Caring for Your Table Linens

A lovely addition to any home, a well-dressed table sets the scene for many family gatherings and special occasions. The right tablecloth is the icing on the cake. Caring for your table linens by following these suggestions will ensure that your tables are properly dressed for years to come.

Information Provided by Sferra

MACHINE WASHING

Machine wash in hot water for whites, cold for colors. Use pure soap for soft water or a gentle detergent in hard water. Use oxygenated bleach for whites only chlorine bleach can weaken the fabrics and cause yellowing. Remember to use the rinse cycle to remove all detergent. This will help avoid age spots which are caused by oxidation of the fibers.

If possible, treat stains when they are fresh. If allowed to set, stains may be impossible to remove at a later date.

Delicate lace and embellished linens should be placed in a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag before being placed in the washing machine.

DRYING

Avoid twisting or wringing out linens before drying.Tumble dry low until slightly damp. If possible, line dry in the sun to keep linen at its whitest.

IRONING

Check to make sure your steam iron is clean - mineral deposits could cause brown spotting. Iron linens while still damp. If you cannot iron immediately, roll linens in a towel or a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator or freezer from 6 to 24 hours before ironing. This will make them easier to iron and prevent mildew. You can also use a hand-held steamer when the cloth is hanging from the table.

Embroidered linens should be ironed on the reverse side until smooth but not dry.

STORING LINENS

Store your table linens by hanging or rolling them around a tube to minimize creasing. Store in a well ventilated place. Cover linens only in cotton, linen or muslin, or wrap in acid-free tissue.Never use plastic, cardboard or cedar chests to store your fine table linens.

HELPFUL HINTS FOR STAIN REMOVAL

  • Candle Wax Scrape off as much of the wax as possible with the dull side of a knife, then iron between absorbent paper, changing paper until wax is absorbed.
  • Coffee, Tea, Soda Soak in hot water. Pre-wash with stain remover.
  • White Wine Use Club Soda.
  • Red Wine Cover with salt then rinse with cool water.
  • Oils Pre-treat with stain remover or liquid laundry detergent.
  • Meat Juice or Tomato Juice Rinse with cool water, never hot.
  • Ink Hold stain against a towel, spray closely from behind with aerosol hair spray. Ink should transfer to towel.