How to Remove Stains from White Tablecloths
Tableclothes do a wonderful job of protecting your table from stains but it’s almost impossible to keep your tableclothes stain-free, especially around the holidays. It’s important to always follow the washing instructions to ensure you are treating the material correctly. Beyond the regular washing instructions, there are a few ways to help prevent and treat stains no matter what the culprit is.
Starch is your best friend
Not only does it help with crease lines, starch will help your table cloth looking and feeling fresh if you’re going to be using the same one for long stretches of time. Dirt, crumbs, and other causes of stains stick to starch, making it easier to remove stains with less damange.
Pretreat Food Stains
Before laundering any stain-filled tablecloth, remove everything from the table except the tablecloth itself. Apply a stain removing pretreatment on each spot, spill, and smudge you find. Once you’ve covered each of the spots on the table portion of the tablecloth, move on to the areas that hang off of the table. This area often has the most stains from people wiping their hands on it and food falling from their utensils. Once the pretreatment produt is applied to each stain on the tablecloth, let it sit for roughly 15 minutes before laundering as usual.
Special Treatment Stains
There are a few types of stains that require special pretreatment before laundering to ensure the entire stain is removed from the material.
Candle Wax – Using a dull knife or spoon, scrap away any hardened wax from the tablecloth. For any remaining wax, place two paper towels on each side of the material and press with a hot iron. As the wax heats up, the paper towels will absorb the wax. As the wax is absorbed, replace the paper towels with new ones.
Olive Oil – Use a prewash stain remover to help absorb the oil from the stain. Wash on the hottest water setting possible and ensure the stain is gone before drying. The heat from the dryer can set the stain, so if it still remains, re-treat it and wash again.
Red Wine – Soak the red wine stain with cold water before pretreating it with a prewash stain remover. Launder the tablecloth with a fabric-safe bleach to remove any remainding color.
Salad Dressing – Scrape off as much liquid from the tablecloth as possible using a dull knife or spoon. Sprinkle the stain with an artifical sweetener to absorb the remaining liquid from the tablecloth. Launder as usual. If the stain persists, use a dry-cleaning liquid.