How to get wrinkles out of a new vinyl tablecloth

Updated February 21, 2017

New vinyl tablecloths often come folded in small plastic packages, which can cause the tablecloth to wrinkle deeply. When you spread the tablecloth out on the table, the wrinkles are visible and do not go away when you try to smooth them by hand. Heavy objects placed on the wrinkles also fail to work. Applying heat is the only method for removing wrinkles from a vinyl tablecloth.

Wait for a clear, hot day with no clouds or chance of rain.

Spread the tablecloth flat on an outdoor table in full sun, first thing in the morning. Place the tablecloth flat on the ground if you don't have a table and there's no wind.

Leave the tablecloth outside in direct sunlight until nightfall. Once the sun sets, the heat will have softened and removed the wrinkles.

Dampen two bath towels with clean water. Put them in the clothes dryer with the unfolded vinyl tablecloth.

Set the dryer on low heat for two minutes and start it. Pull the tablecloth out of the dryer when the time is up, and lay the tablecloth on a flat surface. Smooth out the wrinkles with your hand.

Put the tablecloth back in the dryer with the damp towels if the wrinkles will not come out when you smooth them with your hand. Repeat the drying and smoothing process, drying the tablecloth for one-minute increments, until the wrinkles are gone.


Roll up the tablecloth to store it instead of folding it to avoid wrinkles.

Things You'll Need

  • Outdoor table
  • Dryer
  • 2 damp bath towels
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About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.