How To Clean Placemats: 5 Methods

July 05, 2024

Suze Dowling

How To Clean Placemats: 5 Methods

Dining experiences are not just about the food — they’re also about exploring the ambiance and cleanliness of your surroundings. Clean placemats contribute to a hygienic environment for your meals while improving the overall aesthetic appeal of your dining area. 

Placemats can be a key part of your dining setup, bringing a touch of style to your table while also maintaining cleanliness during mealtimes. In this article, we’ll explore five different methods to help you keep your placemats looking fresh and tidy.

Why Do Clean Placemats Matter?

Clean placemats aren’t just for decoration. They help protect your table from spills and stains, ensuring that your dining area remains clean and inviting. 

Keeping placemats clean is important for maintaining proper hygiene during meals. Regular cleaning removes food residues, preventing the growth of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms that can contaminate your dining area.

Dirty or stained placemats can also take away from the overall visual appeal of your table setting. By keeping your placemats clean, you can create a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere for yourself and your guests.

If you want placemats that are as easy to clean as possible, check out our new Tile Placemats. These placemats offer a fun touch for your table without fussy maintenance. 

Method 1: Washing With Soap and Water

One of the simplest and most effective ways to clean your placemats is by washing them with soap and water. Follow these steps to ensure your placemats are squeaky clean.

  1. Prepare the Washing Area: Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a mild detergent or dish soap.
  2. Soak the Placemats: Place the placemats in soapy water and let them soak for a few minutes to loosen any dirt or stains.
  3. Scrub Gently: Using a soft brush or cloth, gently scrub the placemats to remove any stubborn residue. Pay extra attention to areas with stains.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Once clean, rinse the placemats under running water to remove all traces of soap.
  5. Dry Properly: Lay the placemats flat on a clean surface or hang them to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause fading.

Method 2: Machine Washing

For a more convenient cleaning option, machine washing your placemats can save time and effort. Follow these steps for a hassle-free cleaning process.

  1. Check the Care Label: Before washing your placemats in the machine, check the care label for specific instructions regarding temperature and washing settings.
  2. Separate Colors: Sort your placemats by color to prevent color bleeding during the wash cycle.
  3. Load the Machine: Place the placemats in the washing machine, making sure not to overload the machine to allow for proper cleaning.
  4. Add Detergent: Use a gentle detergent suitable for your placemats and select a gentle wash cycle to avoid damaging the fabric.
  5. Dry Appropriately: Once the wash cycle is complete, remove the placemats promptly and either airdry them or tumble dry on a low heat setting.

Method 3: Focus on Stain Removal 

Stains can be a common issue with placemats, but with the right techniques, you can effectively remove them. Here's how to tackle stains on your placemats.

  1. Identify the Stain: Determine the type of stain you are dealing with to select the appropriate stain removal method.
  2. Pre-Treat the Stain: Apply a stain remover or a mixture of water and vinegar directly to the stained area. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the stain.
  3. Gentle Scrubbing: Using a soft brush or cloth, gently scrub the stained area in a circular motion to lift the stain without damaging the fabric.
  4. Rinse and Repeat: Rinse the placemat under cold water to remove the stain removal solution. If the stain persists, repeat the process until the stain fades.
  5. Air Dry: Once the stain is removed, air dry the placemat to ensure that it is completely clean and ready to use again.

Method 4: Spot Cleaning

Quickly addressing spills and stains on your placemats can prevent them from setting in and becoming more challenging to remove. Here are some tips for effective spot cleaning.

  1. Act Fast: As soon as a spill occurs, blot the area with a clean cloth to absorb as much of the liquid as possible.
  2. Spot Cleaning Solution: Prepare a spot cleaning solution using mild soap and warm water or a mixture of water and baking soda for more stubborn stains.
  3. Apply the Solution: Dab the cleaning solution onto the stained area with a clean cloth or sponge. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain and also cause it to set in.
  4. Blot and Repeat: Gently blot the area with a clean, damp cloth to lift the stain. Repeat the process if necessary until the stain is no longer visible.
  5. Air Dry: Allow the spot-cleaned area to air dry completely before using the placemat again.

Method 5: Use Disinfectants

To ensure that your placemats are not only clean but also sanitized, using disinfectants can be a great option. Follow these steps to effectively disinfect your placemats.

  1. Select a Disinfectant: Choose a disinfectant spray or wipes that are safe for the material of your placemats. Look for disinfectants that are effective against a broad spectrum of germs.
  2. Spray or Wipe Down: Apply the disinfectant by either spraying it evenly over the surface of the placemats or wiping them down thoroughly with disinfectant wipes.
  3. Allow Drying Time: Let the disinfectant sit on the placemats for the recommended amount of time specified on the product label to ensure effective germ elimination.
  4. Ventilation: If using a spray disinfectant, make sure to disinfect your placemats in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling strong fumes.
  5. Air Dry or Pat Dry: Once the disinfectant has done its job, let the placemats air dry naturally or pat them dry with a clean cloth before using them again.

How To Keep Your Placemats Clean for the Long Term

Taking good care of your placemats not only keeps them clean but also extends their lifespan. Make it a habit to clean your placemats after each use to prevent dirt and stains from becoming deeply ingrained.

You can also rotate the use of your placemats to ensure that they wear evenly and maintain their appearance over time. When drying placemats, refrain from using high heat or direct sunlight, as this can cause colors to fade and materials to deteriorate.

Make sure you store placemats flat or rolled up to prevent creases and maintain their shape. Avoid stacking heavy items on top of them to avoid damage. Periodically check your placemats for signs of wear and tear, such as fraying edges or discoloration, and address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.

The Takeaway

We hope this guide has equipped you with the knowledge and techniques needed to clean and maintain your placemats effectively. By caring for your placemats diligently, you not only enhance the ambiance of your dining area but also ensure a pleasant and comfortable dining environment for yourself and your guests. 

At Letterfolk, we hope to inspire a personalized, comfortable home where a lifetime of special memories will be made. We invite you to explore our home decor that blends nostalgia with a modern flair. 


Clean THEN Sanitize: A One-Two Punch to Stop Foodborne Illness in the Kitchen | USDA

The Ultimate Guide to Removing Every Type of Fabric Stain from Clothing | Better Homes & Gardens

How To Spot Clean Difficult-To-Wash Fabrics | House Digest

Air Drying Clothes vs. Tumble Drying | In The Wash

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