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I know seven ways to knot a tie, but not a way to clean it
August 1, 2012 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Oh great neck accessory wearing people of metafilter. How often do you clean your ties? How do you go about cleaning your ties?

I have ties. I wear them fairly often. I have not cleaned them in years, oh lets be honest, I've never cleaned them. I'm thinking dry cleaners, but what do I know? Have I hurt them by not cleaning them years ago?
posted by bswinburn to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Your dry cleaner can do it. That said, I almost never clean my ties. I find that the material is slightly damaged by the cleaning. I'll only clean a tie if it is pretty new and obviously stained.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:53 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


How often do you clean your ties?

On the exceedingly rare occasion that I spill something on them that doesn't brush off. As a wild guess, I'd say I've cleaned every tie I own approximately 0.25 times. That is, I've cleaned about a quarter of them once, ever.

This isn't anything to embarrassed about. They're not an accessory that's ever supposed to touch your skin, so it's not like they get sweaty the way shirts or pants do.

How do you go about cleaning your ties?

Dry cleaners.
posted by valkyryn at 12:53 PM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Back when I had to wear a tie regularly, I sent my ties to the dry cleaners only if I got gunk on them (or that one time I accidentally dipped it in the toilet.)
posted by griphus at 12:55 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


By the time you clean your ties, you can replace them with new, stylish ties.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:56 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Assuming you don't work in an industry that requires higher standards of cleanliness (medicine, food service), brush them off every time you wear them, clean them when they visibly need it.
posted by Etrigan at 12:57 PM on August 1, 2012


I never clean my ties unless I get something on them, and even then I'm more inclined to just toss it. And I wear expensive ties, so it's a non-trivial loss to throw one out. They just are never the same after cleaning. It's better to try hard not to soil them, and then cycle them out after a while.
posted by primethyme at 12:57 PM on August 1, 2012


Assuming you don't work in an industry that requires higher standards of cleanliness (medicine...

Many hospitals now forbid the wearing of ties. They're a huge factor in nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infection.

posted by valkyryn at 1:00 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dry cleaners. I clean them only if they get an obvious stain on them, such as if I drip salad dressing on them.
If you take a tie to get dry cleaned, be prepared for the possibility of getting it back completely ruined. Those big commercial presses can bake the fabric and make scallop folds down both sides of the tie, and you can't ever get them out.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 1:02 PM on August 1, 2012


You don't need to routinely clean ties the way you do with other clothes. I never dry clean my ties (and I have to wear a tie every day for work). If I can't get the tie clean enough on my own, I throw it out. If that gets too expensive, buy cheaper ties.

Previously.
posted by John Cohen at 1:11 PM on August 1, 2012


Ties don't really clean well. Even if the dry cleaner can get the stain out of silk, a big if, then they usually ruin it by pressing it afterwards. Instead of looking pressed, it looks compressed with all of the structure now showing through the front. Don't get your ties dirty.
posted by caddis at 1:12 PM on August 1, 2012


and wash your hands before you tie the knot so that your hands don't get that part of the tie progressively dirtier every time you tie it. Even seemingly clean hands have some oil.
posted by caddis at 1:13 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I clean them only when I've spilled something on them that doesn't blend-in when removed.

Even if the dry cleaner can get the stain out of silk, a big if, then they usually ruin it by pressing it afterwards.

This. I learned my lesson long ago to avoid taking a tie to the cleaners if at all possible.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:28 PM on August 1, 2012


They're not an accessory that's ever supposed to touch your skin, so it's not like they get sweaty the way shirts or pants do.

You clearly don't sweat the way I do and/or live in as hot a climate.

That said, the parts of my ties that get sweaty are consistently the same parts and are hidden by my collar. So I've put some salt stains on a few but you can't tell.

On the occasions where I've needed to clean one I've taken it to the dry cleaners. As others have said, even that shortens their life. As others have said, more often than not I'll just replace the tie. The sorts of stains/ick that make it need cleaning tend to mean it's not as crisp or has some fabric wear anyway.
posted by phearlez at 1:29 PM on August 1, 2012


I've washed silk ties by hand then gently ironed. Not as good as new, but better than dry-cleaned.
posted by theora55 at 1:34 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are tie cleaning specialists who will partially unsew a tie, dry clean, press, sew, press again. But that's only worth it for quite fancy ties.
posted by JPD at 1:39 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Send them to TieCrafters.
posted by nicwolff at 1:52 PM on August 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I once splashed what appeared to be either super-molassesy BBQ sauce or human blood on one of my Hermés ties. I don't know when or how it happened, only that it had been some time between the incident and the next time I wore it. I thought it was ruined. The Hermés people sent it to tiecrafters in NYC. It took weeks, but when my tie returned to me, it looked new. I have used them since then and will never send a tie anywhere else again.

The tie is still one of my favorites.

The expense of this kind of service is only justified if your tie is a quality tie or one that you like very very much.
posted by Hylas at 1:56 PM on August 1, 2012


Yeah tiecrafters is who I was thinking of - couldn't remember the name.
posted by JPD at 2:19 PM on August 1, 2012


And yes, nthing TieCrafters. It terrifies me that no one ever cleans their ties, and that this is an acceptable state of affairs. It is right next to your mouth: you sneeze on them, cough on them, hug people near them, handle the fabric repeatedly, let babies yank on them. I am by no stretch of the imagination a neat freak, but if expense allows it...for the sake of some semblance of hygiene, please clean your ties!
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 2:59 PM on August 1, 2012


I spot-treat my husband's ties when he gets something on one that's a particular favorite. (Oily stains will sometimes lift out of silk with repeated applications of baking soda ... or at least become unnoticeable enough to wear.) Dry cleaners will (often) get the tie clean, but it'll wreck the tie.

If I can't remove the stain or it's not a favorite tie, that tie is just done.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:04 PM on August 1, 2012


How do you go about cleaning your ties?

I don't. I've tried dry cleaning, after staining by food or drink. Results always disappointing, so I no longer bother. I'll keep it around if the problem area can be hidden underneath a sweater I'd never take off that day, otherwise into the trash.
posted by Rash at 7:08 PM on August 1, 2012


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