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Caring for Table Linens and Napkins

As Thanksgiving approaches, we wanted to share some tips for caring for table linens and napkins. One of the biggest questions we receive is how to remove stains from tablecloths and napkins.

There are some definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to removing stains from these items.  One big mistake people make with a stained linen piece is applying bleach directly to a stain.  When you do this on your fine table linens (or any garment for that matter) it’s more like ly to leave a yellow blemish than it is to remove the spot you’re worried about. Also don’t rub the stain.  This can cause fabric damage and sometimes even set the stain deeper into the fibers of the tablecloth.

The best technique is to BLOT (never rub) any stain you see and bring the item in promptly for professional care.  Many of these stains are combination food stains, making them even more challenging to remove at home.

If you do want to try removing the stains at home, wash the linen with regular detergent.  After it’s washed, check the entire tablecloth for spots before you put it in the dryer.  Heat from a dryer is more likely to permanently set a stain.  If you see the stain is still there after washing, try the process over again or bring the tablecloth in for professional care. 

If you do decide to bring a stained tablecloth to your cleaner, make sure you do it ASAP!  Older stains will oxidize, complicating the stain removal process and often result in incomplete stain removal. Even better, we’ll press the linens after we clean them so that they’re ready for your next special occassion.