Today I did a little clean up and reorganization of our linens. I noticed that their were some stain marks on some of them and the folds were not tidy. I decided that it was time to wash them and press them properly. I got these TIPS FOR CLEANING TABLECLOTHS and made a few revisions and changes. If you’ll notice I took out a lot of the unnecessary words, so that it’s not overwhelming or confusing. I like to print out bullet points so it’s easy for me and my maid to read.
- Mild dish soap (grease fighting is best) / stain remover
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
- Grease-fighting stain remover
- Ironing board
- Remove it from the table.
- Take it outside and shake it out.
- This should remove all the loose food that has been spilled on it and help to make it easier to clean.
- Stretch it out on a flat surface. See if it has any stains. If not then you can go ahead proceed to #3.
- If there are some stains, you need to spot treat them.
- Mix 1/4 cup of grease-fighting dish soap and some hot water (I like to use a stain remover)
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the mixture onto the stained areas.
- Leave for a while (check instructions for how many mins the stain remover should be left on)
- Remove the stain before going to #3.
Wash. Set your washing machine to warm (if the care instructions say that you can) and begin washing the table cloth.
- When you start, do not add any detergent and only place the tablecloth into the washing machine until the tank is halfway full.
- If, after the wash cycle has been completed, there are still stains, then you will need to try slightly more drastic measures.
- Try using a grease-fighting stain remover and let it sit on the cloth for about fifteen minutes. Once you are finished, run it through the washing machine again (with detergent).
Starch. This will save you time.
- Add some starch to the washing machine during the rinse cycle.
- Remove the tablecloths from the washing machine after the spin cycle is finished.
Dry. Do NOT use a drier. Place it on a flat surface or outside and let it air dry.
- Stretch out the tablecloth on an ironing board reverse side up
- Use low heat (to avoid any apparent watermarks)
- Fold the tablecloth nice and neat and then store in sets in air tight containers, remover air if possible (I like to use those Lock n Lock smart bags) *originally the tip is to store in an open cabinet but I find this works best for me since I don’t use them that often and things tend to accumulate dust quickly in Jakarta
- Store linens with moisture absorbent silica gel to prevent molds and mildew
For Tough Stains
- Red wine: Sponge or soak stain using cool water. Pretreat with stain removeror liquid laundry detergent. Launder with fabric-safe bleach.
- Gravy: Pretreat or soak with a product containing enzymes; soak for 30 minutes if stain is dry. Launder as usual; don’t machine-dry until stain is out.
- Butter: Pretreat with a prewash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent. Wash using hottest water safe for fabric. Re-treat if necessary.
- Candle wax: Scrape off with a dull knife. If wax remains, place linen betweenpaper towels and press with warm iron. Replace paper towels as wax is absorbed.
- Olive oil: Pretreat with a prewash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent. Wash using hottest water safe for the fabric. Don’t machine-dry until stain is out.
- Tomato sauce: Apply a prewash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent. Wash with liquid laundry detergent and a safe bleach at a safe water temperature.
- Lipstick: Sponge or soak stain using cool water. Pretreat with stain remover or liquid laundry detergent. Launder with bleach safe for fabric.
Coffee or tea: Pretreat with stain remover or liquid laundry detergent or rub with bar soap. Launder as usual. Rewash if needed.
“as if the wine was never spilled.” image via xdream wizard
Here’s another useful tip and an alternative way to store linens from My Home Ideas:
Always clean and iron table linens after use. Tablecloths are best stored hanging from a pant or skirt hanger in your closet. Bundle clean, folded, matching napkins together in a paper or plastic bag and loop it over the top of the hanger.
I hope you find the tips useful! And do share with me if you have other tips or table linen care secrets to share!