Table Linen Care

/Table Linen Care
Table Linen Care2017-09-11T17:24:59+00:00


A well-dressed table sets a beautiful scene for family gatherings and special occasions. Caring for your table linens by following these suggestions will ensure that your tables are properly dressed for years to come.

Machine Washing

Always wash matching table linens together (whether used or soiled) to allow them to wear at the same rate. Whenever possible, treat stains when they are fresh. If allowed to set, stains may be impossible to remove at a later date. See Helpful Hints below for treating difficult stains.

  • Use a mild detergent.
  • Machine wash on gentle cycle; use hot water for whites, cold water for colors.
  • Do not use bleach; bleaching may weaken fabrics and cause yellowing.
  • Delicate lace and embellished linens should be placed in a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag before being placed in the washing machine.

TIP: Unless linens are very soiled, you need only use half the recommended amount of detergent.


If possible, line dry outdoors to keep white linen at its whitest. Avoid twisting or wringing out linens before drying. For machine care, tumble dry on low heat until slightly damp.


Always check to make sure your steam iron is clean—mineral deposits may build up and cause brown spotting.

  • Iron linens while still slightly damp.
  • Use a steam iron on a warm/hot setting for cotton, or the hot setting for pure linen.
  • Spray with water from a spray bottle for stubborn wrinkles, if needed.
  • Embroidered linens should be ironed on the reverse side atop a white terry towel until smooth but not dry.
  • Touch-up the drop of a tablecloth by smoothing with a hand-held steamer.

TIP: If you cannot iron immediately, roll linens in a towel or a plastic bag and temporarily store in the freezer for up to 24 hours. This trick will make your linens easier to iron while preventing mildew.

Storing Table Linens

Store tablecloths rolled around cardboard tubes or hung on hangers (without plastic) to prevent crease marks from setting, which can weaken fibers. Store in a well ventilated place. Cover linens only in cotton, linen, or muslin, or wrap in acid-free tissue. Never use plastic, cardboard, or cedar chests to store your fine table linens.


Use these special tips for stain removal, and launder as usual. Do not dry or iron if the stain remains—treat stains until they disappear.

  • Candle Wax: Scrape off as much of the wax as possible with the dull side of a knife, then iron between absorbent paper, changing paper until wax is absorbed.
  • Coffee, Tea, Soda: Soak in hot water and pre-wash with stain remover. Repeat soaking process as needed, using fresh hot water and a stain remover.
  • White Wine: Rinse with Club Soda and pat the stain out against a clean white terry towel.
  • Red Wine: Cover with salt, then rinse with cool water. Repeat as needed with fresh cool water.
  • Oils: Blot while still wet, then pre-treat with stain remover or liquid laundry detergent.
  • Grease: Sprinkle with cornstarch or baking soda and allow to sit so the powder soaks up the grease. After the powder thickens, scrape away and repeat the process as needed. Be sure to brush off any remaining powder before laundering.
  • Meat Juice or Tomato Juice: Rinse with cool water—never hot—and blot with a clean white terry towel.
  • Ink: Hold stain against a clean white terry towel and spray closely from behind with aerosol hair spray. Ink should transfer to the towel. Repeat as needed with clean portions of the towel, then launder.


Bath linens should be a soft, absorbent, cozy cocoon to wrap yourself in after a relaxing bath. Follow these simple suggestions to preserve the look and feel of your bath towels.

IMPORTANT: Never use fabric softeners (liquid softeners or dryer sheets) when laundering towels, as they reduce the absorbency of cotton fibers and can ruin your towels.

Machine Washing

  • Always pre-wash bath linens before first use.
  • Wash light and dark color separately.
  • Machine wash using warm or cold water and a non-chlorine bleach detergent.
    • Use a mild liquid detergent without added bleach, whiteners, or fabric softeners.
    • Unless linens are very soiled, you need only use half the recommended amount of detergent.
    • For best results, wash towels only with other towels to prevent pulls to terry loops from hardware such as rivets, buttons, and zippers.
    • Remember: do not overload the washer—better to run another load than to overstuff.

TIP: Do not pour detergent directly on textiles; rather, add it to the water as the wash tub fills or dilute detergent with water, then add linens.


  • Tumble dry on low to medium heat until dry.
  • Smooth towels by hand before folding and storing.
  • Do not iron.
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