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Removing Food Stains from Tablecloths

Category Laundry
Tablecloths do a good job of protecting a dining table. However, in the process they often get covered with food stains. This is a guide about removing food stains from tablecloths.
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By 1 found this helpful
May 31, 2011

How many times has this happened: you're hosting a holiday party or attending one and at dinner someone spills gravy on the tablecloth? Well, now you don't have to panic about it staining. Simply grab for the artificial sweetener Splenda. The fine powder absorbs the oil and keeps the greasy goo from making a permanent stain.

By Janus from Gainesville, GA

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May 22, 2006

To get spots from a cloth tablecloth, dab the spots with dish liquid while the cloth is still on the table. Usually we try to do this with the tablecloth off the table, but the spots are hard to find that way. Also, dish liquid is an economical and safe treatment for food stains.

By Carol from Wyoming, PA

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By 0 found this helpful
January 4, 2007

How do you remove stains from a cotton tablecloth that was washed and stored away for a year? We think it is some kind of food protein. Please help.

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Eugene from Newark, OH

Answers

January 5, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

Soak the stains with hydrogen peroxide, leave it until it stops fizzing. Then wash it. May have to repeat several times.

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By 1 found this helpful
April 12, 2010

How do I remove old set-in stains from restaurant quality table linens?

By Brenda H from Wheatfield, IN

Answers

April 14, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I wash with a cup of white vinegar in the water and then lay the item in the sunshine. Works great on perspiration stains, too.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 31, 2007

I have tried oxy cleaner, dawn, simple green and I still have food and grease stains on table cloths and napkins. Does anyone have any other ideas?

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Tammie from FL

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By (Guest Post)
February 5, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would try pouring ammonia on it. I had turkey grease stains on my pants (from a baster that went wild). I washed them without thinking and even dried them. I rewashed them, pouring ammonia on them and the stain came right out.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 14, 2008

I bought several vintage tablecloths at an estate sale. There are old grease stains and other stains on them. Any ideas how to get them off? Most of the table cloths are cotton.

sandytn from Knoxville, TN

Answers

By Maxine (Guest Post)
July 14, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

If the fabric is white cotton, you can use liquid chlorine bleach in the wash water...or soak it first in a bleach and water solution. I would not do this if the fabric appeared to be damaged, but I bleached the years-old stains out of one of my mother's cotton damask tablecloths, and had no problems at all. Again, if it's white, you can dry the cloth in the sun for more bleaching power.

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For colors or more delicate fabric, try soaking in Biz Bleach. Do not dry in the dryer--if the stains didn't come out, the heat will set them. You can do this more than once if you don't dry it in the dryer.

I have had very good luck removing grease stains from a variety of fabrics by rubbing the stain with waterless hand cleaner, such as Goop, and washing as usual. (Goop is sold in the automotive department for about $1.50). Just rub it on and rub it in. As long as you don't dry the article in the dryer, you can use this treatment more than once. I just got an incredible grease stain out of a blouse, but it took 4 applications and washings. On the other hand, I had spilled a large amount of bacon grease down the front, and it was a miracle it EVER came out.

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November 28, 20110 found this helpful

How do I get egg and coffee stains out of a knit table cloth?

By Jane M.

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January 4, 20070 found this helpful

My husband's mother gave us one of her mother's beautiful white tablecloths, the only problem is that it has a big coffee stain (I think) on it! I have tried washing it with oxyclean this did not work. Will a paste of oxyclean hurt it? It is very old and I do not want to wear a hole in it.

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Does anyone else have any ideas? I would like to use this tablecloth for Thanksgiving. I thought about tea staining the whole thing to match the stain. It would be pretty but I am afraid that the stain will get darker and I will be back where I started from.

Thanks for any advice!

sarah_bellum

Answers:

Old Tablecloth With An Old Stain to Match

You can try this-it has worked well for me. I do a lot of thrift shopping for kids clothes and I have been able to remove a lot of set in stains. Get a big bucket and fill it with very hot water. Add 1 cup of laundry detergent and 1/2 cup of powder dishwasher detergent. Let sit at least 24 hours. When you wash in the machine, add the same of both detergents to the washload. Good luck. (10/27/2004)

By angel

Old Tablecloth With An Old Stain to Match

I have had great success with BIZ and Clorox II. Take a plastic bucket and put about 1 cup of each in a gallon of your hottest water. Stir it until it is dissolved then fill bucket to 3/4th full with cold water, stir and then add your stained article. I have soaked things for up to 5 days. If, when you check it you can still see some stain, leave it for another day or two! I rescued two beautiful baptismal gowns that had been stored away for 30 years. When they were unpacked they had horrible old formula stains! They came out snowy white and stain free! I have used the dry dishwasher detergent too but I would caution against using it on anything very old and fragile as it is pretty harsh. Good Luck! (10/27/2004)

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Old Tablecloth With An Old Stain to Match

If nothing else works, spray it with oven cleaner, wait 10 min (like ez-off) and then was as usual. Chefs use this to get food stains out of their white jackets. (10/27/2004)

By Linda L.

Old Tablecloth With An Old Stain to Match

I soak the stain in lemon juice and set it out in the sun. You may have to do this more than once. I usually set the item on the truck of the car since you need to spread the stained area out on a flat surface. (10/27/2004)

By Ann

Old Tablecloth With An Old Stain to Match

If the stain is in fact a coffee stain and it was black coffee with no milk or cream, try this: hold the part of the cloth with the stain on it over a sink or bathtub and pour boiling water onto and through it. I had a tablecloth that had a very old coffee stain on it and this worked; it took a couple of teapots full of boiling water, but the stain came out. Won't work as well if there was milk or cream in the stain, though! (10/27/2004)

By Lynn from Calif.

Old Tablecloth With An Old Stain to Match

I'm wondering if you thought of staining the entire tablecloth with coffee to give it an antiqued look? Rather than work so hard to get out that "one bad apple", maybe it's time to apply "if you can't beat em join em".
(10/28/2004)

By melody_yesterday

Old Tablecloth With An Old Stain to Match

My mom has used a solution she read of years ago. She used equal parts of 20 mule team borax and dishwasher powder (Cascade, I think). A Tablespoon and 1/2 of each. I keep an old diaper pail by my laundry to do presoak - I love that the lid locks down! (10/28/2004)

By melody_yesterday

Old Tablecloth With An Old Stain to Match

I have used oxiclean as a paste and have had excellant results. I made a paste and covered the stain and rolled up the article so the paste is on the stain and let it set for 24 hours. This is very gentle on a delicate fabric. Another good one for stains is Yellow Out but may be damaging to older fabric, but I use this a lot in place of bleach. Good Luck! (10/28/2004)

By Charlotte

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