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Your tie is the most likely piece of clothing to get stained during a workday. This is especially true if your lunch break is too short for you to eat at a comfortable pace. Since it sits just under your chin, anything you eat or drink can drop and stain it.

Ties come in all types of fabrics. Because of this, there is no fixed approach when it comes to getting a stain off your ties. Some fabrics need a more professional touch to get it cleaned while others, like polyester, are easier to wash at home. In case you’ve got a nasty stain on one of your favorite ties and you’re clueless on how to get it out, here are a few tips that can help you out.

Silk Ties

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Getting a stain out of a silk tie is hell! Silk is generally a complex material to deal with, especially when it comes to laundering. It’s used mainly as necktie material and for bowties and ties because it looks classy and expensive. Designer brands like Gucci and Ferragamo usually make their ties from silk material for this exact purpose.

There are several recommended ways to wash a stain off a silk tie. Some people prefer to get it dry cleaned while others advise against it. It’s best to go with the latter, as dry cleaning chemicals can easily damage delicate fabrics. Furthermore, pressing it afterward could leave sharp creases on the material.

The best way to remove a stain from a silk tie is to avoid using water. Instead, use a cotton ball to dab the stained area with a seltzer or club soda until the stain disappears. When the stain is gone, you can then proceed to hand wash the club soda off using silk detergent and cold, clean water. It’s best to clean your tie in the washroom over a small hand basin for toilet to avoid getting the stain on other surfaces or clothes.

Wool and Cotton Ties

It may surprise you that wool ties do exist. Apparently, wool knitwear isn’t only reserved for sweaters, cardigans, and beachwear. They can also be used for business attire and corporate accessories like everyday men’s ties and a classic bowtie. They’re probably used in European countries because of the colder climate. What’s more, designer ties, including brands like Burberry and Borelli, are usually made from wool.

The only downside is that wool and cotton shrink when exposed to heat, and your wool tie could get fuzzy if you wash it with water. In this case, your best bet could be getting it dry cleaned. Alternatively, you could use talcum powder, cornstarch, or baking soda. Pour a pile of your preferred powder onto the stained area. Let it sit for a while, then brush it off. You may need to do it twice or more, depending on how bad the stain is.

Polyester and Microfiber Ties

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Polyester microfiber and polyester fabrics aren’t the same. Polyester microfiber is a bit harder than polyester itself. Studies show that these two fabrics are dangerous to the environment. However, they’re way easier to launder than silk, wool, and cotton. You don’t need to get them dry cleaned. You can just wash them in a small bathroom sink or in your washing machine using the right settings.

You can start by applying a spot treatment on the stained area then placing it in your washing machine. Wash it using the “hand wash” or gentle “cycle.” If your washing machine happens to be missing these settings, you can hand wash the tie in a small sink with cold water and your usual laundry detergent.