Washing Linens With These Great Tips
Welcome to my very first blog – ever! I have been passionate about clean and crisp white linen for longer than I can remember. The feeling of sleeping on them is something you will only understand after spending a night on it yourself. So last year August I started managing Karee Manor Guesthouse here in Stilbaai. I have a huge passion for the tourism and hospitality industry. So this was a perfect fit for me. But what gave me butterflies was when I entered the in-house laundry. It was white, clean and smelling ever so fresh. I knew immediately this is where I want to be. Or was that need to be? Every guest was so impressed by our linen quality and the way it was smelling when they got underneath the fluffy white crisp cotton linen. So started the questions. What is your secret? How do you get it to that standard, etc. So it was only a natural progression to start this exciting blog!
So that said, I was thinking of what I want in this first blog. And it is just fitting to give a quick overview of the basics of washing linen. Yes I can hear you say: I know how to wash linen. Sure yes many of you know but it is a tedious process and if done incorrectly, the linen is heading to the bin quicker than you can afford to. So this blog and the blogs that will follow will deal with things such as washing of linen, how to fold linen correctly, how to make a bed like a pro and the topic most always want to discuss which is stain removal. It’s not always an easy task: it takes precious time, patience and the correct tools and proper water temperature, depending on the fabric and the stain.
In this blog I will not discuss in depth every tip but will be more of an overview. In my future blogs I will go more in detail. So brew your favourite cup of java or some delicious tea and come explore with me. Once you’ve removed a stain from an item, your next step is to wash and dry it properly. I realise what you might be thinking at this point: “Thank you Karee Manor Guesthouse, but I know how to use a washer and dryer.”
Although it seems simple and straightforward, there are certain steps you will need to take to save your linens/laundry from that dreaded bin.
Whether you own a hotel, bed and breakfast, renting out your vacation home, or for your personal property, it’s safe to say you have lost linens to those nasty stains or the improper washing or drying regime.
One very nifty trick is to keep a check list handy in your laundry for you or your staff to ensure you avoid mistakes when washing linens.
When adding the linens to the washing machine be certain to use as little detergent as possible. Over-soaping is not advisable as it is not good for the fibers of the linen nor is using improper water temperature.
i. Always shake out linens to ensure there is not anything caught in the bundle of laundry, and make sure you always check for those nasty stains.
ii. Pre-stain whatever you’re washing with proper stain removal for the particular stain and use correct water temperature if soaking before adding to washing machine. Remember that once laundered (especially in hot water) the stain is set.
iii. Use a mild laundry detergent that does not contain dyes, brightener or chlorine. Always add detergent to water, not directly onto laundry. Less detergent is better unless laundry is very soiled.
iv. Never use chlorine bleach. It will wear the fibers down and causes fading and discoloration. If you need to use bleach, use an oxygen-based bleach.
v. Avoid fabric softener, which coats fibers in oils, waxes and fragrances and makes the fabric less absorbent. Use ½ cup of baking soda in the wash to freshen, brighten & soften.
vi. Most linens can be washed in warm water with a cold water rinse. Always check the care label. But I prefer to use cold water as much as I can.
vii. Do not overstuff the washing machine when washing linens. An over-stuffed washer will not clean properly, and can cause excessive abrasion and agitation. It will also cause your machine to wear quicker.
viii. Use vinegar in the last rinse to release excess soap and soften fibers. It will not leave a vinegar smell.
ix. Wash new towels separately to remove excess lint. It’s normal for new towels to produce a lot of lint, and it may take a few washings to get rid of it. New towels prefer a gentle wash.
x. Snags can be clipped safely at body of towel to avoid catching on rings. Wash towels separately from sheets. The friction of towel fibers will break down fibers in sheets. Always wash colours and whites separately.
xi. Do not mix cotton with poly cotton linens as it will cause fabric damage. We at Karee Manor Guesthouse only use pure cotton.
xii. Always wash new dark color linens separately before adding to other laundry as the dye may run. You can set the dark colors by adding a tablespoon of salt to the first wash and rinse with a ¼ of vinegar to set the dye.
xiii. Before adding linens to the dryer, be sure to shake out and untangle them so that everything will get properly dried. This will also eliminate most wrinkling.
xiv. Never use a high heat setting, which will weaken the fibers, damage the fabric, increase shrinking and shorten the life of your linens.
xv. Add laundry to dryer after checking that all stains have been removed. If stains are not removed, apply stain remover again. Once the stains hit the dryer, they will be forever set.
xvi. Do not overstuff the dryer. Your laundry will dry more evenly. And it’s better to run dryer for less time as over drying can cause loss of brightness and a harsh feel to linens. For the best results, let linen air dry for a while first before you let the dryer do the rest.
xvii. Remove sheets before they are fully dried to prevent wrinkling. Smooth and fold or press with an iron. If ironing, it is always best to take out of the dryer while still damp.
xviii. Clean your dryer’s lint trap after each drying cycle. The dryer also needs to breath and the excess lint makes that difficult which will result in your dryer working harder than it should.
If you follow this simple guide you will have linen on par with the best hotels out there.
Be sure to visit our website to learn more about our guesthouse, and read our blog for other amazing tips.
Thank you for reading our very first blog. I truly enjoyed sharing this. Stay tuned for many more exciting blogs in the future.
Stay amazing and be safe out there!
Karee Manor Guesthouse
+27 66 228 3345