How to Wash Placemats? – Washing placemats may seem like a simple task, but for some reason, it always turns into a disaster. From shrinking to fading, there are a million ways to ruin your favorite placemats. But fear not, my fellow messy eaters, because I have the ultimate guide on how to wash placemats without turning them into a pile of useless fabric. So grab your stained placemats and let’s dive into the world of laundry detergent, fabric softener, and the dreaded dryer. Trust me, after reading this article, you’ll be a placemat washing pro. Or at least, you won’t have to buy new ones every month.
Placemats are not only functional table accessories but also add a touch of style to your dining experience. Over time, placemats can accumulate dirt, stains, and food debris, diminishing their appearance. Regularly washing your placemats is essential to keep them clean, fresh, and in optimal condition. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to wash placemats effectively. From checking the care instructions to drying and storing them properly, we’ll cover all the necessary aspects to ensure your placemats remain vibrant and durable.
How to Wash Placemats?
In this day and age, there are more than a hundred types of placemats, each with a different design and different cleansing capabilities. You must be worrying about how to wash placemats. Here, take a quick tour of how to wash placemats in the most effective manner.
Why Clean Placemats are Essential for a Tidy Table Setting?
Placemats serve as a protective barrier between your dining table and spills, stains, and heat. By regularly washing your placemats, you prevent the buildup of dirt, food residue, and bacteria that can accumulate over time. Clean placemats not only contribute to a visually appealing table setting but also ensure hygienic dining conditions for you and your guests.
Preparing Your Placemats for Washing
Before diving into the washing process, it’s important to prepare your placemats adequately:
Remove any food debris or stains: Gently shake out or brush off any loose particles from your placemats. For stubborn stains, use a damp cloth or sponge to blot the affected area. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as it may spread the stain or damage the fabric.
Machine Washing Placemats: A Convenient Option for Most Materials
Machine washing is a popular and convenient method for cleaning placemats made of durable materials. Here’s how to wash placemats using a washing machine:
- Check the care instructions: Review the placemat’s care label for any specific guidelines or precautions related to machine washing.
- Sort placemats by color and material: Separate your placemats based on color and material type to prevent color bleeding or damage. Wash dark-colored placemats separately from light-colored ones.
- Select the appropriate wash cycle and water temperature: Choose a gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine. Use cold or warm water, unless otherwise specified on the care label.
- Choose a suitable detergent and fabric softener: Select a mild detergent suitable for the fabric type of your placemats. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, unless explicitly recommended. If desired, add fabric softener to maintain the softness of the material.
- Load placemats into the washing machine properly: Place the placemats loosely in the machine, allowing enough space for them to move freely. Overloading the machine can hinder proper cleaning.
- Start the washing machine: Begin the washing cycle according to the selected settings. Once the cycle is complete, promptly remove the placemats from the machine.
- Inspect the placemats for cleanliness: Before proceeding to drying, check if any stains or spots remain on the placemats. If necessary, consider spot treating or rewashing.
Hand Washing Placemats: A Gentle Approach for Delicate Fabrics
For delicate or hand-wash-only placemats, follow these steps to ensure their preservation:
- Check the care instructions: Read the placemat’s care label to determine if hand washing is the recommended method.
- Gather the necessary materials: Prepare a basin or sink, mild detergent, and lukewarm water.
- Create a cleaning solution: Fill the basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently mix the detergent to create a soapy solution.
- Submerge the placemats: Place the placemats into the soapy water and let them soak for a few minutes.
- Gently agitate and clean: Using your hands, agitate the placemats in the water, paying extra attention to stained areas. For tougher stains, use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub without causing damage.
- Rinse thoroughly: After washing, rinse the placemats under clean, running water to remove any soap residue.
- Remove excess water: Gently squeeze out excess water from the placemats. Avoid twisting or wringing them, as it may distort the shape or cause wrinkles.
Dry Cleaning Placemats: When Special Care is Required
Certain placemats made of delicate or ornate fabrics may require dry cleaning to maintain their integrity. If the care label specifies “dry clean only,” it’s best to follow professional cleaning methods to avoid damage.
Seek professional dry cleaning services: Take your placemats to a reputable dry cleaner experienced in handling delicate fabrics. Inform the cleaner about any specific stains or issues to ensure they provide the appropriate treatment.
Drying Your Placemats Properly for Longevity
Proper drying techniques are crucial to prevent damage and maintain the shape and quality of your placemats:
- Air drying placemats: The recommended method for drying most placemats is air drying. Lay them flat on a clean, dry surface or hang them over a clothesline or drying rack. Allow sufficient airflow to ensure thorough drying.
