A few of you asked to be kept apprised of the efficacy of the waxed placemats I made last month, and I have to tell you, I've been very pleased with their performance.
Drips, stains and food blops wipe off quite easily with a damp dishrag, and when they seemed a little dirtier than wiping off would cure, I ran them under warm water in the sink, and laid them flat to dry. They dried quickly and continued to work at repelling stains and liquid.
For the ultimate test, I ran them through the washing machine. They ended up wadded in little balls, and as they dried, the wax showed up whitish and cracked-looking on the surface of the placemats. I put them back into a warm oven for a couple of minutes, which smoothed them out again, but I think they're not quite as waxy as they were before, so I may add a little more wax when I have a chance, and just stick to the warm water in the sink method of cleaning in the future.
I might make another batch, sometime after life decompresses a bit, and when I do, I'll put together a tutorial, but if you're adventurous, all you need is fabric, beeswax, a sacrificial cheese grater and a warm oven.