One Cleaners

Couture Dry Cleaner for New Orleans

Tips + FAQ

Tablecloths and Napkins

Table linens, whether they are made from 100% linen, cotton, or a poly blend, they can be ruined in a snap by a number of wrong decisions. So, as we head into fall and winter holidays, here are the Do’s and the Don’ts for soiled linens!


  • Discern if the stain is water-based or oil-based.
  • Blot the stain with a dry white cloth until you’ve absorbed all that you can.
  • Stop at this point if the stain is oily. If it’s wine, coffee, soda, or some other water-based stain, you can use a moist sponge or club soda, if need be. But do not rub the fabric.

Note: Water-based stains have a ring around it; Oil-based stains are blotchy with no ring.


  • Use water or club soda on oily stains because they may “set” the stain.
  • Leave the linens soiled or un-cleaned for weeks or months following the event.
  • If you do wash the linens, do NOT dry them, as the heat may set the stains that were not removed.

In most cases, the water in your washer is not hot enough to breakdown oils and to remove them. The oil or gravy may look like its come out because the oily part is often clear in color, but don’t be fooled!

Water-based stains: milk, soda, tea, coffee, eggnog, chocolate, and all fruit

Oil-based stains: gravies, meat juice, mayonnaise, butter, olive oil, and most foods with oil in them.

This tip is © The Clothing Doctor and used with permission. May not be reproduced in any form without written permission.