How to Clean a Rayon and Cotton Tablecloth

Rayon fibers contain wood pulp and are often blended with other fibers such as cotton. A rayon and cotton tablecloth requires special care to prevent the fabric from tearing or shrinking. Most types of rayon blends become weak when wet, but some blends of rayon can withstand a gentle launder. Read the care label on the tablecloth to determine the safest cleaning method. The care label indicates if you can wash the rayon by hand, put it in the washing machine or take it to a dry-cleaner.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild detergent


  1. Hand-Wash

    • 1

      Place a hand-wash-only tablecloth in a sink filled with cool to lukewarm water.

    • 2

      Add a cap full of mild detergent to the water.

    • 3

      Knead the tablecloth with your hands for two to three minutes.

    • 4

      Rinse the fabric under clean running water to remove the detergent.

    • 5

      Wring out the excess water carefully and hang the tablecloth to dry.


    • 6

      Place a machine-washable tablecloth into the washing machine.

    • 7

      Set the appliance to the gentle cycle and the cool water setting.

    • 8

      Add a mild detergent to the machine.

    • 9

      Remove the tablecloth from the washing machine after it completes a full cycle.

    • 10

      Wring out the excess water carefully and hang the tablecloth to dry.


    • 11

      Avoid laundering a dry-clean-only tablecloth because you can damage the fabric.

    • 12

      Take the dry-clean-only tablecloth to your local dry-cleaners.

    • 13

      Inform the dry-cleaner that the tablecloth contains rayon. The dry cleaner will clean the tablecloth carefully to prevent damage to the delicate fabric.

Tips & Warnings

  • Contact the manufacturer of the tablecloth if you cannot find a care label, or take the fabric to your local dry-cleaner.
  • Avoid repeated exposure to chlorine bleach because it can weaken the fabric.
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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

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