As a general rule of thumb for removing stains from linens, we all know it’s best to tend to them as soon as possible so that it doesn’t set by soaking deeply into the fabric to the point of no return. Unfortunately, for us vacation rental hosts, we know that’s not going to be the reality for us since we usually can’t get to the stains until the guests has checked out or requests new linens. So we’re typically working with stains that have been sitting on the fabric for hours, days, or even weeks (yikes!).
But have no fear, we’re here to help! Here’s our guide to removing the most common types of set stains from white linens that you’ll most likely come across managing vacation rentals:
Download and print out this guide to hang in your vacation rental’s laundry room or pass it off to your cleaners for reference!
- Makeup Stains: Gently rub in a coin size amount of dishwashing soap (we love Dawn’s!) or liquid detergent directly on the stain. From the back of the fabric, rinse the soap and stain with cold water. If the stain persists, blot 3% hydrogen peroxide on the stain and rinse again with cold water. Wash the fabric in the normal cycle in your washing machine, air dry, then repeat until the makeup stains are gone.
- Coffee or Tea Stains: Create a DIY solution of ½ tsp. dishwashing detergent (ex. Dawn’s Dish Soap), 1 tbsp. of distilled white vinegar, and 1 qt. hot water then soak the stained fabric in the solution for 15-30 minutes. Rinse the stained area with warm water then use a sponge and rubbing alcohol to blot up any remaining stain. Rinse the fabric again with warm water.
- Drink and Food Stains: Mix equal parts warm water and distilled white vinegar, soak fabric for 15-30 minutes then wash the linen as usual and air dry. Repeat as necessary.
- Wine Stains: Use salt to absorb the stain then rinse with cold water. Mix water and baking soda till it forms a paste. Apply the mixture to the stain and let it sit for 10-15 minutes and then wash.
- Blood Stains: Dab hydrogen peroxide on the stain, then rinse. For old blood stains, mix cold water with salt and soak the fabric for 30 minutes. Wash the linens in a normal cycle with cold water.
- Grease and Oil Stains: Use cornstarch or baby powder to soak up the grease. Let it sit for 30-60 minutes. Remove the powder then wash the item with warm water and a strong detergent.
- Ink Stains: Use rubbing alcohol and cloth then blot the stain until the ink transfers to the clot then wash immediately.
Since these common stains have may have been sitting for a while in your vacation rental, you may need to repeat the above steps multiple times. If the stain persists, then it could be time to throw in the towel (quite literally). Some stains may be permanent and abrasive stain removal methods can alter the appearance and structure of the fabric. If that’s the case for you, consider purchasing commercial linens from Standard Textile or Brooklinen Business that are meant for hospitality purposes which you can purchase through our portal at HostGPO for a discount.