Gay asked: Can I machine wash a tablecloth with a large, rope welt at the hem? I have a large, handmade table cloth that I had in my child’s room on a round table. The bottom of the table cloth is a large, rope welt that has of course, been covered in fabric. I am worried that if I machine wash it, the rope welt used to make the hem will shrink up or something, ruin the hem and the entire table cloth. Thanks so much for your help!
To determine if your tablecloth is machine washable, you first need to consider the material used. If the material is machine washable, odds are pretty good the tablecloth can be washed without damage, although the use of the dryer deserves additional consideration. With a rope welt, however, there’s the concern that the water will affect the rope in an undesirable way. For this reason, although the potential for damage is still there, the safer option is to hand wash.
You Will Need:
- Woolite (or another laundry detergent for delicate items)
- Lint brush (or vacuum with upholstery brush)
- Several large towels or a blanket
Steps to Clean the Tablecloth:
- Before hand washing, use a lint roller or a vacuum cleaner with the upholstery brush to remove any excess dust. This step keeps the water cleaner for better overall results.
- Fill the tub with enough cool water to submerge the tablecloth.
- Add the proper amount of detergent (consult the label) and swirl with your hand to disburse through the water.
- Carefully submerge the tablecloth.
- Run your hands gently over the tablecloth to clean it, agitating lightly as you work.
- If the water gets dirty, drain and repeat steps 3-5.
- Once clean, spread the towels or blanket on the floor.
- Spread the wet tablecloth on the towels or blanket.
- Carefully roll the towels or blanket up with the tablecloth on it, applying only slight pressure to remove some of the water.
- Once the tablecloth is rolled up, immediately unroll it. Hang the tablecloth to dry.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Spot test with detergents and moisture in a hidden area before you begin. Some fabrics may require dry cleaning only, so proceed with caution.