Party Pointer: Stain Removal for Party Linens

No matter how careful you and your guests are at a party, someone is bound to spill something on your party tablecloth, a cloth napkin, your carpet or someone’s outfit. Check out these pointers for stain removal for party linens so you can get rid of the problems.

Here’s the first three tips laundry experts suggest as soon as something is spilled:

  1. Act fast–the longer a stain sits and seeps in, the harder it is to remove
  2. Blot, don’t rub–rubbing pushes the stains deeper in.
  3. Re-treat before drying–dryer heat sets the stain.

For specific stains, try this–

BBQ Sauce Stains— Flush stain from back of the fabric with cold water, then use a pretreater. After 15 minutes, rinse stain, and if there is still residue follow with next step. Use an eyedropper and diluted vinegar (one part water) to bleach any remaining residue.

Butter–Gently scrape off excess with the back of a dull knife. Be sure you scrape, and do not press, into fabric.Treat with enzyme-based liquid detergent or pretreatment stain remover and wait 15 minutes before washing normally. Check and repeat if needed.

Chocolate–Gently scrape off excess chocolate with the back of a dull knife (it’s best to let it dry and harden before trying to remove). Be sure you scrape, and do not press, into fabric. Rinse from reverse side of the fabric with cold water and treat spot with liquid laundry detergent (one containing enzymes works best) and soak in cold water for 30 minutes, gently rubbing the stain every 5-10 minutes while it soaks. Wash in the warmest water that’s safe for the fabric.

Crayon–harden it with an ice cube. Scrape off the excess with a spoon or credit card and blot

Egg Yolk–Scrape off excess and rinse under cold water (using warm or hot water can cook the egg proteins, making it harder to remove). Pretreat with stain remover containing enzymes or soak for 30 minutes using enzyme laundry detergent in cold water. Wash as directed.

Flower Pollen– use tape or a bandage to remove the grains, or shaken them off so they won’t get embedded.

Food Coloring— Sponge stain with cool water. Wash garment as you normally would. If chlorine bleach is safe for the fabric, mix a solution of ¼ cup chlorine bleach per gallon of cool water and soak for 30 minutes prior to laundering. Rinse with water, then wash the item as recommended on the care label

Grass–gently apply a little hand soap with your finger, and then rinse with warm water.

Gravy–Begin by removing any excess gravy off of the fabric. Check the care label to see if there are warnings about the use of bleach.Pour a liquid detergent or a detergent that also contains a color-safe bleach, such as Tide® Liquid Plus Bleach Alternative into the stain.Create a soaking solution by combining half the usual amount of the detergent per gallon of cold water. Submerge the entire garment for 30 minutes. Using the same detergent, wash the fabric in warm water. Repeat if necessary.

Grease–Sprinkle cornmeal or talcum powder on the grease spot until the grease is absorbed.Brush off with a dry cloth.
If the stain is still there, try a spot remover (multiple treatments may be needed to remove completely). Wash as directed. Don’t tumble dry until you are certain that the stain has been removed.

Guacamole/Salsa –gently scrape off excess with back of dull knife. Do not press into fabric. Treat with enzyme-based liquid detergent or pretreatment stain remover, wait 15 minutes, then wash normally.

Ice Cream–Rinse from reverse side of fabric with cold water. Treat the spot with liquid laundry detergent (one containing enzymes works best) and soak in cold water for 30 minutes, or use an enzyme-based stain treatment and wait 15 minutes before washing. Wash normally and be sure the stain is gone before drying. Repeat if necessary

Ketchup –Apply a pretreater. Use an eyedropper and diluted vinegar (one part water) to bleach any of the stain residue.

Lipstick-lift solid food off with a dull knife or a spoon; blot  with a dry cloth (water might dissolve it into the fabric)

Mustard— Scrape off excess mustard. Flush under cold running water to dilute the stain. Pretreat with a prewash stain remover.
Launder, using the hottest water and the type of bleach listed on the care label that is safe for the fabric.

Olive Oil–blot with a dry napkin. Sprinkle on artificial sweetener to absorb the liquid. Then brush away

Red Wine–flush with cold water and blot with a napkin; at home, soak in cold water 15 minutes. Pretreat and wash in water

Soy Sauce–Flush stain with cold water.Pretreat with enzyme-based stain remover and let sit 15 minutes before washing.
Wash with care-label bleach recommendation.

Syrup– Gently scrape off excess.Sponge stain with a solution of liquid dish detergent and warm water, repeating until stain is removed.Finish with a regular wash cycle.

Tea or coffee–dab cold water on the stain, then blot with a napkin until no more comes off.

Try one of these recommended pretreaters: Carbona Stain Wizard Pre-wash, Clorox Oxi Magic Multi-Purpose Stain Remover Spray and Shout Advanced Stain Lifting Foam.

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