For daily use as well as those for special occasions, wipe clean placemats can be used. These placemats are called “wipe clean”. It means that it can be easily cleaned with a wet towel or sponge after food stains, crumbs, or spillage. The selection of the best wipe clean placemats will keep your tables clean meal by meal.
Therefore, choosing the best placemats can be quite overwhelming considering that there are numerous options in the market today. This will be an all-inclusive discussion about aspects like material, sizing, security concern, famous designs, various brands, washing techniques etc. Check out our top picks and tips for selecting wipe clean placemats that will match any home here.
What Are Wipe Clean Placemats?
Placemats which are called wipe clean placemats are made of a material that does not soak the liquid. Wipe clean placemats do not need washing like traditional cloth placemats. You can simply wipe them clean with a damp cloth or paper towel.
The waterproof placemats are usually constructed using vinyl, plastic, silicon, or synthetic laminates. Messes are unable to penetrate through such smooth stain-resistant surfaces, therefore they do not leave any permanent marks. Moreover, plastic placemats do not absorb smells and bacteria as much as fabric placemats do.
Key Benefits of Wipe Clean Placemats
There are many reasons wipe clean placemats are popular in many households:
Easy Maintenance: No laundering required! Just use soap and water or cleaning sprays to wipe stains away.
Durable: Made to handle plenty of wear and tear over time without fraying or tears.
Hygienic: Non-porous surfaces resist odors, mold growth and don’t absorb messes. Better for allergy sufferers.
Affordable: Vinyl and plastic options cost less than frequent replacement of cloth mats. Great for families on a budget.
Functional: Often have helpful features like suction cups, spill catchers, non-slip backing for fidgety kids and elderly.
Stylish: Now available in endless colors, artistic designs, and patterns to elevate your tablescape.
Versatile: Suitable for daily use, kids’ rooms, elderly households, dinner parties, outdoor dining, and more!
With the perks of these low-maintenance placemats clear, let’s explore how to select the best options for your needs.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Wipe Clean Placemats
With a dizzying selection of wipe clean placemats out there, keep these key factors in mind while shopping around:
The material impacts the placemat’s look, durability, ease of cleaning, and price.
Plastic: Low-cost and very durable, but can look cheap. Best for high-traffic dining areas. Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.
Silicone: Naturally antibacterial and heat-resistant. Grippy texture helps secure dishes in place. A bit expensive but worth the investment.
Vinyl: Classic wipeable fabric with some cushioning. Prone to curling up at edges after some use. Affordable and easy to wipe clean.
Consider the size of your table and dishes. Oversized placemats provide more coverage.
Standard: Around 12 x 18 inches. Fits most dining plates well.
Oversized: 18 x 14 inches or larger. Extra protection for a kids’ messy table!
Placemat + Napkin Sets: Convenient combo packs.
Design and Color
Theoptions are endless! Choose solid colors, artistic prints, photos, or character themes.
Ease of Cleaning
Check if dishwasher cleaning is allowed or hand-washing recommended. Some materials prone to curling or damage in the dishwasher.
For young kids who may nibble on placemats, ensure the material is non-toxic and BPA-free.
You can find simple vinyl placemats for a few dollars or splurge on designer collections for over $50 per placemat! Set a budget before you fall in love with a model outside your ideal price range.
Keeping these factors and your personal needs in mind, let’s look at some of the best materials used to make wipeable placemats.
Best Materials for Wipe Clean Placemats
Plastic delivers durability and easy cleaning at an affordable cost. Made from polypropylene, polyethylene or petroleum-based resins, plastic placemats are top-rack dishwasher safe. From basic solid colors to faux marble patterns, amusing designs and personalized custom options, the material lends itself well to versatility. Easy to wipe down and resistant to stains, plastic mats work well in high-traffic dining areas. However, lower quality plastic placemats can end up looking cheap.