- Avoid direct sunlight or high heat sources: Placemats should be dried away from direct sunlight or high heat sources, as they can cause fading, shrinkage, or distortion.
- Check for moisture before storing: Ensure that the placemats are completely dry before storing them to prevent mold or mildew growth.
Ironing or Pressing Placemats: Smoothing Out Wrinkles
To restore the crisp and polished appearance of your placemats, ironing or pressing can be beneficial:
- Check the care instructions: Refer to the placemat’s care label to determine if ironing is suitable for the fabric.
- Adjust the iron temperature: Set the iron temperature based on the fabric type. Use a low to medium heat setting for delicate materials and higher heat for sturdier fabrics. Always iron on the reverse side of the placemat or use a pressing cloth to avoid direct contact between the iron and the fabric.
- Iron out wrinkles: Gently glide the iron over the placemat, focusing on wrinkled areas. Avoid applying excessive pressure or leaving the iron in one place for too long to prevent scorching.
Let’s check these amazing methods to wash placemats –
Cleansing Off Dirt – It’s More Than Just A Rub
Placemats are used for everyday purposes in almost every household now, but not everyone is aware of how to clean these delicate pieces of tableware.
Each placemat is designed with a different purpose and material in mind, and so, the methods with which they’re washed are also different. Vinyl and plastic placemats can’t be washed in the same way as cloth placemats.
Let’s discuss how to remove stains from different types of placemats.
Wiping The Dirt Off Of Vinyl Placemats
Vinyl or plastic placemats are generally easy to clean because of their hard nature and ability to restrain the spill at their surface. Because of this very reason, they are considered to be the best placemats for wooden tables. Since they can’t be washed in a machine, your best bet is to use a damp clean cloth to wipe the surface dirt or wash it under running water so they can be cleaned.
Leave them to dry overnight on some towels or a rack to have lustrously clean placemats, ready for use the next morning!
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Wash Vinyl Placemats
Here are a few simple steps you need to follow to quickly clean your vinyl placemats:
- Step 1: Use a clean cloth, of any material, and dampen it lightly.
- Step 2: Clean the surface of the placemat thoroughly.
- Step 3: If you feel the dirt is removed, you’re done.
- Step 4: If not, wash your vinyl placemat under running tap water and wipe it with a sponge or your hand
- Step 5: Dry the placemat and you’re done!
Making Fabric Placemats Spotless
Cloth or fabric placemats are used throughout the year on tables which makes them an easy target for spills and debris. Cleaning these tablemats can be a little tricky as they’re incredibly soft and the materials with which they are manufactured call for gentler treatment.
One general tip that applies to all garments or fabrics is that stains should be removed as soon as they occur so they don’t turn into stubborn permanent ones which are hard to clean.
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Wash Fabric Placemats
Now, to clean your fabric or cloth placemats, leaving no single mark, follow the following steps:
- Step 1: Get a butter knife (or a narrow pointy material).
- Step 2: Gently scrape off removable leftovers from the cloth.
- Step 3: For the stubborn spots, dab them with a cloth damped with soap and water until they are gone.
- Step 4: Dry the mat and voila, spotless placemats are ready to get back to the table!
However, you might come across some really stubborn stains, and might want to try a fabric-safe cleaner for that purpose.
These detergents like liquid detergents or all-natural cleaners normally exclude bleach, alcohol, or ammonia and are safe for all clothes.
Sanitizing Bamboo Placemats
Bamboo silk rugs or placemats can be efficiently cleaned in the same way using dampened cloth of soap and water. Machine use is again not recommended because of their soft nature and they don’t normally hold well. In case you are looking for a different option, white vinegar is a good option as it is an excellent cleaning agent.
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Wash Bamboo Placemats
Follow the below-given steps to clean bamboo placemats:
- Step 1: Mix white vinegar and water, in equal amounts. Make a mixture.
- Step 2: Damp a soft cloth in the mixture
- Step 3: Clean the dirt off of your bamboo placemats.
NOTE: Don’t follow these steps to clean jute placemats. Soon, we will share a complete guide on how to clean jute placemats.
How to wash placemats with the tag “Spot Clean Only”?
Spot clean-only placemats utilize a very delicate lace to produce an intricate design, which removes their chances of being washed in commercial washing machines.
Their delicacy calls for a very gentle cleansing through a soft cloth or by hand using spotting agents so as to keep their fragile lace from breaking apart into the fiber.
Removing Stains from Placemats: Troubleshooting Tips
Stains are an inevitable part of daily use, but you can effectively remove them from your placemats using the right techniques:
- Act promptly: Address stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting into the fabric. The longer a stain lingers, the more challenging it becomes to remove.
