cloth napkins and BBQ

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Marrena Lindberg Marrena Lindberg
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cloth napkins and BBQ

whoo boy, greasy barbecue chicken, cloth napkins and kids have done a number on the napkins.  I go to the laundromat and use their industrial front-loaders, so I've got the power to clean, however I'm a greenie so I only do cold water wash.  I use a Wonder Ball and a teaspoon or two of Cold Water Tide, and for most of my clothes that's fine, but not for the really dirty napkins or microfiber cleaning cloths.  I'm assuming I should pre-soak those in hot water in a bucket with some sort of detergent, maybe Castile soap?  Or maybe pre-soak in hot water and Oxi-Clean, might as well bring out the big guns.

Any tips?
Jay Jay
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Re: cloth napkins and BBQ

If the stains haven't set:
Old days= rubbing fels naptha or a similar soap bar on the stain. Problem is, since you use detergent, you may end up with a coating/ graying on your fabric. Soap+Detergent, can be a bad idea.
So, personally I would presoak. Enzyme based products tend to work the best, but I'm sure others can tell you if that's the most "earth friendly" alternative. Also, BIZ has been my friend for years, but don't know how it rates either. It does come in cardboard though!! A more generic, i.e., multipurpose, alternative might be Borax. Biz is my hands down favorite, though.
Logistically awkward for a laundromat, for sure.
Before buying anything, you might experiment with presoaking in a concentrated mix or rubbing on a paste/letting it dry of the laundry detergent you were going to use anyway (watch your hands, stuff's irritating); then just dump all in the machine when you get there.... Did I say awkward?!
Living with it works, too.
Good luck!
Margery Margery
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Re: cloth napkins and BBQ

In reply to this post by Marrena Lindberg
this probably doesn't help you now, but I try to use a dark print or older napkin for messy meals.  Also, we don't feel the need to have everything spotless at our house.  Maybe that set can be your messy set.
Marrena Lindberg Marrena Lindberg
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Re: cloth napkins and BBQ

This post was updated on .
Yes, spotless is not necessary, but I do think I will try the presoak.

Jay, I will probably soak in a bucket before I go to the laundromat, then dump out the water and lightly wring out before throwing the napkins in the laundry bag with the rest of the laundry.  Thank you for the advice!
Jay Jay
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Good luck! If the tomato based stain doesn't come out, c'est la vie :-)) I guess. If weight isn't an issue, and if you had a tight fitting lid you could bring the whole watery mess and dump in the machine. As you said, those machines are work horses! I've not done this, but have considered treating stained clothing like cloth diapers: just have a dedicated container to drop stained laundry in with some soaking solution. Would have ongoing safety issues with that approach if there are curious kids or pets
Maria Maria
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In reply to this post by Marrena Lindberg
Oxy-clean is the big gun in the area. I spilled mustard one a good white shirt and tried several spot treatments (never putting in the dryer of course) that did nothing. Finally as a last ditch effort before tossing the shirt out I dumped it in Oxy-clean and forgot about it for a few days. To my shock it came completely out.

For a natural bleach (and good for vintage fabric) use lemon juice and salt, then sit out in the sun. Works well on things like under arm stains and such.
Sandra Sandra
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Love the cleaning power of Oxi-Clean, but I didn't like its packaging (plastic tub or plastic bag in a cardboard box). I found another brand called Ecover that contains the same active ingredient, sodium percarbonate, and is packaged in cardboard only. Like everyone has been saying, it works great on all types of stains.
Roberta Roberta
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Re: cloth napkins and BBQ

In reply to this post by Marrena Lindberg
I've had a lot of luck with shampoo getting greasy stains out.  I apply it directly to stains on my husband's shirts.  Even the second or third time it's been through the wash.  (I don't use a dryer for most things, so I get a second chance.)

As for tomato stains, hang them out in a sunny spot after you wash them.  I've never had a problem with tomato stain not bleaching out in the sun.  (But, I always line dry, not machine dry.)  

If the dryer has set the stains, I don't know if this will help.
Alexa Benedetti Alexa Benedetti
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Re: cloth napkins and BBQ

In reply to this post by Marrena Lindberg
In the future, try using dark colored washcloths. They can usually be found used in second hand shops or at a dollar store, both are super cheap options. We always used those for kids in my family as "cloth" napkins, until they graduated to nicer ones. But for BBQ (or anything else that's super greasy/messy), washcloths are great for everyone. And of course, when they're not being used for that, they can be used in the kitchen for spills, wipes and other cleaning.
Alexa Benedetti Alexa Benedetti
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Re: cloth napkins and BBQ

In reply to this post by Marrena Lindberg
In the future, try using dark colored washcloths. They can usually be found used in second hand shops or at a dollar store, both are super cheap options. We always used those for kids in my family as "cloth" napkins, until they graduated to nicer ones. But for BBQ (or anything else that's super greasy/messy), washcloths are great for everyone. And of course, when they're not being used for that, they can be used in the kitchen for spills, wipes and other cleaning.
Alexa Benedetti Alexa Benedetti
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Re: cloth napkins and BBQ

In reply to this post by Marrena Lindberg
In the future, try using dark colored washcloths. They can usually be found used in second hand shops or at a dollar store, both are super cheap options. We always used those for kids in my family as "cloth" napkins, until they graduated to nicer ones. But for BBQ (or anything else that's super greasy/messy), washcloths are great for everyone. And of course, when they're not being used for that, they can be used in the kitchen for spills, wipes and other cleaning.
Shonagh Shonagh
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Re: cloth napkins and BBQ

In reply to this post by Marrena Lindberg
When I prepare really greasy meals I have a "wash hands only" rule.  Honestly, what does wiping hands with a dry cloth really do anyways besides soaking up excess grease?  It still leaves the hands oily.  I say get the cutlery (and other easily washable table items) greasy and just give hands a good soap and water wash at the end of the meal.  Dark napkins can then be put on the lap for spills.

Maybe it's impossible to get kids not to use the napkins for really greasy meals but worth a try?  Especially considering all of the stress, effort, and product needed to clean napkins that might become unusable/rags after one meal.