Pros: Inexpensive, durable, dishwasher-safe, huge variety of designs, easy to wipe clean
Cons: Can look cheap, not as stylish, prone to scratches over time
Best For: Families, everyday use, kids, high-traffic dining areas
Naturally antibacterial, anti-mold and heat resistant up to 428°F, silicone makes for exceptional placemats. Food-grade silicone has a grippy texture that helps secure plates and bowls in place. Spills wipe away easily from the flexible rubber-like material. Compared to plastic and vinyl, silicone offers more cushioning and elevates the look of your table with sheen and vivid colors. They also easily revert to shape after folding or curling. Although pricier, silicone placemats make great long-term investments.
Pros: Antibacterial properties, heat-proof, cushioned, grippy, stylish look
Cons: Expensive, can attract lint and hair
Best For: Home cooks, stylish dining areas, keeping dishes in place
The classic easy-wipe placemat found in many homes and restaurants, vinyl is a synthetic plastic-coated fabric. It strikes a good balance between cost and quality, offering a smooth wipeable surface with some cushioning unlike hard plastic. Vinyl placemats easily revert to shape after folding up for storage. Flourishes like decorative stitching along the edges lend extra visual interest. Do note that constant folding in the same place can cause vinyl placemats to curl up over time. Gentle handwashing is best for vinyl, not the dishwasher which can cause damage.
Pros: Classic style, cushioned feel, affordable, huge variety
Cons: Prone to curling when stored, not dishwasher safe
Best For: Everyday use, dining setups on a budget
Now that we have weighed some of the popular materials like plastic, silicone and vinyl, next let’s explore popular placemat sizes.
Popular Wipe Clean Placemat Size Options
Placemat dimensions range widely, so take note of your table size and dishware before deciding:
Around 12 x 18 inches, standard sized placemats well accommodate most dinner plates without leaving your table exposed. Standard placemat and napkin sets allow for easy coordination.
Spanning around 18 x 14 inches or larger, oversized placemats provide even more coverage underneath plates while protecting more surface area of your tables. Great for messy kids!
Placemat and Napkin Sets
If you want the coordination taken care of for you, convenient placemat and napkin sets have it all covered. You’ll find most common sizes and material combos from vinyl to microfiber napkins.
With size covered, now let’s explore popular placemat aesthetics.
Top Design and Color Options for Wipe Clean Placemats
The options are endless today! Here are some style ideas:
Solid Color Placemats
From basic white plastic to hues like reds, blues and greens, solid colors project a clean, classic look. They make coordinating with dishes easy while hiding stains well.
Artistic Patterns and Prints
Elevate your dining aesthetic with artistic patterns like graphic floral designs, boho stripes, watercolor prints, faux marble and woodgrain textures. Choices range from simple patterns to ornate traditional designs.
For a lively dining space kids and adults will love, choose fun personalized themes like maps, sports teams, cartoon characters, holiday themes, photo collages and more. The easy-wipe functionality makes themed placemats perfect for young kids too.
The options are vast today no matter your personal style. Next, let’s go over some tops tips for keeping your placemats looking like new.
Tips for Easy Cleaning and Care of Wipe Clean Placemats
Caring properly for wipe clean placemats ensures they offer years of service rather than quickly wearing out. Here are some top tips:
- For surface spills, wipe immediately with a damp cloth, soap and water, or cleaning spray. The quicker you wipe, the less residual staining.
- To sanitize placemats, use disinfecting wipes or spritz with rubbing alcohol or vinegar and wipe.
- Stuck-on residue responds best to stain removers and scrub brushes with warm soapy water.
- Avoid abrasive scrubbers that may scratch certain surfaces like vinyl.
- Only clean vinyl, silicone or plastic placemats as recommended, not intense chemical cleaners.
Leaving placemats simply folded out on a table long-term instead of storing properly in between use can cause permanent creases and curling. Some best practices include:
- Roll up placemats if possible rather than harsh folds.
- If folded, rotate frequently so the crease doesn’t weaken the same spot.
