Unfortunately, a house is not so conducive to tablecloths in the christmas season of life. At least not at the kitchen table where you eat multiple times a day. Little people under 5 and tablecloths don’t seem to be a good match in any house.
However, many are fortunate to also have a small dining room in the home and I’m sure everyone loves dressing a tablecloth on the table during the holidays. For some reason, it just seems more festive.
And a tablecloth also makes a room seem more put together. A nice finished look.
But aren’t tablecloths fairly high-maintenance?
Well, they certainly can be.
But if you know what steps to take, maintenance can be predictable and easy.
1. Laundering Tablecloths – Washing
When laundering tablecloths always wash your tablecloths on the warm/hot cycle. And preferably wash them in a front loader. They can easily wrap themselves around the agitator in a top-loading machine. This just puts more strain on the cloth than necessary. And it’s also a pain to try to unwind after the cycle is completed.
If you need to pre-treat with a stain remover, make sure it is not going to bleach the fabric by testing it on the inside seam. Some tablecloths are not made with color-safe dyes and will bleed/fade/bleach easily. Usually varnish does the trick nicely but can be expensive! Usually a supermarket brand also does the job nicely – Lidl’s own brand is especially good! It’s called W5!
If there are no greasy spots on the tablecloth, wash on warm/hot.
If there are greasy food stains, treat with stain remover directly onto the stain. Create a stain remover paste in a cup before hand. To do this – put two tablespoons of stain remover in a cup and add small amounts of water until it’s in a paste. Apply this directly onto the stain with a cloth and work/agitate the stain in a circular motion for approximately five minutes and wash on warm/hot (please follow the manufacturer’s instructions). If the stain still stubbornly remains on a pure white tablecloth, don’t be afraid to use some normal household bleach to step things up a notch!
Use a biological washing powder as its better at removing natural elements rather than non-biological powder. Don’t forget to add stain remover also! If you’re able to add laundry starch – we’d recommend you do it for a better result when it comes to ironing!
2. Laundering Tablecloths – Drying
Dry your tablecloth on the warm setting until it is mostly dry. Please make sure the cloth has a damp feel to it when you touch it. The moisture makes things a lot easier when it comes to ironing!
So now it’s time for the ironing!
3. Laundering Tablecloths – Ironing
Iron your tablecloth on the highest setting the fabric can tolerate (Please check manufacturer’s instructions)
Be very careful with this part – you don’t want scorch marks/ hot spots on your fabric!
If it is a heavy 100% cotton, you can probably iron it on a relatively high heat. If it is a delicate fabric or has hand painting (or something equally delicate), iron on a very low setting.
As with the stain treatment, test the iron on an inside seam.
It is best to iron a delicate tablecloth on the reverse side of the fabric. That way, you don’t run the risk of creating that shiny appearance on the correct side if you have to use a hotter heat.
If you’ve chosen to fold your tablecloth directly from the dryer, it is going to have the classic square folding lines.
Only ironing will get rid of these. Despite what other sources claim, a hot steamy shower or hanging on a curtain rod just won’t do the trick.
Take the time to steam them out with your iron. It will look so much more presentable, not to mention looking like its been done by a professional laundry service.
4. Laundering Tablecloths – Storage
We have found that the best way to store an ironed tablecloth is to lightly fold the cloth in thirds or quarters and ever so gently drape it across a strut/wire hanger. (A strut hanger is the classic trouser hanger you’d receive from us if you have had dry cleaning or ironing done with us.) If possible place a garment protector over the hanger and tablecloth to prevent dust settling!
If you’ve taken the time to care for your tablecloth, it can be a lovely focal point to an otherwise simple room.
By all means if you find doing all this gets a little too much for you especially just before Christmas we would be happy to help! Just give us a ring on
01792 813444 or pop into the shop at 162 New Rd, Skewen, Neath, SA10 6HD.