The Essential Guide to Removing Common Stains from Your Ties

Posted on: 20 October 2016

Wearing a suit makes a statement about you, and a tie is your way of personalising the outfit. Some ties can be an expensive investment -- you want to take care of them so they'll last you for years. Because of where they sit, directly down from your mouth, accidents can happen. Dry cleaning is the most efficient way of removing stains from your ties. However, if you don't want to be running back and forth to the dry cleaners every time you get something on your tie, try the following stain removal tips for 5 of the most likely stains.

Red Wine Stains

Surprisingly, red wine is one of the easiest stains to remove. Here's what you do:

  • Take off your tie and immediately cover the stain in table salt.

  • Press the tie firmly under something heavy like a placemat or book to push the wine out of the tie.

  • When the excess has been removed, sponge the stain with warm water.  

Oil or Grease Stains

Oil and grease stains may be removable, but it's a case of having a go and hoping for the best. Here's how:

  • Blot the stain with a paper napkin to remove as much of the oil as possible.

  • Sprinkle the stain with talc and press the tie under a placemat for 24 hours to absorb the remaining oil residue.

  • When the time is up, brush the talc off and you might be lucky enough to have a clean tie.

Toothpaste Stains

Toothpaste is one of the hardest stains to remove without dry cleaning. The bleaching properties of toothpaste often require a powerful cleaning agent to remove them. If you want to have a go yourself, try the following:

  • Create a solution of dilute detergent.

  • Dip a clean cloth in the solution and wipe the stain off as soon as possible.

Coffee Stains

Coffee is often removable if you act quickly and do the following:

  • Shake off the excess coffee.

  • Use a paper napkin to blot as much as you can.

  • Use a wet cloth and cold water to repeatedly blot the stain.

  • If this doesn't remove all of the coffee, create a solution of equal parts water and vinegar.  

  • Use the solution to continue blotting the stain until it is completely removed.

Ketchup and Condiment Stains

For these types of stains, you need to act fast before the sauce has a chance to sink in and take hold. Here's what you do:

  • Use a teaspoon to scrape off as much of the sauce as possible. Lift and wipe the spoon between scrapes to prevent the condiment from being forced into the fabric.

  • When you have as much as possible off, dip a clean cloth or napkin into cold water and blot the tie to remove the remaining sauce.

  • Keep at the stain until the sauce is completely removed.

The above methods should remove stains in most cases. However, for expensive silk ties, you'll need to take extra care and use the most gentle method. If you'd rather not take a chance and potentially ruin a favourite tie, dry cleaners are your very best bet.