- Lay flat inside a drawer, shelf or bin without anything heavy stacked on top to prevent distortion.
With cleaning and storage covered, next we will go over some key safety considerations when selecting non-toxic placemat materials.
Key Safety Tips for Wipe Clean Kids’ Placemats
When choosing placemats for young children especially, keep these safety guidelines in mind:
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical used to make certain hard plastics and resins that has been linked to health concerns. Seek out placemats labeled 100% BPA-free, especially for kids.
Ensure any plastic placemats boast a “food-safe” designation to signal harmless non-porous materials free from BPAs, phthalates and lead.
As kids may nibble on or teeth on their placemats from time to time, ensure the construction contains zero toxic chemicals or dyes.
Seeking out reputable manufacturers specialized in baby and kids’ products helps provide assurance of safety. Now you can browse worry-free!
Budget-Friendly Placemat Options
You don’t need to sacrifice style or quality just to save money. Many value-focused placemat options balance affordability with durability, from basic solid color mats to vibrant designer prints:
Value Packs of Wipe Clean Placemats
Opt for money-saving value sets and multi-packs to outfit your entire dining setup affordably. Sets of 4, 6 or 8 colorful placemats prove cheaper than purchasing individually. Bargain packs work nicely for kids’ rooms too!
Bundled Placemat and Napkin Sets
Convenient combo packs take the matching guesswork out of coordinating placemats and napkins. Find great deals on quality vinyl, microfiber and polyester fabric napkin sets for far less than boutique prices. Large families can buy in bulk for even more savings.
Now that we have covered the basics from materials to budget buys, let’s explore recommendations tailored specially for little ones first.
Stylish and Sophisticated Placemats for Dinner Parties
When hosting sophisticated dinner gatherings with friends, clients or couples, let your tableware convey the occasion’s elegance. Seek out designer placemats in luxe fabrics and artistic designs:
Designer and Upscale Placemats
For discerning hosts looking to elevate their tablescapes, invest in upscale placemat options like ornate brocades, embroidered lace fabrics, patterned silks and metallic or velvet finishes. High-end placemat sets from brands like Juliska, Chilewich, and Target’s Threshold collection exude style perfect for more refined dinner parties and holiday feasts.
While these luxe fabric placemats will require professional laundering, the impact is well worth the effort for special events. Just be sure to promptly wipe spills before they can soak in.
Coordinating Placemat and Napkin Sets
Take the guesswork and mixing-and-matching stress out of planning with complete placemat and napkin sets in complementary colors and patterns. Designer brands like Chilewich offer stunning woven vinyl placemat and linen napkin sets that elevate tables without breaking budgets.
For large gatherings, pick up enough stylish placemat and napkin sets for the whole party to create a cohesive, curated look. No two tables need look alike.
Where to Buy Quality Wipe Clean Placemats
When on the hunt for durable, easy-care placemats built to last through hundreds of family dinners, check these retailers:
When on the hunt for durable, easy-care placemats built to last through hundreds of family dinners, check these online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores:
Convenient one-stop shops like Amazon, Target and Walmart offer the biggest variety across budgets and styles. Benefit from reviews and ratings from verified placemat purchasers to ensure quality. Consider Fia Weavers as well, where handwoven placemat textiles artfully merge visual intrigue through precision designs with everyday practicality and functionality.
In person, check department and big box stores like Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Cost Plus World Market, and IKEA for quality placemats available to inspect textures and durability. Also visit specialty baby stores for placemat/bib combos featuring food catchers and suction grips to contain toddler mess. Restaurant supply outlets carry affordable commercial-grade placemats standing up to high traffic.
Browse in person or order online once you find quality placemats suiting your needs. Proper care remains key to ensuring longevity - check out our stain removal tips and storage guidelines coming up next! The crafty at heart may also enjoy making custom wipeable placemats at home.
