The Whys And Hows Of Getting Stains Out Of Wedding Tablecloths

Weddings often involve lots of kids (unless you specifically request NO KIDS on your invitations), and that one aunt, uncle, or cousin who always drinks just a little too much. Combine that with tablecloth rentals and tables to seat everyone, and you have an instant recipe for someone to spill or drip stuff all over. If you want to avoid the dry-cleaning bill that the tablecloth rental company would send you, you should do your best to get the stains out before you return the tablecloths. Here are some tips and tricks that can help.

Red Wine

It is a wedding, so it is not too impossible to see a goblet of red wine spilling all over the length of the tablecloth. Hopefully, you have someone other than yourself managing damage control when it happens.

Just make sure your damage control persons know this little trick for removing red wine from any color of tablecloth:

  1. Blot up the excess wine with a damp cotton cloth. A wet cotton towel or cotton t-shirt rag is good. DON'T RUB -- the stain will spread if you do. 
  2. Remove this tablecloth and stretch it taut over an open surface. If you are having an outdoor wedding at home, a clothesline works well.
  3. Cover the stain with salt. The salt will grab the color from the wine and pull it out of the fabric.
  4. Pour boiling water over the salted stain. Your damage control person may need a step ladder and a tea kettle to do this, but it works.
  5. Machine wash according to the washing instructions on the tablecloth's tag.
  6. Check to make sure the stain is gone before drying. Air drying is best.

If you leave this stain to set in too long, you may not be able to get it out. Ergo, your damage control person or your wedding planner will have to be quick when your relative spills his/her wine. Food stains, such as gravy, berries or berry juice, and cake frosting are easily flushed from the tablecloth with cool water. If lard was used in making your wedding cake frosting, you will also need a degreaser, such as lemon juice or vinegar. 

Why You Should Remove the Stains

Most stores that rent wedding party supplies charge extra fees for items not returned in their original condition. For tablecloths, this equals dry cleaning fees, or fees to destroy/throw away the tablecloths and replace them if the tablecloths were burned (e.g., wedding candles or cigarette ash) or ripped (e.g., kids used their dinner knives to "saw" the tables with the cloths still on them). While you cannot do much about physical damage and related fees, you can remove the stains, thus eliminating that expense.

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