- Identify the stain type: Determine the nature of the stain, whether it’s a food stain, grease, wine, or ink. Different stain types may require different treatments.
- Spot treating with mild detergent: For fresh stains, create a mild solution of detergent and water. Gently dab the solution onto the stain, working from the outer edges towards the center. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as it may spread the stain further.
- Vinegar solution for tough stains: For stubborn stains, mix equal parts vinegar and water and apply the solution to the stained area. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before blotting gently.
- Baking soda paste for deeper cleaning: Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water. Apply the paste to the stain, gently scrubbing with a soft brush or cloth. Rinse thoroughly afterward.
- Seek professional stain removal advice: If you’re uncertain about treating a particular stain or if the stain persists despite your efforts, consult a professional cleaner for guidance.
Storing Placemats: Keeping Them Organized and Protected
Proper storage ensures that your placemats stay in pristine condition between uses. Follow these guidelines:
- Clean and dry before storing: Ensure your placemats are clean and completely dry before storing them. Moisture can lead to mold, mildew, or unpleasant odors.
- Fold or roll placemats neatly: Fold placemats neatly, or roll them to minimize creases and wrinkles. Avoid folding them along the same lines repeatedly to prevent permanent creasing.
- Store in a dry, clean area: Place your placemats in a clean storage container, drawer, or shelf. Avoid areas with high humidity, as it can damage the fabric.
- Protect from sunlight and pests: Shield your placemats from direct sunlight to prevent fading or discoloration. Additionally, use protective covers or repellents to ward off pests that may damage the fabric.
Additional Tips for Maintaining Placemats
In addition to regular washing and proper storage, consider the following tips to prolong the life of your placemats:
- Regular maintenance: Between washes, wipe down your placemats with a damp cloth to remove surface dirt or spills. This minimizes the need for frequent washing.
- Rotate placemats: If you have multiple placemats, rotate their usage to ensure even wear and prevent certain mats from fading or becoming worn more quickly.
- Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives: Refrain from using bleach, harsh chemicals, or abrasive cleaners on your placemats, as they can damage the fabric.
- Follow specific care instructions: Always consult the care label provided by the manufacturer for any specific recommendations or restrictions concerning your placemats.
FAQs on how to wash placemats
Can all placemats be machine washed?
No, not all placemats can be safely machine washed. Some designer placemats, such as the Chilewich placemat, are delicate and feature intricate details and finishes that can be ruined if cleaned in a machine or dishwasher. It’s always best to opt for a cloth dampened with soap and water when cleaning these types of placemats. While many placemats are machine washable, it’s important to check the care label for specific instructions. Delicate or intricate fabrics may require alternative cleaning methods.
Can you put placemats in the dishwasher?
No, placemats are not dishwasher safe. We suggest you clean your placemats after taking the meal with dish detergent and lukewarm water.
What if my placemats have fringes or decorative elements?
Placemats with fringes or decorative elements may need extra care. Hand washing or dry cleaning may be recommended to protect these delicate features.
Can I use bleach to remove tough stains from my placemats?
It’s generally advisable to avoid using bleach on placemats, as it can weaken the fabric and cause discoloration. Instead, opt for stain-removing techniques specific to the type of stain and fabric.
How often should I wash my placemats?
The frequency of washing depends on the level of use and soiling. As a general guideline, aim to wash your placemats every one to two weeks or when visibly soiled.
Is it necessary to iron placemats after washing?
Ironing placemats after washing is optional but can help to achieve a polished appearance. It also helps in smoothing out wrinkles and creases.
Can I store placemats in vacuum-sealed bags?
It’s not recommended to store placemats in vacuum-sealed bags, as the compression can cause creasing and distortion. Opt for breathable storage containers instead.
Concluding Washing Placemats
By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this guide, you can effectively wash your placemats and keep them clean, fresh, and presentable. Whether you choose to machine wash, hand wash, or dry clean your placemats, always refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Promptly addressing stains, ensuring proper drying, and storing them in a clean, dry area will help prolong their lifespan. With proper care and maintenance, your placemats will continue to enhance your table with elegance and charm for years to come.
In conclusion, washing placemats may seem like a mundane task, but it can also be a hilarious adventure if you let it. From accidentally shrinking them in the dryer to mistaking them for a dish towel, there are endless opportunities for mishaps and laughs. And let’s not forget the joy of finding that one rogue placemat that somehow ended up in the sock drawer. So, embrace the chaos and have fun with your placemat washing routine. Just remember to read the care instructions and perhaps keep a spare set on hand, just in case. Happy washing!