How To Save Your Tie From Certain Doom

Emergency tie treatment for the worst-case scenario

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It was bound to happen sooner or later. You're dressed to impress at a fancy business dinner, and that meatball destined for your mouth somehow ends up rolling down your chest. Not only did you just miss out on some chewy, meaty deliciousness, but now there's marinara sauce all over your favorite tie.

Most men would curse. Lesser men would curl up in a corner and cry. But you? You know what to do.


What To Do

There's a good chance that your tie is permanently ruined, especially if it's made of silk. Still, there are steps you can take to help minimize that chance. The first is to immediately blot the stain with a clean cloth to absorb as much of the foreign matter as possible. From there, it all depends on how prepared you are.

Stain Remover Pen

Stain Remover Pen
The quickest solution, though not always the best. [Image credit: Flickr user "nitot" (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)] View Larger

Your best immediate option is instant stain remover, which you might already be carrying. Before you start poking at that stain, though, test it on the back of the tie to make sure it won't remove the color along with the food.

Certain stain remover pens contain heavier bleach content than others, so it's important not to skip the test. And the fastest solution isn't always the best, so you might also want to try...

Talc Powder / Baby Powder

You'll probably get some weird looks when you pull this out of your man-purse, but it's your best weapon against oil-based stains. Just cover the affected area and let the talc absorb the oil for a couple of hours, then brush it away.

Obviously, this isn't always a convenient or feasible solution—it takes a long time to work and only works on oil-based stains.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol
You do have a first aid kit, right? [Image credit: Wikimedia Commons "Cspurrier" (CC BY 2.5)] View Larger

This is another solution that depends on Boy Scout–level preparedness.

First, you dab the stain with rubbing alcohol, which you can find in most first aid kits (this is like first aid for your tie, after all). Then, you immediately blow the area dry before the alcohol can set in the fabric and form a permanent ring.

That's the tricky part: Unless the meatball disaster happened at your house, you're not likely to have easy access to a blow dryer.

Club Soda or Tonic Water

This is a last resort, simply because water does not play well with silk.

Lightly dampen a cloth with club soda or seltzer, then gently dab and brush at the stain. Take care not to rub the stain further into the fabric. Club soda or tonic water work best, but plain water might work, too. Still, it's risky—many dyes used on silk will bleed when exposed to water.


Hero image: Flickr user "barkbud" (CC BY 2.0)

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