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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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Solutions

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By 0 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.

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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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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

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.

Eugene from Newark, OH

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Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
January 5, 20070 found this helpful

Learned this trick when I had my kids Try some of the product called Lestoil. You can buy it at walmart cheap. Back in the day formula with iron left horriable stains on baby clothes and this is what I used to get them out on clothes that had been given to me that had already been washed. Of course they tried everything to get the stain out but my lestoil got it out every time. You will need to wash it again or hang it out because this cleaner does have a strong smell.

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

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

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 5, 20070 found this helpful

I wanted to put the white back in a christening dress that had been stored for years. I soaked it in peroxide and warm water. It worked great.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 18, 20070 found this helpful

I've had great success with the following soak: 1 scoop Biz, 1 scoop OxyClean, 3/4 cup Ammonia, 1 gallon hot water. Mix all ingredients in a large tub, sink, or plastic bucket. Add the stained linen and let it soak for several hours or even overnight. Every so often with a heavy wooden spoon or stick, agitate the water. Remove and wash as usual in Tide soap. Air dry. by Jani

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 6, 20080 found this helpful

I have a cotton crochet tablecloth that has turned yellow . I don't know if it is from age or what it had been washed in. How or what can I use to get it white again

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 8, 20080 found this helpful

Could anyone tell me what 'BIZ' is and where I can find it? Thanks!

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 8, 20080 found this helpful

Could anyone tell me what 'BIZ' is and where I can find it? Thanks!

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 9, 20080 found this helpful

Could anyone tell me what 'BIZ' is and where I can find it? Thanks!

Editor's Note: It is a type of laundry detergent. Here is a link with some information, the company website doesn't seem to be working so the product might be no longer available.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biz_(detergent)

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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 from Wheatfield, IN

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Answers

April 14, 20100 found this helpful

If the stain is tea or coffee and the table linens are light in color lay the tablecloth outside on something when the sun is up and wet the spot with water. Keep doing this till stain is gone. Keep the spot of stain moist. This also works on clothing. I have had tea stains on white tops and did the same thing. Rosemary, Ohio

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April 14, 20100 found this helpful

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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Anonymous
December 5, 20150 found this helpful

I used to watch my mother use lemon juice after someone had spilled some red wine on one of her favorite tablecloths. She first rinsed the item in cold water, then outside on an old clothes line she kept, she would spread it out and treat with fresh lemon juice. It worked!

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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?

Tammie from FL

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
February 3, 20070 found this helpful

I have had good results w/Scrubbing Bubbles.
Saturate the stain and let soak, then wash as
usual. Has worked on several things that I
thought were ruined.
Hope it works for you.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 4, 20070 found this helpful

If all else fails, and the cloth is really washable, use WD 40 right on the spot, let sit 15 minutes, rub between hands, then toss and wash/dry. It should be gone by then. Good luck. : )

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

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 guest (Guest Post)
February 15, 20070 found this helpful

I have tried ammonia and it usually works....also WD-40 believe it or not seems to work on some tough grease stains wash soon after applying do not allow any pretreatment to dry as it will sometimes make the stain worse.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 20, 20070 found this helpful

I have found the best way to remove gravy stains is simply to wash the entire garment in a vat of gravy. It's a little hard on the spin cycle, but it evens out the color quite nicely.
<b>Editor's Note</b> Tee hee.

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October 6, 20100 found this helpful

Goop! Found in any hardware store. Seriously. It's a grease cleaner, works amazing, little bit goes long way.

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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

July 14, 20080 found this helpful

I've had really good luck with soaking things in Oxyclean. I have some very old things my grandmother made and it got rust and old whatever out nicely.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 14, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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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July 17, 20080 found this helpful

Sandy,

If you have septic, like we do, you know that you can't use regular bleach. Try handwashing in cold water at the sink and scrubbing the stains with a bar of Ivory Soap. This works so great on my daughter's work shirts at Sonic!

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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.

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 angelpitts

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)

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 lindal

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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