Entertaining with fine linens is a luxury but one that all guests truly appreciate. For the stylish hostess, an embroidered Kim Seybert dinner napkin may be as precious to her as a favorite Chanel blouse. To keep them looking their best, we asked Lindsey Wieber and Gwen Whiting, co-founders of The Laundress, our favorite luxury fabric care line, for some invaluable laundering tips for our most cherished items.
What are some simple ways to care for table clothes, napkins and placemats?
Machine wash your linens post-party instead of taking them to the dry cleaner. Spot check linens after every use to ensure stains from food are removed, which will guarantee that stains do not set in and damage the item.
We recommend hand washing with warm water in a laundry basin (or sink). First soak the item for 30-40 minutes then spot clean soiled areas (from food, wine or coffee) with our Wash & Stain Bar and Stain Solution which contain highly-concentrated stain fighters. Use our Whites Detergent because it does not contain bleach, which can destroy delicate fibers.
Air dry for best results or use the dryer on the “no heat” cycle followed by ironing on a low-heat setting while the item is still damp. Use Stiffen Up, our non-toxic starch, which is perfect for taking care of delicates.
Inevitably, parties can get messy for your clothes and your home. What should every hostess have ready for common spills and accidents?
The best stain fighters in a pinch are baking soda for removing food odors, salt for oil spills and club soda for fresh food stains.
Red lipstick and red wine are stubborn stains. Any advice?
The best time to treat a stain is right when it happens. For lipstick and red wine, soak (in hot water for cotton or warm water for linen) then spot clean. If the item is silk, spot clean with cool tepid water and do not soak for more than 15 minutes.
If you are out on-the-town and get a spot on your clothing, is there anything that should be done immediately to treat the stain?
We recommend always having our Wash & Stain Bars available because they are easy to travel with and you can use them in the bathroom or kitchen sink to treat stains on the spot. They are liquid-free stain removers for on-the-go laundry care.
PHOTO CREDIT: Stan Wan for The Laundress