Whether made from synthetic or natural fibers, having quality table linens is a necessary part to any classy dining event. After all, tablecloths, runners, napkins, and overlays all help to protect the dining surface while providing a foundation for your table displays.
Of the many types available, solid color cotton tablecloths are especially popular thanks to their traditional look and feel. In addition, natural fiber tablecloths have a major benefit in that they can be passed down and used over generations if properly taken care of.
A continuation of where part one left off, here are some general care guidelines for how to treat your table linens if these four common mealtime stains happen.
A mixed type of stain, gravy splatters are usually treated in a two-part manner. First, pre-treat the oil in the gravy stain with an enzyme based stain remover or suitable detergent. Let the product soak into the stain for about half an hour before rinsing.
Then, wash the linen like you usually would and use the hottest water that is appropriate for that type of fabric. To remove the color or dye part of the stain, make sure to add in detergent and a safe, non-chlorine bleach.
Similar to tannin-based stains, keep working the gravy stain completely out of the fabric before machine drying it (since after that it will be set).
Especially common on cloth napkins, lipstick stains are treated in a similar fashion to red wine stains. As soon as you discover a lipstick stain, soak it in cold water before pretreating it with an appropriate liquid detergent or stain remover.
Wash the item in a laundry machine like you would normally. Repeat the process and do not heat dry until stain is removed. If needed, add in bleach that is safe for that type of fabric.
While candles make for a nice touch, candle wax stains are less welcome. Thankfully, there are multiple methods for removing wax drippings.
First, harden the wax by placing the linen into the freezer or pressing an ice cube against the stain. Use a spoon or dull butter knife to gently scrape off as much wax as possible.
Then, you can either choose (or employ a combination of) the ironing method or pretreatment method to remove the remaining wax.
For the ironing method, press the stained part of the linen in-between paper towels using an iron on medium heat. This should cause the wax residue to melt and be absorbed by the paper towels. Avoid leaving the iron on the paper towels or linen for too long so nothing is damaged or burned. Replace the paper towels as often as needed to remove the remaining wax.
Alternatively, you can remove candle wax stains using the sane pretreatment method as similar oil-based stains (like lipstick or gravy). Namely, first apply a solvent stain remover to dissolve the oily part of the stain. Then, gently rub detergent into the stain before laundering the linen in hot water. Rinse, repeat, and use fabric safe bleach if necessary.