Removing Food Stains from Tablecloths

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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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.

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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.

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


January 5, 20070 found this helpful
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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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April 12, 2010

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

By Brenda H from Wheatfield, IN


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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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


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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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


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.

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, 2011

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

By Jane M.

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