How to Remove Yellow Stains From a Cotton Tablecloth

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Crisp table linens dress up your dining room.
Crisp table linens dress up your dining room. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Cotton tablecloths can develop yellow stains for multiple reasons. Hard water with more than typical amounts of iron can cause yellowing when you wash your tablecloths, or food stains can cause yellowing. If you bleach your tablecloths every time you wash them, the bleach can cause yellowed areas to appear. No matter the cause, yellowed table linens do not present the neat appearance you want when dressing your table. You can correct the problem with items you already have on hand, but you should take care of the yellowing as soon as you notice it to avoid the stains setting permanently.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 denture cleaning tablets
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • White vinegar

Allow two denture cleaning tablets to break down in 2 cups of warm water.

Plug a small sink and lay the tablecloth in the sink with the yellow stains exposed.

Pour the denture cleaning solution onto the yellowed stains. If the solution does not completely cover the stained area of the tablecloth, add more warm water.

Allow the tablecloth to soak for at least 30 minutes. Wash the tablecloth as you normally would with mild laundry detergent.

Look at your tablecloth carefully after the wash cycle. If your tablecloth still has any yellow stains, mix 1 part white vinegar with 12 parts warm water and soak the tablecloth overnight.

Rinse the tablecloth in fresh water and hang it in the sun to dry.

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