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Shake and Soap: How to Clean a Polyester Tie

 

It happens to all of us. Blood, mustard, wine, ketchup, mayonnaise, dirt, oil, or spit, something will sometime get on your tie. Cleaning a tie is relatively simple when it is a tie made of polyester; if it's a tie made of silk, well, we have an article for that. Chances are, though, if you've managed to get yourself near one of the above substances, you were wearing polyester. You wouldn't risk your silk ties! Cleaning your polyester tie takes seven simple steps.

First, check the label. If you use this method on a silk tie, you will no longer have a very good tie (in fact, you will have a rather rubbishy piece of cloth, and no tie at all). A common location is on the tag at the back of the tie that you loop the small end through, or on the small end itself. If all of the labels are missing, go by feel. The silkier it feels, the silkier it is. No matter how shiny polyester may be, it won't ever quite feel like silk


Second, get a sealable plastic container. Glass is alright, but plastic makes life that much easier. Tupperware is great; at times, we have used peanut butter jars (empty, clean peanut butter jars) or something of a similar size. You want something big enough to fit the tie and the components of the next few steps with room to swim.

Third, squirt some detergent in and add hot water. Believe it or not, dish soap works great. Laundry detergent does, too (liquid is always better). You don't want too much; the water should dilute it pretty well. You don't want boiling hot water, either. You want it to be a little warm but no hotter than water for washing a shirt of the same color as your tie.

Fourth, shake it up, add the tie, close it, and let it stand. Seal the container and give it a good shake to get the soap all swirled around. When you open it later on, there ought to be a little bit of frothy action going on. Poke the tie in, close it, and shake it around again to be sure the tie is well coated. At this point, let it stand for a while. Depending on how seriously the tie is soiled, overnight to two days usually works.

Fifth, empty and rinse. This is why you don't want too much soap. Once the tie has had at least 24 hours to soak, drain out the water, rinse out your container, and fill it with lukewarm water. Stick the tie back in and shake it around for a while. This helps rinse out the last of the suds. If you want, gently press the water out of the tie, empty the container again, and repeat until the tie stops emitting bubbles.

Sixth, let the tie hang and drip dry. This is fairly self-explanatory. Another twenty-four hours gone by and your tie should be dryer, brighter, and stain-free.

Seventh, gently iron the tie. You don't want to crank the iron all the way up or you'll have a blackened, foul-smelling mess. Don't flatten out the edges too much, either. Go over it a few times in areas with any stubborn creases and you're good to go!

If you don't like the canopic jar effect of having several ties going in several containers, it's safe to put several ties of similar colors in the same bath. Just be sure they have enough room to swim around a little. (Your tie actually shouldn't be moving of its own accord-if it is, you've waited too long and the stain has grown fur and legs-but there should be room for water to easily fill all the nooks.) There you have it-seven foolproof steps to cleaning your polyester tie!

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How to Clean a Tie
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History of the Necktie
Necktie Accessories
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From Boleadora to Bolo: The Evolution of the Western Tie
Black Tie Event
Cleaning Polyester Ties
Cleaning a Silk Tie
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