Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I just did a quick search on Google and it was mentioned that dry cleaning a tie is bad. Have anyone of you guys tried to dry clean a silk tie?


Super Member
The consensus seems to be that it's not a good idea unless your dry cleaner knows what they're doing.

Honestly, I don't see the need unless the tie is stained. Then I'd just throw it away, or if I _really_ loved it, send it off to someone like tiecrafters.


Connoisseur - Moderator
I hope you don't mind.

I moved your thread here because it will get more discussion here.

It's dangerous. The dry cleaner may ruin the tie; certainly it is difficult for them to avoid pressing it flat.

Turkey is right; if it is really worth saving, it needs to go someplace like tie crafters, although when a tie is stained, I will sometimes give a dry cleaner a shot at it (knowing that I will throw the tie away if it comes back unwearable.) Sometimes it works okay.
they'll press it flat anyway

I have one silk tie that suffered extremely dirty water damage, and was left to dry mangled...for over a year. I was washing a sweater in the tub with Woolite and threw it in too. Rolled it in a towel, then laid it out to dry (a little stretching and straightening by hand). It turned out pretty well.

I swear that Ben Silver's catalog used to say that you should just dab stain with water, but their website is now claiming that you should just buy a new tie:confused:


Advanced Member
Out, out, damned spot!

I've had ties dry cleaned with no problem. If the sides are too flat or creased, I just use my handy-dandy steamer to loosen it up.

If you have just a spot or two of something oil based, you can sometimes blot it out with the backside of the small end of the tie. Because you are using the tie material on itself, there is a lot less likelihood of damaging the weave. All you're trying to do is get it blotted to the point it can't be noticed, and it won't leave a ring. A water based spot, on the other hand, may leave a ring if you don't catch it before it dries. Blotting it can still work, and >ahem< a little spit may help dissolve the stuff, usually food, that got on there with the water.

Those chalk-like substances can work, but you should test it on an "inconspicuous part" first, mainly to see if you can get the "chalk" dust out.


Starting Member
There is a really good and reputable dry cleaner here in Houston called Twin Oaks who have always given me impeccable service and take exceptional care of your clothes. It is because of there history of outstanding service that I took a favorite tie to them to be cleanedafter a waiter at a family function dropped an asaparagus spear on it. Had I known ahead of time of the dangers, I might have been a bit reluctant to go that route, but they got the stain out and the tie looked as good as new. As Turkey stated, if you really love the tie and you have been with your dry cleaner long enough to hav enough confidence in them to try to take care of it, then by all means give them a chance.


New Member
I sometimes get ties I buy at the thrift store dry cleaned if I like one a lot and it's not in ideal shape. Probably taken in around ten and they've all come back fine. One might have been a little bit flattened but I think it might have been like that to begin w/. That said, these are ties that I spend fifty cents to a dollar on (it is always a bit of a thrill to find an expensive tie for a buck) so no big loss monetarily if it doesn't come out.


Super Member
I have used a steam iron and it worked really well, although there was only a small stain.
Just to expand on this a bit try using brown wrapping paper over the stain and then iron it, works well with oil stains as the paper tends to absorb the stain as its heated.

Aside from that many years ago I came into possession of a number of ties dating back to the 1950's they were a little bit worse for wear so I took them to a dry cleaners and the results were good.


Advanced Member
I have removed stains from ties several times with ....

ordinary soda water. Put club soda on a clean cotton dish towel, then blot the stain. Keep blotting until it is dry. This will remove most stains without water spotting. I keep a bottle at home and some is always available at a restaurant. The stain removal needs to be done as soon as possible after soiling the tie.

We have an excellent dry cleaners which specializes in ties within a few miles of me. A dry cleaner must have experience to be able to properly clean a tie. I use them for stains which have set where the soda water technique is not effective. Ties are held together by a thread which is secured to the tie with a slip knot. This is undone by the cleaners, then the tie is cleaned and steamed before being put back together. The cost is usually under ten dollars.... a small price to pay for a Robert Talbott or Duchamp of London which can run well over a hundred dollars. I have never lost a tie in recent years.

About ten years ago, a waitress spilt a cup of mushroom soup on a silk tie. She was mortified, and I told her to quick get me a clean dish cloth abd a small glass of club soda.
It took about 20 minutes of blotting, but without getting up from my table or taking off the tie, I successfully cleaned it until the stain had disappeared. Never throw a stained tie away. Clean it yourself or take it too a dry cleaners who knows how. Just ask them if they have staff which can disassemble a tie. If they don't, your wasting your time and your tie.


Super Member
If you drip gravy or butter sauces on the tie, you either have to clean it or throw it away; so the question of whether it will be (further) ruined by the cleaner is often academic. I've had cleaners, including my current one, who do a great job. I've had others that just slapped the thing in a steam press and left an intaglio print of the reverse of the tie on the front. The trick is to find someone who does it right ... this may be a good opportunity to remove the LED and sound chip from the Disco Santa tie you got in the office Christmas grab bag, and shop around.
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Honors Member
I just did a quick search on Google and it was mentioned that dry cleaning a tie is bad. Have anyone of you guys tried to dry clean a silk tie?
It is best to avoid dry cleaning any tie as much as possible. They might come back pressed flat and with a nasty shine.

In the not too distant past, there were cleaners that maintained a specialty in ties and did a reasonably good job of it, but there are hardly any of those establishments to be found these days...
I have never had a problem with the cleaners not getting a tie clean; the problem I had a long time ago was in the pressing. The tie would come back looking like it was run over by a steam roller.

A long time ago my cleaners would, if asked, send a tie out to a different cleaners that specialized in ties. After a few more years they were able to do them in-house and make them look pretty good. I am not sure they ever look quite as good as new though.

Cheers, Jim.


Senior Member
I do try to dry clean my ties as little as possible, but I recently dipped a brand new BB tie, just the tip, in a plate of food. Water didn't get it out, so I was forced to send it to the cleaners. It came back looking perfect, but the tag in the back side is almost falling off, the threads are coming loose, and the threads holding the folds together under the tags, are also unraveled and coming loose. Brooks said they would repair it, but I haven't sent it back.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I think you have a fifty fifty chances with the tie. If you take it to the dry cleaner and it they ruin it you can through it away just as well as if you don't take it to the cleaner.Unless you want to clean it yourself drycleaner is your option.


Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
I have sent a few favored ties, that have gotten stained through my carelessness, to the local cleaners and while the results were not spectacular, the stains were successfully removed and the ties remained quite usable. However, should I require such services in the future, I am actually quite anxious to ship the next one off to a vendor such as Tie Crafters, so as to be able to compare results. :)
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