How to Clean Your Restaurant’s Table Linen

How to Clean Your Restaurant’s Table Linen

Keeping your restaurant’s linen clean is a vital part of running a restaurant that looks and feels professional. In order to make your guests feel like your restaurant is a cut above the rest, you should ensure that your linen is always crisp, bright and clean. Whether you run wedding functions, a Michelin star restaurant or are just looking to increase the sophistication of your establishment, pristine table linens will do just that. However, as any hospitality worker will know, food stains are inevitable, and if you have white restaurant linen in your eatery, it can be a challenge to stay on top of food stains. White restaurant linen makes your premises seem much cleaner and tidier, so it’s a worthwhile investment, you just need to make sure you know exactly how to care for them. No matter what colour your table linens are, here’s how to keep them clean.

Wash before first use

If you have just invested in high-quality table linens, you’ll want to wash them before you use them in your restaurant. This is because the manufacturing process may leave behind traces of dye or bleach that can often mean the linen doesn't look as good as it could. A quick wash of the tablecloths and serviettes will ensure that anything leftover from the manufacturing process is taken out. Doing a pre-wash will also help the tablecloth resist stains. This is because a wash will help loosen the fibres and ensure any food or drink spilt won’t have as much of a chance to set.


Treat stains as soon as possible

As soon as you have noticed a stain, it's important to treat it as soon as possible. Have an effective stain remover on hand in your restaurant so that you can treat it as soon as a table has been cleared. The quicker you get to the stain, the better. If you have knowledge of how to treat different types of stains, you’ll have a better chance of getting it out.


Doing this will help prolong your linens and ensure that they stay as clean and fresh for as long as possible. Things such as fruit juices or meat juices can be treated with a rinse under cold water. If you have cleared a table and noticed one of these stains, take it out as soon as you can and run it under cold water for a few minutes. This prevents the stain from setting and prepares it to be properly washed in the washing machine. If you notice stains with things such as chocolate or wine, you may need a pre-wash with a stain remover. The sooner you do it, the better it will look.


Starch your restaurant linens

Starching has been a common practice for a long time because it helps the fabric stay crease-free. You can do this by applying starch before you iron it. Or you can add starch to the washing machine when it is on its last washing cycle. The starch is activated when heat is applied to the fabric, such as an iron. Therefore, if you add the starch at any point in the washing process, it will be activated afterwards when you iron out any creases.


Make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging and use the right amount of starch needed. Not only will it help your linens keep their shape and look great on your tables, but it will also provide a protective layer to prevent stains. If any food or drink is dropped on starched linens, it won’t be able to get as deep into the fabric. Coloured cotton, polyester, and polycotton blends can also be starched but may need a particular type of starch formula.


Wash your table linens regularly

It goes without saying, but if you have high   -quality table linen, washing them regularly will keep them in good condition. Tablecloths should be changed daily. Over the course of a day, you may have hundreds of covers, which means many people will be using your tablecloths. This increases the chances of food and drink stains, so make sure all your linens get washed daily.


If you don't have the facilities to cater for this, you may consider hiring a commercial laundry service to help you with the task. They will be able to remove any stains and provide you with a regular supply of clean, fresh linens that look great.


Dry your linens

After the washing process comes the drying process. This is just as important as you need to avoid creases or smells. Hanging them to dry outside is the best option to ensure your linen looks and smells great. However, this isn’t always an option for restaurants.


Once your wash is done you’ll need to make sure your linens aren’t sitting too long before they’re taken to dry. You’ll need to remove it from the machine as quickly as possible to prevent wrinkling. You should hang your linen to dry as often as possible, particularly if it is 100% linen as it can cause shrinkage. However, if your restaurant linen is cotton or polyester, it should be fine to go in the tumble dryer. Wait until it is completely dry before you fold it to store it.



You can choose to iron your linens while they are still damp, particularly if you are starching them. Some materials gather more creases than others, but putting these on the tables will simply look unprofessional. Use a well-padded ironing board and press until dry or until no creases remain. If they are still damp, make sure to hang them again before storing them.


Storing your table linens

Once you have completed the washing process, this is the time to check for any remaining stains and quality check them before they go out onto tables. If any stains haven’t lifted, they’ll need to be washed again. Often you may not be able to see these until the linen is dry.


Keep your linens in a cool dry place, any dampness or moisture can cause mould growth, which will completely ruin your linens. Store linens in a well-ventilated area, wrapped in acid-free tissue paper. This is because acids from regular tissue paper can cause white linens to yellow.


Hang or roll your linens

If you have the space, hang your linens to store them. This helps provide good air circulation to reduce the risk of mould and keep them crease-free, ready to be used in your restaurant. However, if you don’t have the space, you can roll your table linens and store them in a well-ventilated area. What you choose to do is dependent on your space and how long they will be stored for.


Johnsons SOUTH WEST Linen Hire - Quality Commercial Laundry Service

One of the best ways to ensure your restaurant has the very best table linens that always look pristine is to hire a quality linen service provider. Johnsons South West Linen Hire provides hundreds of clients with the very best quality linens for their restaurant. If you’re looking to save money and ensure your establishment looks great - give us a call.


Investing in large amounts of linen can cost a lot of money. Not only this, but it is also very time-consuming to stay on top of the consistent washing of linen. We can help you save money and time by offering you the chance to have your table linens delivered directly to you in perfect condition. We’ve mastered our washing process and all our linens go through strict quality checks to ensure no stains, holes or discolouration remains on the linen we provide.


Not only this, but we are committed to sustainability and we believe that by using our laundry hire service, you are helping us work towards a greener future. To learn more about our services and what we can offer you, get in touch today. A member of our team will be happy to answer any queries you may have. We can also give you a quote to help you budget your linen hire.

Published on: August 10, 2022

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