. Fold the towel to cover it, or lay another towel on it. Press the towel to absorb water. Your tie should be fully flattened during this process. If not, it may receive some unrecoverable indentations and creases.
  • Hang dry the silk tie: Hang it in a shady, airy place. You can put it on a hanger or use clamps. Add a thin sponge between your tie and the clamp to cushion the grip.

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is necessary when your silk tie is stuck in stains all home cleaning bites its nails. However, never seek dry cleaning directly. Frequent dry cleaning is detrimental to your silk tie and shortens its service life. So try to lift the stains with the aforementioned procedures. You may save your trip toward a local cleaner when you do spot cleaning timely and do wet washing precisely.

As you know, dry cleaning is costly. To have an effective dry cleaning, you should do a careful survey of your local candidates. Which one is more professional in silk cleaning? Moreover, make a note in your mind of the number of the stains and what causes the stains. Tell your cleaner these so that they can do the best cleaning for you.

How Often to Clean Silk Ties

You do not need to wash silk ties frequently. It does not have intimate contact with your skin as your shirt or pants do. Besides, a cleaning process poses the potential to damage the silk fabric. Therefore, you can turn to spot cleaning as your usual cleaning routine. And only wet wash your silk tie when it is visibly dirty or smells. Try to curb your desire to wash the silk tie if you care much about hygiene. 

Dry cleaning is your last resort for stubborn stains. If all the measures you can take are in vain, you need to send your silk tie to a trustworthy dry cleaner. Moreover, you may want to refresh your tie by dry cleaning. A yearly meeting with the owner of a reliable cleaner can satisfy this need.

Ironage and storage

Steaming is a better way to maintain your silk tie than ironing. You can take steaming for daily cleaning and disinfection when your silk tie does not have obvious stains. For those who only have an iron, you should adjust your iron to the temperature under 300℉.  You can prepare a press cloth or a damp towel and put it between your silk tie and the iron as a protector.

You can hang silk ties to be used soon on a hanger. In contrast, for those to be stored for a long time, roll them properly after ironing and place them into an airy and shady drawer. Remember not to store a silk tie with its knot tying. The delicate fabric may get permanent wrinkles. 

Tips for Maintenance of Silk Ties

To maintain your silk tie at its best for years, taking reasonable precautions against stains is the most effective strategy. A silk tie is vulnerable to stains during a meal. Additionally, the stain on your luxurious and pricey tie never fails to offend your eyes and ruin your mood. Here are 2 things you can do to avoid this sticky situation.

  • Spray some silk protector to your tie before a meal.
  • Cover your tie with a napkin during a meal. And tuck the napkin into your shirt.

Together, silk ties go through wear and tear in your daily use. Here are some tips you can refer to in your wearing.

  • Do not use the same tie too often. Allow it to rest from its work.
  • Do not untie your silk tie by pulling one side. Loosen the knot with two hands carefully. 


How to Clean Silk Ties in a Washing Machine?

Never wash your silk tie with a washer unless you can accept your tie with a crumpled style, changed color and no luster. Do not take a chance, as your ties of almost all fabrics are bound to get hurt in machine washing. 

Does Fabric Protector Work?

Fabric protector prevents stains from being formed. However, it only works when you apply it in advance. You can use a spray protector special for silk ties before going out. It protects your tie from errant food or beverage, including ketchup, source, coffee and tea.

Does Water Ruin Silk Ties?

It depends on the silk fabric of your silk. There are different types of silk fabrics suitable for tie making. For some silk fabrics, touching water by accident is one of the worst things. They may even get stained by water. On the other hand, silk ties of certain fabrics can withstand water wash. You can check the care label to ensure whether your silk tie can be exposed to water.

What should I Do When my Silk Tie Gets Wet?

As mentioned in the previous question, your silk tie may be able to touch water or not. For a “water warning” tie, you should act quickly to absorb water with napkins or cotton balls. Pay attention not to impose pressure on it. Or your tie may get a bigger water stain as you let more water seep into the fabric. Then you can iron the stained area with the silk setting to evaporate the water. For a “water-friendly” tie, you can hang it flat in a shady place and let air dry it.

How Much Does it Cost to Dry Clean a Silk Tie?

It depends on the service and the cleaner’s location. For professional dry cleaners, the cost of dry cleaning a tie ranges from $5 to $15.


The silk tie always assumes exquisite texture and tailoring, fulfilling the overall beauty of a dress-up look. The right cleaning techniques help you keep your silk tie as good as a new one. You can preserve its best by timely spot cleaning and proper wet washing at home, with the necessary assistance from professional cleaners. Sinosilk has dedicated itself to the silk industry for over 10 years and has won accolades within this industry. If you are looking for quality silk ties, do not hesitate to contact us.

More Resource:

How to Wash Silk Bonnets – Source: Sinosilk

How to Wash Silk Sheets – Source: Sinosilk

How to Wash Silk Pillowcases – Source: Sinosilk

How to Wash a Silk Scarf – Source: Sinosilk

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