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How to Clean a Necktie in 5 Easy Steps

  Heaven forbid you ever spill on your necktie. And if you do, we genuinely hope it’s a Tough Tie....


Heaven forbid you ever spill on your necktie. And if you do, we genuinely hope it’s a Tough Tie.


But if you’re reading this and you, for some unbeknownst reason to me, don’t have a Tough Tie yet, and you have in fact spilled on a normal tie, then we still want to help you clean your tie.


Below you will find 5 Easy Steps for cleaning your necktie.


Step 1: Determine the Fabric


Not all tie fabrics are created equal. So knowing what kind of material that sentimental neckoration is made of is step one in figuring out how to salvage it.


The most common types of necktie materials are Silk, Wool, Cotton, Microfiber and Polyester. If the tags fell off years ago there’s still a few ways to figure out what material it is.


If it’s super soft and running your fingers over it creates 6,000 snags, it’s probably silk. If it looks like a sweater it’s wool. If it’s wrinkled it’s cotton. If it looks like silk but you know your dad was too cheap to buy silk then it’s probably Microfiber. And if it looks like it's from the 70’s or 80’s then it’s probably Polyester.




Step 2: Washing


If your tie falls on the Silk or Wool side of the fence then you’re SOL. Ok fine, you’re not completely out of luck yet, but these are the most delicate necktie fabrics, hence the hardest to clean. Even a hand wash with the wrong soap could spell disaster for that 3rd generation Jerry Garcia tie. Dry cleaners are honestly your best bet with these fabrics. Most dry cleaners have dealt with enough stained ties to know how to gently clean and protect that heirloom.


If the tie is Cotton, Microfiber or Polyester then you're in luck. These are more durable materials and can handle a gentle hand wash. Try using just water at first. If that doesn’t remove the stain then use a super mild detergent and gently scrub the stain until it’s gone.




Step 3: Drying


Hang drying is pretty much the only option for all traditional ties. If it’s one of the tougher materials like cotton or polyester you can press some of the water out of the tie with a towel. The key is to be gentle. Remember, traditional neckties were made to be delicately worn at a desk for 12 hours a day where they are never ever exposed to any real world danger or messes. Hopefully you caught my sarcasm there.


But seriously, don't put a traditional tie in the dryer. It'll twist the liner inside the tie and come out looking like Sloth from The Goonies. Wear it after that and all people will hear every time you talk is your tie screaming "Heeeeey you guys!". Just hang it up and wait the 3 days for it to dry.




Step 4: Ironing/Steaming


Remember that part about traditional ties being as delicate as a fine china? Yep, applies to this step too. As a rule of thumb you’ll want to avoid ironing and stick with steaming. Hang the tie up and use the steam feature on your iron to blast the wrinkles and creases out of the tie. Once the wrinkles are gone let it hang dry for another 4-6 weeks.



Step 5: Skip steps 1-4


Throw the tie in the trash and buy a Tough Tie instead. Yeah ok, we might be a little biased, but that’s because collectively Kevin and I wore normal neckties for over 4 decades (man that makes us sound ancient) and we dealt with all of the above annoying steps time and time again! And guess what? 80% of the time, every time, the stain was still there! Which meant we’d end up throwing it in the donation pile anyways!


If you really think about it, normal neckties make absolutely no sense. If you really really think about it neckties in general are super weird. But anyways, why would companies make these overpriced neck-cessories that literally sit right in the line of fire while being worn, and make them nearly impossible to clean? Maybe we’re the crazy ones, but we think cleaning a necktie should be as easy as cleaning the rest of your clothes.



Tough Ties were designed to sit in the line of the fire, take on a barrage of spills and stains, be machine washed, and fight again the next day. Because I don’t know about you, but whenever a shirt and tie is required I’m NOT sitting behind a desk for 12 hours! I’m either at a lunch, a meeting, at church, on a date, or any other number of activities that involve me being out and about in the real world. And if that’s true for you too then a traditional necktie just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.


So ditch the tradish, and grab a Tough Tie instead.


And Stay Tuned for more Style tips From Normal Dudes, For Normal Dudes

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