Short-term rental hosts often complain that they have had to throw away a sheet, pillowcase, towel or other items because of ‘stains’. This can really cut into your bottom line very severely. The sheets and so on that I am using now were bought in 2015 (I’m writing this early in 2022) and are still going strong.
Admittedly, two fitted sheets are getting so thin that I won’t use them in one of the rentals (I use them at home) and will soon be relegated to the rag bag. I’ve also repurposed (a posh way of saying ‘used for cleaning cloths’) a couple of towels that have become raggedy.
But I’ve heard hosts say that they’ve had to throw away (not recycle or repurpose, note) newish sheets, towels, washcloths or pillowcases that have been ‘stained’ with blood or mascara or lipstick or wine – all things that can be washed out relatively easily.
All over the internet there’s advice for removing various stains – take a look. But it’s so very easy to remove most with a simple launder/soak system.
- It’s important to deal with laundry as soon as possible. I tend to rush into the apartments before the guests get to the end of the street but that’s overkill, I know. But the sooner you deal with linens and towels, the better your results (and therefore profit margins) will be
- Examine the items carefully and if possible, put a commercial spot remover on any marks
- Note that it’s a good idea NOT to ask guests to strip the bed. It makes stain-spotting easier if the sheets are in situ. If you find that guests have stripped the bed, be extra careful when you examine the linens – they might have been concealing a mark or two
- If you don’t need to launder the item right away, soak it in a bucket or utility sink in cold water with Oxyclean – a little borax will give the Oxyclean superpowers
- Unless you are absolutely certain that nothing with marks is going into the washing machine, then wash using cold water only. Hot water (or heat from the dryer) will set in stains which will become permanent so before you put anything in the dryer, make sure that there are no marks
- If an item has been through the wash and still has marks, then soak it again. Repeat as necessary.
Try to avoid bleach which can weaken the fibres. If you have white linens, hang them in the sun to achieve that glorious fresh air smell and bleach out marks.
There’s an extensive list of stains and how to remove them here.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.