The nights are cold by the ocean, even in the summertime. Your guests have been strolling along the beach, chilled by the salt air at their backs.
As they walk back to your place, the thought of nestling themselves under a soft thick blanket initiates the warming process in their mind.
Whether you run a bed and breakfast in the mountains or the seaside resort we described above, your guests will appreciate coming home to blankets that are warm, comfortable…and clean.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this guide on how to wash a blanket.
Now more than ever, it is imperative for the Innkeeper to conserve, and preserve, the vital resources essential to their business. Linens are one such resource. Innkeepers invest significantly into the purchase and care of linens, and it is in their best interest to do so properly, thus extending a quality lifespan and ultimately saving money on replacements.
The following are six tips for the proper care of your linen investment:
- Washing – Pre-wash your linens before first use. Separate your linens from other items in the wash, especially those containing polyester, which tends to create pilling, and items with heavy zippers, which can damage the fabric. Separate light and dark colors. Avoid overloading the washing machine, which can cause fibers to break down from excessive abrasion and agitation. You can wash most linens in warm water on a gentle cycle with a cold-water rinse, but be sure to check the care label.
- Detergent – Use a mild detergent without added bleach, whiteners, or fabric softeners. Do not pour detergent directly on textiles; rather, add it to the water as the wash tub fills or dilute detergent with water, then add linens. Unless linens are very soiled, you only need to use half the recommended amount of detergent.
- Bleaching – Chlorine bleach will weaken fibers and cause the fabric to yellow. If white fabrics need bleaching, use only an oxygen-based bleach.
- Drying – While line drying outdoors is gentle, safe, and imbues linens with the fresh scent of the outdoors and natural bleaching of the sun, it is not always practical. You can machine dry most linens on low heat, but be sure to check the care label. Shake out damp linens before placing in the dryer. Never use a high heat setting, which will weaken the fibers, damage the fabric, increase shrinkage, and shorten the life of your linens. Remove items from dryer promptly, while still damp, to minimize wrinkles. Smooth and fold, or press with an iron, if desired.
- Ironing – Check to make sure your steam iron is clean – mineral deposits could cause brown spotting. Iron linens while still damp. To restore the lustrous face of sateen fabrics, iron on the reverse side. For embroidered linens, iron them on the reverse side atop a towel to preserve the three-dimensional effect of the embroidery. Use a press cloth to protect delicate lace and cutwork.
- Shrinkage – All natural fibers will shrink to some extent, but in most instances we purchase products that are generously overcut to allow for shrinkage. Check the product that you purchase (for size – width & length). Do not wash or, especially, dry linens on a hot setting, which is most likely to damage the fabric and intensify shrinkage. Always follow instructions on care label.
InnStyle offers a wide variety of sheets with differing thread counts. We have 100% cotton and cotton blend sheets for your bed & breakfast, inn or hotel – all at wholesale prices.
Contact an InnStyle Representative today. Customer attention and satisfaction is our hallmark. Give us a call at 800-877-4667 and benefit from our knowledgeable staff.
Fabric softener is a conditioner, made of oils, waxes and fragrances, designed to coat fibers with a thin layer of chemicals, making fabric softer to the touch and preventing static cling. In use since the 1930’s, the demand for fabric softener increased dramatically in the 1950’s with the introduction of synthetic fibers and detergents, as well as the modern washing and drying machines. The result of these advances was clean but scratchy fabrics that were less than appealing to wear, or in the case of sheets, sleep between.
Although popular for home use, Fabric softeners may not be a good choice in the hospitality industry. The build-up of chemicals left behind by repeated use of fabric softener can damage the fabric, causing yellowing and reducing the absorbency of towels. Most good quality all-cotton towels do not need to be treated with fabric softener and with repeated washings and dryings, will become softer naturally.
The chemical build-up of fabric softener also clogs the pores of Egyptian cotton sheets, preventing them from breathing, thus decreasing the luster and gloss that customers come to expect when staying at a quality hotel or bed and breakfast. Like towels, sheets will become softer with repeated laundering without the assistance of the clogging, water-repelling residue found in fabric softeners.
One way to expedite the softening process of towels and sheets, without resorting chemical agents, which is often highly scented and thus toxic to many sensitive customers, is to “beat” your laundering despair away – literally. Plastic dryer balls, available to purchase through distributors that provide bed and breakfast supplies, wholesale hotel supplies and hospitality supplies (or in most large chain stores), are a perfect alternative. These balls pummel the fabric while in the drying process, increasing fluffiness and reducing static cling as it tumbles.
Another excellent method to soften clothes without commercial fabric softener is using 1/8-1/4 cup vinegar in the last rinse…it softens and leaves linens fresh without any scent or fragrance as it removes any detergent left in the laundry.