I love shopping for linens at resale shops and garage sales. Most of the time I find single napkins that someone brought home from a restaurant but once in a while I hit upon a real bargain. Many people get excited about their tablescape and buy a new set of beautiful napkins. They use them, wash them and freak out after they come out of the dryer. I'm sure that's what happened here.
1. After the party I wash them in cold (or warm) water with a little Borax or Borateem added.
No...I don't always do it the same night. If you are worried about really messy stains rub in a little dishwashing liquid. Wash the napkins the next day. Think about it - dish soap is designed to remove food.
2. For napkins that need to be ironed I toss them into the dryer for about 10 minutes while I'm setting up my ironing station. I have a large old beach towel, folded in half, that I lay on top of the dryer. This gives me a large surface to work on so I don't to move them around to fit the top of the ironing board. (that takes extra time!)
3. Stretch out each napkin and iron it while it's still slightly damp. This takes an average of 20-30 seconds for each one! If you want crisp napkins use a little spray starch. I like them soft.
4. I stack the flat napkins on the washing machine while I work.
5. Finally I clip them together on a pants hanger to store them.