How to Clean a Tie? (Remove Stains in 5 Easy Steps)

man removing stained tie

You should always clean a tie if it’s stained. Your necktie is a prominent element that complements your formal attire. A tie is a clothing accessory constantly exposed to getting stained/dirty. It always faces the risk of getting soiled with food or drink spills, carrying the stains for a long time.

Putting a tie in the washing machine can ruin it. Different ties are made of different materials and need special attention after staining them. Thankfully there are ways to clean a tie at home. Please read this article to understand how simple it is to clean your tie before you throw it away!

Have you also stained your suspender? Then you must read: How to Clean Suspenders in easy steps.

How Often Should You Clean a Tie?

tie stained with tomato ketchup

You don’t have to clean your tie daily; it is also not recommended. Clean your tie whenever you notice it is soiled, stained or the sheen getting faint. Tie may require dry cleaning if heavily stained.

Should You Wash Your Tie in Washing Machine?

man cleaning clothes in washing machine

Putting a tie in the washing machine can shrink or ruin it permanently. To wash a tie, you need to combine discipline with gentleness. A typical tie comprises detailed needlecraft of delicate fabrics. Ignorance of these factors may ruin the tie forever. Therefore, you must hand wash or dry clean your tie from an expert.

You must check for the washing instructions given by the tie manufacturer. If the instructions allow machine washing, you can go for it. But we do not recommend putting ties in a washing machine.

How to Hand Wash Your Tie?

hand washing tie

Hand washing a tie is the best way of cleaning a dirty tie. We recommend hand washing all kinds of fabric ties over washing in the washing machine as it is gentle and gives you precise control. Hand washing a tie is simple. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill the basin with warm or cold water, depending on the tie’s material. We recommend cold washing your knit and seer-sucker ties. Use warm water for the microfiber tie.
  2. Pour in a few drops of mild laundry detergent. For better results and to prevent damage to your tie, check where the detergent complies with the tie material and use that.
  3. Add your tie/ties to this soapy solution and allow them to soak for about 10 mins.
  4. Gently stir the tie/ties. Use a sponge or soft-bristled brush for hardened stains or dirt.
  5. Once sure of the tie cleansing, rinse it thoroughly with clean water to eliminate the detergent.
  6. Remove the extra water from the tie using a towel or a cloth. Allow the tie/ties to air dry. Avoid drying them over a radiator/heater. It may shrink the tie or fade its color.

How to Dry Clean a Tie?

You can dry clean silken and woolen ties. If you have a dry cleaning kit at home, you can DIY it. Else, outsource your dry cleaning needs. 

Dry cleaning helps to retain the lustrous look of the tie with all its glamour. Request the dry cleaners to hand-press the tie/ties. The dry cleaner’s mechanical pressing can damage the tie towards its rounded edges. Dry cleaning may damage a silk tie beyond repairs.

Related: How to clean silk tie?

Are you wondering can dry clean shrink clothes? If yes, then you must read: Does Dry Cleaning Shrink Clothes?

How to Care for Different Tie Fabrics?

guide to take care of tie

How to Clean Different Stains From a Tie?

Different types of stains require different methods to clean them. For example, oil-based stains should be treated with a pre-treatment solution, and red wine stains should be treated with club soda. You can refer to the above infographic for a better understanding.

1. Solids Stains

If you notice a piece of food spilled on your tie, remove it immediately using a spoon or blunt knife. Dab the stain away using a clean tissue dampened with clean water. 

You can also use a clear napkin or cloth to dab the stain. Avoid rubbing the stain, as it would smear it and enter into the fibers giving a messy appearance.

2. Liquids and Oils Stains

A water-soluble stain can be removed from clothes using club soda.

Dab the liquid spill with a white napkin or paper towel to prevent the color transfer from them to your tie. A stain remover will help you with a good riddance of the stain.

Baking soda, corn starch, foot powder, and talcum powder can be used to treat oily or greasy stains. These materials will help soak the oil. 

A pinch of white bread applied on the oily stain can help absorb the oil. Allow the bread to settle on the stain spot to dust it off later with a cloth.

In all instances, carefully go through the washing instructions from the manufacturer. It will prevent any potential damage to your tie.

3. Hand Wash the Tie

Hand-wash ties are labeled as washable and need general cleaning. The delicate fibers of these ties cannot endure agitation and are prone to damage. Remember to remove the stains as instructed above before giving them a hand wash. Always use mild soap to wash your tie.

4. Air Dry the Tie

After washing, let the tie air dry. The drying should be strictly natural, without using a heater or radiator. Using a heater or radiator may shrink the tie and adversely affect its appearance.

5. Iron The Tie

Ironing cloth gives a fresh and charming look to it. The same applied to your tie too. 

Check the tie material and set the temperature appropriately to iron your tie—for example, fabrics like silk and polyester favor low-temperature ironing. Wool can endure moderate-hot ironing, while cotton and linen can be straightened using a hot iron.

Iron on the inside of the tie by applying light pressure. Keep a clean thin cotton cloth between the tie and the iron. It will prevent the tie from burn marks and help to retain the lustrous look. Ironing a stained tie will make the stain spot permanent.

Iron carefully on the inside of the tie preventing creases. Ensure you don’t station the iron in one spot longer. Keep it moving. Keep a close watch on your tie and regulate the iron temperature correspondingly. Once you finish ironing the outside/front side of the tie, allow it to cool on a hangle. Then you are free to store or wear.

Related: Can You Iron Wet Clothes?

How to Store and Maintain Your Tie?

Ties only take up a little space in your wardrobe. Correctly storing them enhances their lifespan. That means you can use them for years. Placing the tie along with the trousers without touching the hanger is ideal.

Store knit or crochet ties by placing them flat. Loosely roll woven fabric ties around your wrist to store them in a drawer or tie storage box. You can also hang the ties on a special tie hanger.

Exposing neckties to sunlight may hamper the color and impair the cloth.

Fold the tie into four folds and slip them inside your suit jacket pocket when you travel. Alternatively, the tie-roll can go into a small box in your luggage to keep off wrinkling. Hang your tie on the bathroom door while you take a shower. The steam will straighten the wrinkles and retain their lustrous appearance.

  • Should ties be washed or dry cleaned?

    Ties can be hand washed or dry-cleaned based on their material. Silk and wool ties can only be dry cleaned if the manufacturer’s instructions allow them to.

  • How much is it to dry clean a tie?

    Dry cleaning a tie may cost you from $2 to $16, with an average cost of $4.

  • Does hand sanitizer stain ties?

    Sanitizer doesn’t stain ties. It may discolor if the sanitizer has bleach as one component.


A stain or dull appearance immediately hampers your personality. Fortunately, it is easy to clean a stained tie.

There are several ways to cope with a stained tie. Cleaning a tie at home is simple, easy, and workable with a few domestic items. You can either hand wash or dry clean based on the tie material. 

Wash your tie at home and restore its lustrous appearance along with your professional looks.