A silk tie is easy to damage if it is improperly cleaned, so it is useful to know how to clean a silk tie at home. Cleaning your silk tie at home will save you money, compared to taking it to the dry cleaner, though some food stains are best treated by a professional. While silk is known as a strong fiber, using the wrong cleaner will weaken the fibers and ruin your tie. Avoid strong detergents, never use chlorine bleach on silk and leave the stain remover treatments on the shelf when cleaning silk ties.
To clean a silk tie at home, you will need:
- A washbasin
- Liquid detergent (cold water gentle wool wash)
- Cold water
- A soft cloth (optional)
- A bath towel
- An ironing board
- A pressing cloth
- An iron
- Place the washbasin on a solid surface. This will help prevent spills. Pour a cap-full of the gentle laundry detergent into the washbasin. Adding the detergent before the water means you won't need to mix it with the water later.
- Fill the washbasin halfway full with cold water. There should be just a few bubbles. Submerge the tie in the soapy water by gently lowering it into the washbasin and holding it under for about two minutes. Only wash one tie at a time, because silk dyes have a tendency to bleed.
- Wait at least ten minutes while the detergent water soaks into the tie. This lets the detergent do its job so you don't have to risk damaging your tie by scrubbing. Silk fibers are weakened when wet.
- Agitate the tie in the soapy water about ten times. Do this by gently moving the tie up and down so the detergent can run between the silk fibers. Don't twist or scrub the silk tie.
- Wipe any spots on the tie with the soft cloth. Do this very gently, from the outer edge of the spot to the inside. This is only for the event of a spot when you really don't want to go to the dry cleaner, and it is not guaranteed to work. However, as long as you wipe gently, with very little pressure, it won't damage your silk tie.
- Dump the soapy water and rinse the tie by filling the washbasin with cold water. Pour off the rinse water, and slide the tie onto the bath towel. Straighten the tie, and roll the bath towel around the tie. Let the towel absorb the excess water, then unroll the towel over a shower rod or clothes rack so the tie lays flat on top of the towel. Wait for the clean silk tie to dry completely, then iron the tie if needed.