Ask anyone in the business of laundry for hotels what keeps them up at night, and one thing will make it on to everyone’s list: Stains.
And, more importantly, stain removal. No matter how much you’ve invested in your luxury hotel bedding, towels and robes, pool towels and table linens, they’re often no match for guests, housekeeping staff and more.
Keeping your linens at their most pristine for as long as possible is a challenge but not impossible if you have the right stain removal hacks for laundry for hotels.
Harness Housekeeping Staff as Your First Line of Defense
Housekeeping staff have the biggest role to play in stain removal, treatment and prevention.
Stress the importance of spotting stains and treating them correctly on the spot as part of your training in housekeeping. Put both steps on your hotel housekeeping checklist and make them something that trainers and managers check regularly.
Make sure they understand that pre-treating is key and that identifying stains before they set or make it to the laundry room saves them time (and you money).
It’s up to staff to spot the stains and up to you to give them what they need for treatment or removal. Invest in stain remover products that housekeeping staff carry with them and know how to use. Also have a system in place for stains that can’t be easily identified and should be investigated further before they’re treated.
If you work with a hotel laundry service, ideally they provide separate, differently colored bags for heavily stained items so that they can be segregated and treated. If that’s the case, make sure housekeeping staff have those bags on hand and know what to do with them.
Think Close to Home
Don’t let the size of your laundry tasks overwhelm you into forgetting the basics. The same tips and tricks you and your staff use at home to treat and remove laundry stains will work on the larger scale of laundry for hotels.
Home-based tricks that translate for laundry for hotels include:
Baking soda: Mix two parts water and one part baking soda into a paste, apply and let set before scraping off and laundering as usual. Great for: organic stains like blood and sweat plus materials with a strong smell.
White vinegar: Blend vinegar and water and let stained items soak in cold water for up to 30 minutes. The ratio will depend on the kind of stain, and more stubborn marks will need more vinegar. Great for: coffee, tea and ink.
A mix of both: To punch up the stain-fighting power, start with the baking soda paste and finish with a vinegar soak.
Know When to Cold ‘Em
In most cases, cold water is the best stain-fighting secret weapon. Especially for fresh or small stains, a blast of cold water will send them down the drain.
But not all stains will respond to cold water, and it’s important that you and your housekeeping staff can quickly identify the origin of a stain to know how to treat it. In general, cold water is best for pre-treating drinks such as coffee, tea, sodas, wine and other alcohol, as well as blood and sweat.
Oil-based stains, on the other hand, will laugh at your cold-water soak and stay put on your sheets and towels until you blast them with the hot stuff. Oil-based products include: make-up, tanning lotions, sunscreen and other body care items, as well as greasy foods. For those, employ a mix of hot water, laundry detergent, a few squirts of grease-fighting dishwashing liquid and white vinegar for a soak.
Prevent Stains from Happening
Of course, the best way to fight stains is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Invest in prevention by providing guests with:
- Disposable makeup removal pads
- Shoe polish products
- Cleaning supplies to sop up food stains or other messes
And make sure staff have ample cleaning supplies as well.
Stain, Stain Go Away
If stains are keeping you up at night, using these tips should help you rest easier. Have some stain removal hacks of your own to share? Comment below or on our social media posts!