How to Clean Silk Ties at Home

Clean silk ties at home carefully to avoid damaging them.
Clean silk ties at home carefully to avoid damaging them. (Image: neck tie image by Christopher Hall from <a href=''></a>)

Because of the delicate nature of silk fibers, cleaning silk ties is not necessary unless stains occur. If the unthinkable happens and you dribble tomato sauce or gravy on your favorite silk tie, the situation calls for immediate action. You have limited cleaning options available to you for removing stains from silk ties. Act swiftly to minimize the stain, but do not make it worse with the way you treat it. With careful effort, you may successfully remove the stain and clean silk ties at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Butter knife
  • Seltzer water
  • White cloth or napkin
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Cornstarch
  • Old toothbrush

Scrape the edge of the butter knife over the stain to remove as much of it as possible without rubbing it in to the silk.

Saturate the white cloth or napkin with seltzer water and blot at the stain lightly. Do not saturate the tie with seltzer, instead dabbing lightly at the stain with the napkin to remove as much of the stain as you can. Dab at the stain with ethyl alcohol instead of seltzer water, using the same technique, if you wish.

Sprinkle cornstarch liberally over the stain and allow the cornstarch to sit on the stain for approximately eight hours.

Dust off the excess cornstarch after the time elapses and then use the dry toothbrush to brush at the stain. Your tie may appear clean after the cornstarch absorbs the stain. Repeat the cornstarch treatment a second time if the stain persists.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult a professional dry cleaner if your at-home treatments fail to clean your silk tie. Although silk ties should not be laundered or even dry-cleaned, if you cannot clean the tie any other way you may opt to try dry cleaning to see if it helps to clean your silk tie.

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