What to do with your Thanksgiving linens?
What to do with your Thanksgiving tablecloths and napkins?
DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!
As soon as you can kick out your last guest or better yet, have them help you. Take all your tablecloths and napkins from the table and wash them in the washing machine with as hot of water as possible (depending on colorfastness). This is the same principle as running the dishwasher after dinner. Dried caked on food is difficult to remove from your dishes and from your linens.
I know you’re tired and slightly drunk, but you will be much happier in the morning if you do this immediately after dinner. And let’s face it, who wants to face dirty linens with a hangover. Letting the stains set and harden over night will require more effort and products (then you will need me) to remove the same stains. Just turn on the washer before you go to bed.
In the morning check for any residual stain before you dry the linens. Any oily, yellowish, grayish looking stains need to be treated with a degreaser such CITRASOLV. Create a spotting solution of half laundry detergent and half CITRASOLV. Apply the solution directly to the oil stain, tamp with a brush, let it penetrate for 5-10 minutes and wash again.
Any residual colored stains can to be removed by soaking in a oxygenated non chlorinated bleach such as OXO BRITE. Mix 1 ounce of OXO BRITE to 1 gallon of hot water and an ounce of laundry detergent. Soak the linens for several hours then check the stained area before rewashing as normal. If linens are colored, use the soaking solution to check for colorfastness before soaking. Apply a small amount of soaking solution to a corner and dab with a white towel, check towel for color transfer. This will indicate the amount of color loss during soaking period. Adjust water temperature and amount of OXO BRITE as necessary.
Both of these product are available at Whole Foods Market.
Avoid chlorine bleach at all cost. It is not the stain remover that everyone thinks it is, it only removes color not the actual stain. Chlorine is also bad for your health, and bad for our environment.
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