When it comes to house parties and gatherings, you need to prepare a lot— food, decorations, cutleries, dishes, glasses, guest list, and a whole lot more. And then when you have seemed to check off almost everything on the list and the last thing to do is inform your guests to come over, you notice that something important, yet completely missed your mind, is not yet ready: the table linens! It’s where you will set everything up, so it needs to be perfect and sparkling clean. When it comes to linen tablecloths, you need to ensure they stay clean and dashing even when they have been stored for a long time or used every day. We have whipped up the ultimate how-to in this article to help you transform anything from table runners, table linens, tablecloths, and napkins into fresh and ready whenever you need them.
Step 1: Assess the situation.
Is dinner already over? Well then, time to clear the table! When it comes to linen tablecloths, it’s super important to work on the stains as soon as you see them. Identify what kind of stains are on there to know what you need to do.
For greasy stains like spilled gravy, stuffing, or meat, use enzyme cleaners. Enzyme cleaners potently break down protein stains, making them easier to remove once you put them in your washing machine.
For other stains, use oxygen-based cleaners that effectively lift the stains from your linens, especially for red wine stains.
Step 2: Choose the correct water temperature.
When it comes to washing, the debate of whether to use hot or cold water just never ends. Well, the thing is, it actually depends on what stain you are removing. For greasy and protein-based stains, steer clear of the hot water setting because it will just 'cook' them into your linens and make them stay there permanently. Gross!
But for other stains like ink, coffee, and wine, you can use warm water. It will do some magic and erase them with more ease.
Step 3: Load them in the washing machine properly.
Make sure that your washing machine is set to a gentle setting to keep the fibers in your lines from being damaged during your wash cycle. For synthetic fabrics, you can use the permanent press cycle to prevent too much wrinkling.
Afterward, you can carry on using your regular laundry detergent or solution. As long as you properly treat the stains, you can carry on as usual. You can also add a gentle fabric softener to add a protective layer to your tablecloth and prevent liquids from staining quickly.
If you still see some staining after a wash cycle, do another round of treating and washing. Patience is a virtue, they say!
Step 4: Dry your tablecloth and linens.
You can dry most fabrics with the medium-high heat or cool-down setting in your dryer. Remember to take them out of the dryers as soon as the drying ends to prevent excessive wrinkling. You can also take them out to dry in the sun, plus it helps brighten your white linens this way since UV rays act as an instant bleaching ingredient!
Step 5: Time to iron your linens.
It is best to iron your linen tablecloths when they are still a bit damp from the dryer because it is easier to remove wrinkles. But if your table linens have been sleeping in your cabinets and drawers for some time, here is how you can keep them looking neat and crisp:
Lay them on an ironing board and spray some water to dampen the fabric.
Smooth the iron out through sections, starting from the wrong/opposite side.
Repeat on the right side of the linen.
If you want your table linens to look crisper, you can use starch. However, this can break down over time and make your linens turn yellowish.