How to Make Your Own Wipe Clean Placemats
If you want totally one-of-a-kind placemats tailored exactly to your preferences, crafting your own at home proves a fun, affordable project. Here are some tips to get started:
The foundation you choose needs durability to withstand daily use and non-porous composition for simple cleaning properties. Excellent options include:
Plastic tablecloths: Buy solid color plastic table coverings and cut into customized placemat sizes. Choose softer pliable plastics over loud crinkly versions.
Adhesive shelf liner: Self-adhesive vinyl films for lining shelves help everything from plates to placemats stay put. Peel and stick sheets like Con-Tact Brand coverings create a wipeable surface when sealed onto a backing layer like foamcore, cardboard or plastic boards.
Fused plastic: For a polished look, buy sheets of decorative plastic laminates to fuse securely onto a substrate, then cut to size.
Acrylic sheets: With proper bonding to a base, thin sheets of clear acrylic form a glossy wipe-clean barrier.
Recycled vinyl banner material: Repurpose old advertising banners and yard signs, cutting into placemat dimensions and hemming or binding edges.
With materials selected, what about the actual construction process?
Step-by-Step Crafting Instructions
Here is an overview of easy DIY instructions:
- Gather tools and materials: ruler, marker, craft knife, self healing cutting mat, plastic material, adhesive, substrate sheet.
- On backing sheet, measure out dimensions for each placemat, allowing about 1 inch margins.
- Peel away backing on adhesive plastic sheet. Line up neatly onto backing and smooth any bubbles. Allow to fully adhere.
- Use a ruler and marker to mark cutting lines, then carefully score plastic laminate with craft knife. Make passes over each line to fully separate placemats.
- To reinforce edges, apply binding tape or duck tape trimmed neatly to give a polished look.
- Set out your custom placemats at the table and enjoy!
Now that we have covered basic crafting instructions, as well as tips for buying commercial placemats, let's go over best practices for getting the most life out of your placemats through proper storage and care...
Caring for Wipe Clean Placemats Properly
To enjoy many years of service from quality wipe clean placemats, adhere to some key care guidelines:
Get into the habit of wiping placemats clean after every meal, using gentle dish soap, vinegar, diluted bleach or hydrogen peroxide. This regular care prevents staining and bacterial growth.
About once weekly, do a deeper cleaning by letting placemats soak for 30 minutes in hot sudsy water, then scrub gently with a broom to lift debris from crevices. Rinse thoroughly.
Proper Drying and Storage
After cleaning, resist rolling or folding placemats while still wet, which can trap moisture and induce mold or mildew over time. Instead, lay flat on towel to fully air dry.
Once dried, stack neatly with no heavy objects placed on top, or roll up loosely. Store in a dry drawer or bin. Rotate use of placemats to spread out wear and tear.
Be extra diligent cleaning and drying vinyl, which is prone to curling when stored damp. Warping can happen after many cycles of improper drying.
While placemats are built to handle wear and tear, sometimes accidents happen causing damage. Or mats wear our more quickly than expected. Don’t be quick to trash and replace. The next section explores clever troubleshooting tactics to restore placemats.
Troubleshooting Common Wipe Clean Placemat Issues
Here are some handy fixes for ailing placemats:
Over time, vinyl placemats start to morph, with edges and corners gradually curling up unattractively after cycles of folding or rolling for storage.
Fix: To flatten back into shape, lightly iron curled edges between two cloth sheets on low/synthetic setting, taking care not to actually let plastic touch hot iron. The heat helps relax and re-flatten curled areas.
For sticky residues or deeply set stains that evade normal cleaning methods, break out these treatments:
Fix: Try hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice or diluted bleach soak for 30 minutes, then rinse and air dry in sunlight. The UV rays in natural light help break down discoloration.
For tough grease, vigorously scrub tiny bit of coconut oil into the spot, let penetrate 5 minutes, then wipe away residue. The solvent properties in coconut oil help break up oil bonds.
Fading and Discoloration
After prolonged use, darker placemat colors may fade and lighter shades tend to yellow from exposure to foods and cleaning chemicals over time.
