The holidays require a perfect table setting, often including ornate candles, red wine, gravy and all sorts of colorful holiday beverages. Don’t let spills or dripped wax ruin your holiday tablecloth. Follow these tips for caring for your tablecloth.
If red wine spills on your tablecloth, attack the stain as soon as possible. Blot the area with paper towels to absorb the excess liquid and finish your holiday meal. Once your guests leave, soak the area in cool water if you are not washing immediately. Machine wash on gentle in the warmest water possible for the color. Please do not follow the old wives tales about using white wine or table salt to remove red wine stains, because they do not work and can cause additional problems. Also, if your tablecloth is an heirloom or antique, you may want to take it to a professional cleaner.
Place a bag of ice on the wax stain to freeze it. Hold it there until the wax is good and hard. Chip off as much of the wax as you can with either a butter knife or your fingernails (be careful with lace tablecloths). Now you have two options: Bring it in for a professional cleaning or lay a plain brown paper bag (without and writing on it) or blotting paper over the wax. Use an iron, heated to medium, and press it over the bag, changing the bag as it absorbs the wax. (Do not iron colored candle wax directly.)
Eggnog & Gravy
First, blot the stain with cold water and mild detergent. Rinse. If the stain remains, take a small amount of the detergent mix with regular household ammonia to form a paste and apply to the area. Let stand for five to 10 minutes, and then launder as usual. If the stain remains, use an enzyme presoak or a detergent that contains enzymes following the manufacturer’s instructions. Again remember to test for colorfastness.
Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks, Cranberry Sauce & Apple Cider
Flush the stain with cold water. Then blot with dishwashing liquid or a mild detergent and rinse.
For more information on caring for your tablecloth, or if you are worried about removing a stain, bring it to any of our 16 locations and we’ll be happy to help.