How to Remove an Oil Stain From a Silk Tie

by Alyssa Simon ; Updated September 28, 2017

Silk fabric stains easily, and soap and water will make a stain worse.

tie image by charles taylor from

Oil stains on any fabric can be hard to get out. Oil stains on silk, however, are thought to be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove. There are a few tips and tricks for removing oil from silk, so try them all before taking your silk tie to a dry cleaner. Once your tie is treated with dry-cleaning chemicals, any part of the stain that has not been removed is probably set for life. A little ingenuity and elbow grease may be all that's needed to get the stain out.

Lay your tie on a flat surface, and gently blot the stain with a clean paper towel to get as much oil off the fabric's surface as possible. Do not rub vigorously, because the oil may seep further into your tie's silk fibers.

Sprinkle baking powder,corn starch or talcum powder over the entire stain, and allow it to absorb more of the oil for 15 minutes to a half an hour. Lightly brush off the powder. Repeat if necessary to absorb more oil.

Apply the shaving cream to a motor oil stain--not a food oil stain--and let it sit on the tie without rubbing it in for at least 30 minutes. Repeat as necessary. Remove the shaving cream with a paper towel.

Lay your tie on an ironing board, stain side down, over a clean white cloth. Let the iron warm up on a light setting for the iron, and gently press it down on your tie. Keep the the iron moving over the stain to avoid burning the fabric or setting the stain further. Check frequently to see if the stain is lessening.

Have the silk tie professionally cleaned. Describe the kind of stain and the steps you have taken to try to remove it, so the dry cleaner or fabric care specialist can determine the most effective way to treat it.


  • To help prevent stains, spray your silk tie with a stain guard before wearing it. Test a small patch on the underside of your tie first to make sure it won't harm the fabric.

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About the Author

Alyssa Simon has been writing since 2003, specializing in arts, entertainment and lifestyle topics. She volunteers as a theater reviewer for, and her short-story anthologies include several bestsellers on Kindle. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from Florida International University.