Fix: Whitening cleaners help brighten dingy mats. Or bring back richness and hide stains by dying fading placemats using concentrated fabric dye kits from the craft store in the color shade you wish to revive.
While these fixes tackle common issues with older placemats, newer models now offer all sorts of helpful bonus features that improve functionality and deep cleaning capabilities. Read on for some notable placemat materials and tech upgrades!
Innovative New Placemat Materials and Technologies
With options extending way beyond basic vinyl and plastic these days, upgraded placemat technologies offer bonus durability, protection and performance features:
Placemats embedded with Microban technology boast antimicrobial protection. Silver ions added during manufacturing inhibit bacterial, mold and mildew growth - a huge asset for maintaining hygiene. This built-in shield works continuously without altering fabric appearance or performance.
For super lightweight, cushy comfort and insulation protecting tabletops, foam placemats deliver. Their elevated, smooth surface cradles dishware gracefully. Beautiful faux leather and woven textured foam placemat styles class up dining spaces affordably without bulk.
Non-Slip Latex Backing
Much like yoga mat material, newer placemat designs like SitTight offer non-slip natural latex backing for ultra grip. This high-friction underside keeps placemat solidly anchored in position throughout hectic meals, especially helpful for kids and elderly.
With so many innovations improving strength, grip, germ protection and padding, there is a perfect option for every space and need imaginable.
What does the future hold for these ever-evolving modern placemats? Let’s peek at what cutting edge enhancements lie ahead!
Now that we have covered tips, trends and a wide spectrum of placemat types to suit unique needs, let's go over some frequently asked questions for quick takeaways:
FAQs: Your Top Wipe Clean Placemat Questions Answered
Still seeking some quick answers on incorporating easy-care placemats into your home? These common questions have you covered:
Are wipe clean placemats dishwasher safe?
It depends on the material. Silicone, plastic and certain vinyl placemats labeled “dishwasher safe” withstand high heat and detergents for easy sanitizing. More delicate materials like vinyl and fabric placemats require gentle hand washing instead to prevent damage or curling over frequent machine cycles.
How do you get stubborn stains out of a wipe clean placemat?
For stuck-on messes, create a paste from baking soda and water and gently rub into the stain using a soft toothbrush. Let penetrate several minutes before rinsing - the abrasive yet gentle scrubbing action lifts residue without damaging the placemat surface.
Vinegar or lemon juice soaks also help break up stubborn stains. Use hydrogen peroxide and/or lay placemats out in direct sunlight to further lift discoloration.
Waterproof placemat materials made for simple cleaning maintenance help free busy hosts from fussy fabrics that demand delicate care. Choose luxe textures, artistic designs and elevated colors to dress up dining spaces for adult dinner parties and holiday gatherings too.
We hope these answers help provide more insight on the versatile functionality of modern wipe clean placemats!
Conclusion and Final Takeaways
To recap key learnings:
- Wipe clean placemats offer durable, hassle-free protection for all dining spaces prone to messes, from hectic family meals to upscale dinner gatherings.
- Keep in mind factors like materials, size, designs, safety, price and specialty features when selecting options tailored to your unique needs.
- Proper storage methods help prolong placemat lifespan by preventing damage from moisture or folding.
- Advancements like antimicrobial treatments and leakproof designs make today’s placemats even more family- and host-friendly.
While options abound, these three remain our top recommendations combining style, quality construction and affordability:
- SitTight Premium Non-Slip Placemats - Latex backing grips surfaces securely while vibrant designs and kid-friendly or upscale themes suit any decor.
- Atsko Vinyl Designer Placemats – Hundreds of whimsical patterns that wipe clean easily and won’t break budgets.
- Prince Lionheart bePrepared Placemats – Ultra slim profile stores anywhere to tame travel and on-the-go meal mess.
We hope these recommendations help you find your perfect stay-clean placemats to stylishly tame mealtime madness!