You lay out your fine table linen for a charming soiree and what do you feel? Terror. You are subconsciously waiting for one of your pals to smother those beautiful damask serviettes with your secret recipe saffron sauce, or destroy that fine linen tablecloth with a spill of red wine. And when it happens you gulp down the rest of your wine to get past the pain.
Relax, take a breath, there is a way out. The key is to act fast. You don’t have to start snatching serviettes out of people’s hands and ripping tablemats from under their plates, but the moment your guests withdraw from the table, you do have to take ten minutes out, grab whatever whites are eating your food and drink, and get to work.
The Method | Treat the stains the moment your guests leave and put them in warm water overnight. The next day you can wash them in a short wash cycle so as to not weaken the fibre. Wash in mild detergent. Rinse well and dry in the sun.
How to pre-treat stains | First, remove whatever you can get off. Dry and crusty stains with a blunt knife, fruit stains with hot water, and for grease, dab away with a white absorbent cloth, bread, or paper towel.
For coffee and tea stains, you can use vinegar or lemon juice to rinse.
On a personal note, we remember dropping a glass of sangria on a friend’s table and she brought a big glass of white wine and poured it over. To our amazement, the red almost disappeared in moments! Another option is to stretch the stained area and pour boiling water.
Rinse tomato and meat stains with cool water.
Squeeze lemon on turmeric stains.
Line dry in the sun to naturally draws out stains
Do’s | Soak overnight, if not, for 24 hours or more.
Gentle short wash.
Use white distilled vinegar or lemon juice in the last rinse to brighten your linens.
Line dry in the sun. The sun naturally draws out stains.
Don’ts | Rubbing stains will make it worse.
Using dryers will set the stain.
If using bleach, choose non-chlorine bleach for extreme circumstances.