I've tried everything found online (and on this site) to clean a white cotton/linen tablecloth. My daughter did not pre-treat the greasy food stains, just threw it in the washer and dryer, plus she has had it in a drawer for a year. I've tried everything but the Fels Naptha which I can't find anywhere. I have tried the bleach/powder dishwater soap, oxyclean/Biz/ammonia, sprayed w/oven cleaner, nothing has worked so far. Do you suppose this is a hopeless task? It's a beautiful Battenberg lace cotton/linen tablecloth. I found Fels Naptha online but it says it's a "pre-wash" stain cleaner so I didn't order any since the stain has been washed and dried. I've about given up...
Carolyn from Shreveport, LA
Did you try rubbing a bar of Fels Naptha onto the wet stain?
You could try using shampoo, or facial cleaner ( since these are designed to remove grease and oil) or if that fails, there is a mechanics hand cleaner called "orange clean" its like $2 a bottle ( Any generic brand of it should work too) and use that. I have also used rubbing alcohol on a q-tip or cotton ball ( depending on how large the spot is) to remove oil. ( Try testing the last two on an inconspicuous area of table cloth first.- I haven't had a problem with either but I wouldn't want your tablecloth to be ruined any further)
I've found something that seems like Nels Naptha at Drug Emporium. It's called Grandma's Soap and is made from lard, water and lye. It's used for acne, stains, poison ivy and (of all things) catfish bait. Is this the same thing as Nels Naptha, just a different name?
Have you tried Dawn dish detergent?
Are you sure it's grease? Could it be the reide of wax?
I have lots of Battenburgberg lace. If I have an impossible stain, I set something on it when I set the table. Another idea is to cut a pattern there and fill it with B-lace, or embroider or sew an applique there.
I buy Fels Naptha at the grocery store, in the laundry section.
If you still can't find it, try coating the stain on both sides with a heavy layer of cornstarch. Put something heavy on it, like a stack of books, to press the cornstarch into the fabric. Let sit for 12 hours or overnight. The cornstarch will absorb oil. Handwash with Dawn dishsoap, adding extra soap to the stain.
Good luck with the stain. I find buttery or greasy stains the hardest to remove, especially after they have set.
Have you tried powered dishwasher soap and hot water? Let it soak in the washer for a few hours and then check. If need be, soak longer,, or repeat the process. This works for me.
Run Hot water in your washing machine, add 1 cup bleach, and 1 cup electric dishwashing detergent. Add white tablecloth. Let soak for a few hours, do not put into the dryer, instead - hang to dry. Several repeats of this may work to lighten or remove stain, the grease stain can be sprayed with Pine-sol detergent before washing to help remove the oil stain, it worked on my silk dress even.
No one has yet suggested using Goop hand cleaner. It's something that's used to clean really greasy, dirty hands (like in auto repair shops) but you can find it at Walmart.
Personally, I'd mix it to a paste with powdered dishwasher soap, rub that in good and let it sit a day or two before washing the table cloth. What's to lose?
Sounds weird--but try white toothpaste. Dampen the stain, squeeze a little toothpaste onto both sides & rub in really, really well. Allow to set several hours, redampen & re-rub a couple of times & then wash as usual. Use WHITE toothpaste, though, as colored might stain the fabric further. I use Arm & Hammer baking soda toothpaste.
I have had good success with these types of stains using the oily citrus cleaners like Goo Gone to pretreat. Be sure not to buy the gel but the liquid only. Spray on the stain and wait 5-10 minutes, then add a little detergent and water to the stain and gently rub the fabric, then wash as usual. If a stain is old and set in, you may have to apply and wash more than once.
Try dampening the spot with GooGone and sprinkling a product like OxiClean over it; wrap it tight and let it sit overnight. Then wash as usual. At this point, washing in hot water will only serve to further set the stain. Use cool or warm. If the stain still remains, rewash it without putting in the dryer. Excessive use of bleach may cause your lace to rot as will dishwasher gel or soap (which happened to one of my tablecloths).
How cool is this?! I found Fels Naptha soap at:
$8.90 for a 5.5 oz. bar
Item No. H2766
But I was thinking about some other things;
1. If I were you I would take your tablecloth to an old fashioned local Chinese Laundry and see if they can get the stain out for you. I live in Houston, TX and they have stores like that here so I'm sure they'd have them where you live too. Maybe they can help.
2. Try to clean the item again with a mild soap, rinse well with cold water, then try some diluted lemon juice on the stain. Then put the item out in the sun to bleach. My sister is a self professed 'stain queen' and she has had good luck with stains on white cotton clothing.
3. What about Lestoil? I can buy this in my local Kroger grocery store and it gets out grease like mad.
4. One time I was trying to get great from a heavy duty payloader out of a baseball cap. Literally tried everything. I'm afraid to tell you what actually worked though - Safeguard bar soap. The great stain disappeared before my eyes, no joke. Makes me a little afraid of what they use in it, since we use it on our bodies, but maybe it will work for you.
5. What about regular shampoo? It's made to dissolve body oils, maybe you'll get lucky.
6. You might want to try a local dry cleaner located in an expensive part of your city. The kind that caters to the wealthy patrons who use their services for very expensive garments. It might cost you a penny, but it might work.
Whatever you try next, I wouldn't put the item back in the dryer again.
No one has mentioned WD 40. Greatest thing for removing stains - just spray on and wash! The old people running one of our laundries got me started using this. Another thing is that I have always heard that once something has been run through the dryer, that the dryer heat sets the stain into the fabric.
Have you tried peroxide it's available at any dollar store for a dollar it works every time for me.
I have two suggestions both of which have never failed me in removing even old grease based stains. If you have a Walmart or Dollar Store pick up a bottle of Mean Green and try this on your stain full strength follow with washing in very hot water. If your worried about shrinking, put the stain over a large bowl and stretch tight. Pour boiling hot water through the stain and work with a soft brush. It might take several tries.
Also go to greatcleaners.com and find the Oyxclean Baby Soak. This stuff is magic! I can get very yellowed and stained articles clean with Baby Soak and am on the auto ship program with it, I couldn't imagine being without it as it works so much better than the reg. Oxyclean. I haven't ever been able to find it in stores but it's worth mail ordering. Between these you should be able to save your table cloth. Good luck and I hope you let me know through posting here if this worked.
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