Thanksgiving may look a little different this year than years past, but I think it is safe to say that the meals we prepare are probably going to resemble those of years past. If you are anything like me, your thanksgiving foods are steeped in traditions going back generations, whether its the big turkey dinner or Chinese food take out.
After most dinner parties, there is the inevitable job of cleaning up. The mountains of prep pans, serving bowls, glasses, cups, and utensils. And holding it all is the beautiful tablecloth you chose to be the basis of the theme for your party. Unfortunately this cloth takes a beating. After the dishes are cleared away you are able to survey the damage. The roll crumbs scattered about, the sticky fingers along the edge where the kids used it as a napkin, and the spills.
The two most common spills that create the most trouble are red wine and gravy. If you catch the wine spill while it’s is still wet, sprinkle it generously with table salt (I’m sure you have some on the table), and forget about it until later. The salt will draw the moisture out of the tablecloth and keep it from soaking in further. Once the cloth is off of the table, you can soak the stain in some club soda (if you have it) or some dish washing detergent (made for the dish washer) and hot water. If you do have to work the stain out, use the blotting technique and never rub the material. You may disturb the fabric or pull the color out where you were rubbing.
If the gravy dribbled between the plate and the gravy boat, wipe up any excess gravy and generously sprinkle with baking soda. The baking soda will draw out the greasy residue until you can give the stain more attention. When you are ready to treat the stain, leave the baking soda on the spot and remove the cloth to a sink or laundry basin. Allow the stain to soak in white vinegar for a few minutes. Initially you will get a generous amount of bubbles as the baking soda and white vinegar have a chemical reaction, but don’t worry, its just working it’s magic. At this point you may want to add some Dawn dish soap and gently blot the stain. The blotting motion pulls the stain out. Rubbing a stain pushes the stain possibly further into the fabric.