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How to Properly Clean Your Tie

Posted by Andres Jimenez on
delicate detergent


Most of us wear ties so infrequently that the thought of having to clean them barely crosses our mind.  But, no tie is safe from getting soiled, stained, or plain old dirty at some point or another.  Many people ask us which natural cleaning products can be used to clean ties effectively, yet gently. 

How Often Should You Wash Your Tie?

Before we talk about whether or not certain nontoxic cleaning products can clean your tie properly, let’s talk about how often you should wash your tie collection.  The answer is, actually, not often at all.  Ideally, you should never have to wash a tie.  A tie isn’t making direct contact with the skin, picking up all of that dirt, oil and sweat, and it’s worn so infrequently and for such short periods of time that you can go your whole life without washing.  The only time to wash a tie is if it’s notably stained, dirty or odorous.

Does the Material Matter?

Ties are usually made from one of two materials: silk, or a polyester blend. 

  • Silk ties are more common, and they’re also trickier to wash.
  • A polyester tie should never be machine-washed, because the stitching of a tie is very fragile compared to most clothing items.

Also, the weave of a tie means that getting tossed around in the washing machine and dryer, regardless of its material, can become a problem, even if you’re using gentle products like natural laundry pods and eco friendly dryer sheets. 

If You Must Clean Your Tie

If your tie must be cleaned, there are two methods you can follow.  If the tie has care instructions on its label, refer to those before attempting to wash it yourself.

Hand-Washing Your Tie

You can hand-wash your tie in cold water, along with some Delicate Laundry Detergent Pods broken up to mix into the water well.  These are eco friendly detergent pods that can break up stains without stripping away colors or wearing out the material of your tie.  Wash the tie carefully yet thoroughly, massaging the water and detergent into the whole tie and letting it soak for another 20 minutes.  From there, you can let it hang-dry, making sure it’s thoroughly dry before putting it away.


Alternatively, you can have your tie or ties dry-cleaned by a professional.  They know how to properly care for even the most delicate materials, and also have a lot of experiences washing ties.

If You Have a Stain on Your Tie

Let’s say you’re getting ready for an important event, and you discover a stain on your tie, or you’re at someone’s house and spill some salsa on your tie, much to your embarrassment.  First off, always stick to natural cleaning products when handling a stain.  If you can, grab a clean white cloth and dip it into some cold water mixed with a couple of drops of a natural dish soap.  We suggest Grab Green Liquid Dish Soap, which’s a non toxic dish soap that can gently yet effectively lift stains.  Dab the solution onto the tie, being careful not to rub it in, until the stain lifts away.  Avoid using too much soap, or you’ll have a soap mark that requires that the tie is thoroughly rinsed, leaving you wearing a wet tie for the rest of the night.

Keep Your Ties Fresh!

Thankfully, actually having to clean a tie is rare, and many people never clean their ties at any point in their life.  But, things happen, and messes can’t always be avoided.  The good news is that you can use simple methods to spot-treat a stain on your tie, and there are ways to wash even delicate ties to keep them looking (and smelling) like brand new.

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