The fun part of a holiday dinner is the planning and preparation. I love choosing a menu, finding special linens and table décor, preparing the food, and getting all dressed up. But sadly all good things must come to an end, and after everyone leaves, I stand in the kitchen looking at all the dirty dishes to be washed and the pile of table linens that must be cleaned. I always attack the dishes right away because I don’t want to wake up to a messy kitchen, but I will admit that I throw the soiled table linens in a basket in the laundry room to deal with later. And many times, it’s a week or more later.
“That’s a bad idea,” Brian Harrell, General Manager of Shores, once told me. “The longer a stain is left untreated, the harder it is to remove.” Brian went on to explain that if a stain is left untreated for an extended period of time, it becomes part of the fabric. That means it can react with the fabric causing the fabric itself to change colors, so when you finally get around to cleaning it and are able to remove the initial stain, the fabric where the stain once was will now be a different color.
Our advice is to either wash your table linens or have them professionally cleaned and finished within 2-3 days of your party. For fabrics like polyester, pre-treat any stains, machine wash them in cold water, and while they are likely safe to dry on a low heat setting, we’d recommend that you line dry them. But if your table linens are after a holiday dinner, then it is likely that they are part of your finer collection. If that is the case, then we suggest you drop them off at one of our three locations where we will carefully inspect your linens, pre-treat the stains by hand, and use the latest in dry-cleaning and wet-cleaning technologies to restore them to the condition they were in prior to your big event. After cleaning, we will then iron them, hang them with tissue in the folds to reduce creases or hand-roll them if you choose, and can also mend any holes or tears or repair any loose or missing embroidering.