Saturday, November 21, 2015

Go ahead, use your tablecloth

It’s almost Thanksgiving and everything is ready for your big Holiday feast - the china and linens are decided upon, you know exactly which serving dish you'll be putting your famous fruit salad into - your Holiday dinner is going to be perfect!...

Until the red candles drip onto your lovely white tablecloth or Uncle Lou spills his glass of $50 per bottle Cabernet... then what do you do?

Don't panic, those stains will come out - just follow these instructions!

Red Wine:

Before we begin, if you plan to serve red wine, buy a cheap (but drinkable) bottle of white wine also (you'll see why soon).

When a spill happens, pour table salt on the spill right away (lots of salt, to absorb the excess wine) - just leave it there until dinner is done.

Once dinner is over and the table is cleared, remove the salt and bring your tablecloth over to the kitchen sink. Whip out that bottle of white wine you have sitting around just for this purpose - have someone else hold the stained spot taught over the sink and hold your thumb over the spout so the wine will pour fairly slowly and, (from about 18" above the tablecloth) pour the wine onto the stain. The combination of the white wine and the sort of "beating" against the cloth that the wine will do when poured
from the higher distance should whisk any trace of that lovely, wasted Cabernet right out of your tablecloth!

I doubt that you will need it, but if there is any trace of wine left in the cloth after the white wine treatment, rub the spot thoroughly with an enzyme-containing detergent (like biz or era), let it set overnight and launder in the hottest water possible along with some color-safe bleach (if your tablecloth is white, feel free to use chlorine bleach).

Candle Wax:

Wait until the wax has hardened. Remove your tablecloth and take it to the kitchen counter. Apply an ice cube to the area to make the wax brittle. Once iced, gently scrape as much of the wax off as you can with a butter knife (be sure that you use a knife that is smooth & NOT serrated as this will damage the fabric).

Grab your roll of paper towels and your iron. Place several layers of plain white (or unbleached brown) paper towels underneath and on top of the wax. With your iron on med-high heat, iron the area where the wax is - the wax will melt onto the paper towels, so you'll need to change them several times during this process. When you have melted all of the wax out of your tablecloth, launder it promptly in the hottest water safe for your fabric.

Never fear the tablecloth "disasters" during your Holiday meals, they can be resolved quite easily with just a few simple tools!

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