How to Wash Linen Tablecloths & Napkins

July 14, 2023 3 min read

Your kitchen linens can create a beautiful setting for your dining room, whether you're going for a formal or casual look. To care for your kitchen linens, check out our tips for how to properly wash your linen tablecloths and napkins. Cleaning them removes dirt, dust, and food particles to ensure they don't leave a permanent stain and prolong the life of your kitchen linens. Read on to learn how to clean linen napkins, tablecloths, and everything in between.

How Often Should You Be Washing Linen Tablecloths and Napkins?

Kitchen linens are essential in your home, and with proper care and cleaning, you can keep them looking their best. Portland Apron Company's high-quality USA-made table linens are easy to care for and can be washed regularly without losing their quality and beauty.


Properly washing linen tablecloths keeps them looking fresh for years


For the best results, we recommend washing your linen tablecloths or table runners at least once every month or more if the tablecloth ends up soiled. For smaller kitchen linens such as hand towels or placemats, you may want to wash those heavily used every 3 to 5 days. You should clean your kitchen linens sooner if any food or soil spills could leave a stain. 

How to Wash Linen Napkins & Tablecloths

With any table linens, follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions just in case the linens have a particular cloth that requires careful attention. Most tablecloths, runners, linen napkins, and runners are made to be machine washable, thankfully. However, knowing what detergent and temperature to wash and dry is still important. Before you run your linens through the wash, always be sure to check for stains.


Learn how to wash linen tablecloth and napkins


Washing your tablecloth, you'll want to use a detergent that doesn't have a lot of chemicals or fragrances, if possible. Wash your tablecloth or table runner at least once a month or if food or drink spills on them. You should be safe to wash your linens on a gentle cycle with like colors with a mild detergent, and should be done with a cold-water cycle.

Because your linen napkins require you to wash them more often, you'll need to take special care to ensure you know how to wash linen napkins and wash them properly. A mild detergent in cold water using a permanent press cycle can be a safe and simple way to help prolong your heavily used linens such as napkins, tea towels, and placemats.


Learning how to clean linen napkins can keep them presentable for years to come


Drying your linen should be done on a low heat setting, or if you have the space, hang them up to allow them to air dry for best results and fewer wrinkles. If you end up with a few creases and wrinkles after washing linen tablecloths or runners, you can iron or steam press them before you place them back on your table or put them away in storage.

How to Treat Stains on Your Linen Tablecloths and Napkins

Whether using your table linens on special occasions or every day, there's bound to be a moment when spills will happen. Drinks and food spills could  leave an unattractive stain ruining your beautiful linens. Treating your stains should be done before you send them through the wash and as soon as possible.



Wondering how to clean linen napkins and prevent permanent stains? You can pretreat the stain by using a mild clothing spot cleaner or a detergent directly on the stain. Use a brush such as a toothbrush or a gentle cleaning cloth, or you can use your hands to gently rub the detergent into the stain. Avoid vigorously rubbing and scrubbing with a harsh brush to avoid damaging your linens. Leave the detergent on for at least 15 to 20 minutes. For heavier, oilier spills, you will need a heavy-duty detergent or mild dish soap.

Once you have treated the stains and allowed them to sit, send your kitchen linens through the washing machine. You will always want to use cold water, especially with stains, as hot water can cook the stain into the linens. After treating your linens for stains, you can proceed with your regular wash instructions.

Shop for Table Lines at Portland Apron Company

Caring for your linens should be simple. By choosing kitchen linens that are not only easy to clean but made with ethically sourced and sustainable materials, you can ensure your kitchen linens stay in rotation in your home for years to come.

Shop and discover the incredible selection of table linens from Portland Apron Company today!

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