December 13, 2019 5 min read

The holiday season is upon us and it means long dinners and lunches, beautiful table settings and delicious meals, shared with our dear ones. As pleasant as it sounds, these long get togethers around the table result in few stains on our table linen. But it is not the end of the world if you know how to fight different types of stains. Here we share some tips on how to deal with some of the most common stains and how to take care of your table linen so that stays clean and undamaged as long as possible.

But first, a word of caution

As much as we like to rush and clean the stain as soon as possible with whatever cleaner is at hand, it is important to think before we act. Different stains require different cleaning methods and not all of them can be eliminated with warm water and soap.

Also, before cleaning any stains, you have to consider how the fabric might react to cleaning agents and cleaning methods. So inspect the cleaning instructions given on the product label to see if there are any restrictions regarding particular cleaning methods. The colour of the fabric is also important as some colours might fade more easily after rubbing.

Also a word of advice - you may want to make sure any stains are completely gone before you put any linen product in a dryer. If there are any stains left, the dry heat can make them much more difficult to clean afterwards.

How to clean table linen: main rules

Here are some of the most basic rules that should be applied for cleaning stains from table linen.

It is best to use cleaners that state to be safe for linen fabric.

Always test any cleaner on the less visible place of the product to make sure the colour does not come off. Put some of the cleaning agents on a cotton swab and rub it on a less visible place of the product, like an inner seam. If the swab stays white, it should be safe to use the cleaner. If the colour stays on the swab, the cleaner should not be used on your linen product.

You can use bleach for white linen, but stay away from those that have chlorine as it will weaken the fabric and may cause it to wear out and tear. And never put bleach directly on the fabric, even if the fabric is white and the bleach is chlorine free. In any case, bleach is quite aggressive and may damage the fabric fibers.

How to clean oil stains from table linen?

We all know how easily and unnoticed oil stains get their way to our table linen. An oily circle from an olive oil bottle drops of gravy or a splash of whipped cream almost always ends up on a tablecloth or at least a napkin. After all, table linen is at least partially meant to save our furniture and clothes from staining. But saving table linen itself might be a challenge. Here are a few steps that might help to get that oil stain out or at least partially out before turning to cleaning specialists.

For oily stains, you need to act quick. While the stain is still wet, use a paper towel to absorb the oil. Do not rub it to the stain as you might spread it. Instead, pot it on the stain and press to absorb as much oil as possible. Alternatively, you can use soda powder for that. Just put some soda powder on the oil stain to absorb it and then carefully remove oily powder from linen.

Next, dissolve dishwashing soap in a bucket or a sink full of water, fully submerge the linen item and let it sit for some time. It is best to give it an hour or two. After that, just rinse the linen piece.

If the stains were not so old or serious, they should be gone after these steps. However, if there are any stains left, it is best to turn to cleaning specialists to finish the job.

How to clean red wine stains from table linen?

Red wine stains are something that we really dread to end up on our table linen (or anywhere outside the wine glass, to be exact). And although red wine stains are something of a challenge to clean away, these tips might help avoid more serious damage to the linen product.

First of all, remove excess wine with paper towel or dry cloth. In any case, do not use anything damp as you may end up spreading the stain. Also, when cleaning excessive liquid, dab the stain instead of rubbing.

Adding salt to the stain might help absorb the leftover wine in the fabric. Pour salt on the stain and let it sit for some time. After that, pour hot water on the stain to clean the rest of the wine. You might want to be careful with the hot water to avoid burning your hands so someone can help you and keep the linen piece above the sink or a bowl. Also, hot water might be unfriendly to some of the colours, so you should be careful.

How to clean chocolate stains from table linen?

A great dinner is not great without a dessert. And we often opt for something that contains at least a bit of chocolate. But once it gets on our table linen, we know we have ourselves a bit of a problem. Chocolate might be especially difficult to clean as it contains grease and is of dark colour. The darker the chocolate, the harder it will be to get rid of the stain.

Once you are ready to attend to the stain, start by carefully scraping off any excess chocolate. Try not to spread the chocolate any further outside the stain to avoid making it bigger. Then, dab a bit of dishwashing soap or liquid laundry detergent on the stain and let it rest for ten minutes. Do not forget to test the product in a less visible area as we mentioned before. Make sure the washing detergent doesn’t damage the colour before applying it to the stain. After ten minutes, rinse with warm water. Wash your linen in a washing machine.

If the stain persists, try repeating the steps. If it doesn’t help, turn to a professional. Also, before repeating the steps inspect the product to make sure no damage is done to the colour from the first wash.

Final word

Keep in mind that these tips may not always clean the stains completely because the effect may be different depending on how serious the stain is.

In any case, the best decision is to turn to professional cleaners, especially if the fabric or colour is delicate, as they will have the best cleaning products and knowledge to do the job. But you may want to use the above tips in the stains are not so serious or to get rid of the stain partially before bringing your linen to the cleaners.

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