How to Make Placemats Look New

Written by louise harding
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How to Make Placemats Look New
Proper cleaning maintenance keep placemats looking like new. (wooden placemat image by Steve Johnson from Fotolia.com)

Placemats are both an aesthetic and practical addition to any household table. Whether your placemat is vinyl, cloth, or natural wood or fibre, it will protect your table's surface from scratches and other daily wear. Keeping your placemats in good condition is a matter of routine maintenance. You can make your placemats look new by immediately caring for them after a meal. Many placemats clean up with a simple damp cloth, but when stubborn stains or problems arise, it is possible to restore that new quality to the placemat material.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Dishcloth
  • Water
  • Dishtowel
  • Magic sponge erasers
  • All-purpose spray cleaner
  • Liquid clothes detergent
  • Bucket
  • Shower curtain rod or clothesline
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Toothbrush
  • Rubberband
  • Pantyhose
  • Scissors
  • Dusting spray
  • Vacuum cleaner

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Dampen a dishcloth and wipe the placemat in a back and forth movement, removing all food and debris. Dry the placemat thoroughly with a dishtowel to keep it looking like new. If the placemat still needs care, proceed to Step 2.

  2. 2

    Spray an all-purpose cleaner onto the placemat and allow it to sit for about a minute. Wipe the placemat with a damp dishcloth, and dry with a dishtowel. If the placemat looks less than new, proceed to Step 3.

  3. 3

    Dampen a magic sponge eraser and lightly wipe the placemat with the eraser. Don't press too hard; the eraser may remove the colour from some vinyl.

  1. 1

    Fill a bucket with cold water and add enough liquid clothes detergent to create suds when agitated with your hand.

  2. 2

    Put the placemat into the water. Let it soak for 24 hours. Avoid colour bleeding by never mixing dark colours with light.

  3. 3

    Rinse the placemat in cold water. Lay a dishtowel on a flat surface and put the wet placemat on top. Gently roll up the dishtowel with the placemat inside. Press on the towel to absorb excess water.

  4. 4

    Remove placemat from the towel and hang it to dry over a shower curtain rod or on a clothesline. Don't hang dark colours in direct sunlight.

  5. 5

    Iron the placemat on an ironing board using the appropriate iron setting for the placemat fabric. Consult the care label for fabric content. If in doubt, use a low steam setting. Ironing makes the edges appear crisp and like new.

  1. 1

    Cut off one foot/leg from a pair of pantyhose. Slip the foot/leg over the wand attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Secure the hose foot/leg with a rubber band.

  2. 2

    Spray your placemat lightly with dusting spray. Brush the mat with a toothbrush to remove any stuck on debris. According to Shop Wiki UK, some natural fibres and woods are easily stained. The dusting spray will refresh the natural fibres with replenishing oils so the placemat doesn't appear dry or brittle.

  3. 3

    Vacuum the placemat with the pantyhose-covered wand attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Dry the placemat with a dishtowel to keep it looking like new.

Tips and warnings

  • Treat stains and debris immediately. Never allow food to sit on any placemat as it will stain the mat.

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