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May 21, 2020

5 Tips Steps to Tackle Cosmetic Stains on Your Hotel’s Linens

dark cosmetic stain on a white towel

Stains are an unavoidable, everyday issue for hoteliers and laundry managers. Especially cosmetic staining (think lipstick, blush, mascara, etc.). But there are ways to minimize their impact on your sheeting and terry supply. Tackling these laundry issues can save hoteliers considerably on replenishment costs.

Many products like make-up and shoe polish, often contain color pigments that are insoluble in water. They can leave some of the toughest stains to remove, resulting in wasted investment and resources.

The key to dealing with cosmetic stains? Prevention. Don’t allow the stains to set into the fabric. This can feel hard to control, but it can actually happen unknowingly by exposing the stains to heat or allowing the stains to dry out.

Here are five tips to help save your linens:

1. Stained items should be washed as soon as possible.

The initial step in the laundering process is called the “flush.” For tough stains, the flush should be done at low temperature. This should allow the water to saturate the fibers and begin the process of soil removal, while minimizing the setting of stains due to high temperatures.

2. Spot-treat bad stains before washing.

Using a mild spot treatment can help you get ahead of truly stubborn stains. Do not apply bleach directly to any stained items, as this could badly damage your products. Be sure to consult with your chemical supplier to find the best spot treatment for your linens.

3. Do not overload washers.

An overloaded washer will dramatically inhibit cleaning results. In the case of pigment-related stains, no amount of spot treatment or detergent can make up for the reduction in mechanical action and water flow needed to properly clean the linen. Our laundry experts recommend that loads should be at 80% of your machine’s rated capacity.

4. Do not dry the item if the stain is still present after washing!

If stains are not removed after washing, it is highly recommended to set these stained items aside for further treatment and rewashing. Heat from the dryer tends to set stains, making them harder or impossible to fully remove.

5. Offer guests an alternative.

If you’re still struggling with stains, consider offering your guests an alternative. Many hotels across different tiers offer guests black washcloths specifically for the purposes of removing make-up. Not only will you keep your white washcloths and towels stain-free, we bet your guests will appreciate the attention to detail.

This is the fifth article in our series on laundering best practices. Be sure to check out the other articles: 

Have any other questions about laundry?  Ask Our Laundry Experts Today.