I have a number of old tablecloths that have yellowed and also have coffee stains. What’s your best suggestion?
It sounds like you have white tablecloths which are probably cotton, polyester or a poly/cotton blend, which is GREAT because you can use Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach to wash them! Since the stains are older you’ll want to pretreat them before doing a bleach soak and then finally machine washing. Since the stains are on tablecloths, which can be more difficult to work with given their size, you have to adjust the usual process somewhat. Here’s how you can proceed:
- Apply a little laundry detergent to each stain on all the tablecloths and gently rub it in. Wait 10 minutes.
- Put all the tablecloths in a clothes washer and run a rinse cycle to remove the detergent applied for pretreating (normally you just rinse a single stain by itself, but you have a lot of items so rinse them all at once!).
- Presoak the tablecloths in a bleach and water solution made with ¼ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach per gallon of water for 5 minutes. You can do this in a sink, a 5 gallon bucket, or a top loading clothes washer. Since you have multiple tablecloths, you will likely need to scale up the amount of bleach and water to make sure the tablecloths are completely submerged.
- After the presoak is complete, drain the soaking solution, transfer the tablecloths to the clothes washer (if necessary—watch out for bleach water drips if you do) and machine wash using detergent and ⅓ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach.
- Air dry and then check your progress—since the stains are older you may need to repeat the treatment so keeping the tablecloths out of a hot dryer until you know the stains are all the way out increases your chances of complete success.