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Monday, April 25, 2011

How lazy people iron tablecloths, last chance to enter giveaway!


Do you still use a regular ironing board to iron your table linens? Sometimes, I send mine to the laundry, but most of the time, I prefer to do take care of my linens myself. Here are some quick tips for healthy linens:
1. Remove from table promptly after a meal. - it's okay to wait till the guests go home.
2. Place them in the washer with a measure of Oxyclean. I usually leave them in overnight. Who wants to do laundry at night? This gives any stain a tough time as it tries to set.
3. Complete wash cycle in the morning. Check for any residual spotting and treat accordingly. Usually there are none.
4. Damp dry or hang to dry if you are lucky enough to have a clothesline.
5. Iron them if they do not require any starch and will look fine without it. If starch is needed, put them away; either hang up or fold them neatly. You don't really want to fold starched items as it will weaken the fibers over time (especially crucial for delicate heirloom quality pieces). Depending on where you live, the starch might attract weevils to dine on your pieces.


I had my husband cut me a piece of plywood that is 30" by 75". I then padded it with a wool blanket. Wool is perfect to use as it absorbs moisture from ironing. I covered the wool covered board with some heavy muslin. Fold it so that the staples are on the side as shown above (I know I could have been neater,  but who was going to ever see this?) This way, when the board is placed on the end of your dining table, the staples won't mar the surface.

I place a stool on my right side that holds my ironing station and iron the entire width of my tablecloth at once. I can iron one in about 15 minutes.

1. For linen or cotton tablecloths, give a quick rinse in the washer with a homemade solution of starch. Buy the dry starch and add about 1/2 cup to a 1/2 washer load.
2. Damp dry in the dryer.
3. Iron right away or place the folded tablecloth in a plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours. Why this works, I have no clue, but it does make ironing easier.
4. Use the hottest setting on your steam iron. Since the starch is in the fabric, you won't have any residue on the bottom of your iron.
5. As you iron, pull the tablecloth onto the table. No wrinkles and no ironing the length twice! I do usually put a pad on the table for dinner, but omitted it in the step above!

Hope this helps and that you can begin to enjoy your linens again!

Please drop in on this post HERE and leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a set of 8 monogrammed white dinner napkins, your monogram, your style of monogram, your color of monogram. Winner to be announced Wednesday April 27th, 2011. 

18 comments:

Babs said...

Marlis, This is a great idea for how to iron large linens! I'm one who likes to iron so I really appreciate your tips.
Hope you had a lovely Easter.
Babs

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Great tips Marlis! I especially like the one about soaking the tablecloth overnight:@)

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Great tips! I always iron the tablecloths even though sometimes they don't quite look it. You KNOW I would never miss the opportunity to win monogrammed tableware!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Marlis, This is a brilliant post. I would love to have a board like that for my tablecloths. Have a wonderful week.

Scribbler said...

Great ideas. I remember seeing my mother sprinkle what she called "rough dry" clothes and put them in the fridge when I was very little. (That was a long time ago!)

I did something similar for ironing napkins, using an unused shelf board. It beats having to set up the regular ironing board. I sit at the kitchen island and catch up on the napkins which do need the iron. (I don't iron all of them, because we use cloth all the time. That's one of my bits for the environment -- no paper napkins.)

Alycia Nichols said...

Great post, Marlis! I am one of those people who just HATES to have wrinkles or lines of any sort in my linens. I take great care with them...even the poly blends! I can remember from childhood how our ironing lady would mist the linens and put them in the fridge. Her stuff always came out picture perfect! Unfortunately, I never have enough room in either regrigerator to follow suit! :-) Great ironing board your husband made!!! I know that really must help an awful lot!

Debbie said...

What a fantastic idea! I dislike ironing table cloths. The main reason is that I'm a left handed housewife and tend to get tangled in either cord or linen. (Probably shouldn't admit that in public, but...)

This is a really wonderful idea, and I'm showing it to my husband since I would probably need his cooperation if I were going to make something like this.

I'm a left handed carpenter, too.

Audrey said...

What a great idea! I could have used that recently for my Easter table. Thanks for sharing the great pictures.

Kathleen said...

I had forgotten about the frig! I usually take mine out of the washer, stretch outside to dry a little, then put it on the table and smooth it all out Touch up with the iron.
Love your board!

connie said...

I love the information on ironing the tablecloths. It was great.

subgirl said...

Marlis, thanks for the great info on taking care of my table linens.
Now I'll know how to care for those monogramed napkins when you pick my name as the winner!! Hee Hee

xinex said...

Thanks for the tips, Marlis. I don't know if I can follow them though, I am just too lazy. Your linens are always looking crisp and pretty...Christine

Fifi Flowers said...

GREAT table!!!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

A great idea! We are always looking for ways to make chores easier! ♥

Dianne said...

Marlis, I love the idea with the wool blanket. My husband just took down some adjustable metal shelves from closet and I have been using it wrapped it towels to iron my tablecloths, but wool blanket will be perfect. I love the adjustable shelf b/c I can reduce the size down to about 20" and it's easy to store. Now I have to figure out how to make a wool cover that can contract along with the shelf! Dianne

Diann said...

Great tips. I am one of those people that after every meal the table linens go immediately into the wash. Spot treated before if needed.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

What great tips! I'm saving this post, so I can link back to it. So many good ideas. Thanks Marlis. laurie

FABBY'S LIVING said...

What a good idea Marlis, yeah, it's better to wash and iron oneself, as I had once a bad experience in the cleaners, they shrank a cotton pretty tbcloth I had!...since, I do it myself succesfully! I like the ironing board, it's perfect!
Thank you for coming by and leaving me such generous and lovely comments, honey. I have 2 sets of the hand made china, the birds that's mine and the Carnations, that's my hubby's. My 2 daughters have one each too. I also got one back that we gave our Mil on one M.Day. I still need to make a table with Sofia's china...I did one with Alexandra's recently.
Hugs
FABBY

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