- Act Fast: The best reaction to a sudden spill is immediate treatment. Remember not to scrub as you may rub the stain in deeper, but make sure to soak up all the excess liquid before you begin. Take a spot treatment that contains enzymes and gently dab the area; bleach will cause yellowing and eventually erode linen fibers, so be sure to avoid the caustic chemical.
Soak and Wash: Check to make sure your linen is machine washable for following the following steps! If you're safe and good to go, put them in the washing machine and fill it with hot water; however, don't let it run the full cycle. If it isn't machine washable, find a large pan or pot and let the linen soak overnight with the stain submerged -- this will give you maximum stain-busting power.
Then, either set the machine-washables on a short, gentle cycle or hand wash. Just remember not to scrub!
- Dry: Linen prefers air-drying as the sun will help bleach out stains, and sometimes tumble-drying can actually make them permanent. Of course, if it's the dead of winter, this may not be an option; laying them out flat (so they retain their shape) is an adequate, sunless solution. If the stain has not been removed by the time you go to lay it out, re-treat it and wash the linens again.
Though the type of material your tablecloth is made of (cotton, faux burlap fabric, satin, etc.) impacts the best course of action, the handy tips above provide a quick fix to a sudden problem. If you want to ensure your table linens survive even the rowdiest of parties, take a look at this stain removal chart to round out your linen education; your casual Friday night with friends may not be of the same caliber as the average 44,230 weddings that occur every weekend, but that doesn't mean you won't have just as much fun!