How to Clean Spots on a Polyester Tie

Kaye Wagner

Ties are often getting stains, particularly by food as you lean over a table or drop food from your mouth. Some ties, such as silk, should only be professional cleaned, but polyester ties are durable enough that you can clean stains on your own at home using a few products that you might already have around the house.

Use the right spot-cleaning methods to help ensure that you don’t spread the stain.

Ink or Food Stains

  1. Spray the spot with hairspray. The alcohol in the hairspray will help loosen the ink stain.

  2. Mix 1 tbsp. vinegar, 1/4 tsp. liquid dish detergent and 1 qt. warm water. Stir to combine.

  3. Place the tie into the solution and let it sit for 30 minutes.

  4. Scrub the stain until it is gone. Rinse the tie in clear water and let it air-dry.

Oil Stains

  1. Rub the stain with petroleum jelly.

  2. Let it sit for 10 minutes. The petroleum jelly will help separate the oil stain with the fabric.

  3. Rub 1 drop of liquid dish detergent into the stain and let it sit for another 10 minutes.

  4. Fill a sink with warm water and add 1/8-cup laundry detergent. Hand-wash the tie in the soapy water and hang it out to dry.


  1. Squeeze a dab of toothpaste directly onto the stain.

  2. Rub the toothpaste into the lipstick stain until it is gone. The toothpaste will act as a very mild abrasive.

  3. Fill a sink with warm water and add 1/8-cup laundry detergent. Hand-wash the tie, paying special attention to the area with a spot on it.


  1. Put ice in a plastic bag.

  2. Press an ice cube over the gum until it is very hard and brittle.

  3. Chip the ice off with the edge of a plastic ID card or spoon. Don’t use metal as it might scratch the tie.

  4. Tip

    Never use bleach to clean polyester as it will discolor colored ties and turn white ties yellow.