Advice on towel rule please

I’ve been hosting one month and have already lost one nice thick new towel and one set of sheets to eradicable stains. We think the towel was ruined by acne body wash that may have had benzyl peroxide in it. Before Airbnb, I once had an engineer who was working at the coal fired power plant ruin 8 brand new pristine white washcloths in one week with coal dust and grime that I could not get to bleach out. I assigned those washcloths to family use and promptly went out and bought a lot of dark gray ones.

I know some of you are expert stain removers, and some of you just count it as a cost of doing business. But really, it is a waste, and a form of environmental damage that shouldn’t, and I hope doesn’t have to, occur. My idea is to not accept towel abuse and let the guests know I’m holding them responsible.

So, I’ve written a house rule about it. I’d like you to help me out with feedback on it. Definitely, it’s too wordy. That’s my major flaw as a writer; I never use 7 words when I can use 14 or 20. What can I say? I buy them in bulk and like to use them. But I’m sure my guests would appreciate more brevity.

Besides using chemical means (bleach is a corrosive, folks and hot water ain’t cheap), or just throwing my hands up and writing off the expense of ruined linens, do any of you have another way of dealing with this? If not, wordsmithing to shorten my verbose rule is greatly welcomed.

Towel Use. There are plenty, and they are for your use, but not abuse! Their appropriate use is for drying your clean body and hair after a bath. They are not for mopping up spills, polishing shoes, dyeing hair, or for removing makeup, self-tanner, or face or body wash with benzoyl peroxide because those things tend to leave permanent stains. We provide for your use a mop, paper towels, baby wipes, and makeup remover wipes so you don’t need to use the towels for those purposes. Does anyone still polish shoes outside of the military? If you need shoe polishing supplies let us know; my husband and I are vets and we still have them and will happily lend them to you. If you are working at the coal power plants or in the oil and gas fields, or some other extra dirty environment, let me know; I’ve got some nice thick dark grey towels just for your use. You will be charged for any bathroom linens you stain that won’t wash clean. To give you an idea of the potential cost…figure on paying $12 per bath towel, $8 per hand towel and $6 per washcloth.

Help and advice and wordsmithing are gratefully accepted!

I can tell you that every wedding group still polishes their shoes.
We get a lot of wedding groups.
You can not imagine how many washcloths we churn through.

1 Like

There are plenty, and they are for your use, but not abuse!

You will be charged for any linens that won’t wash clean.
$15 per bath towel, $10 per hand towel, $8 per washcloth.

If you are working at the power plants, in the oil/gas fields, or other extra dirty environment, tell us – we have some nice dark grey towels just for your use.

Appropriate towel use is drying your clean body and hair after a bath.

Towels are not for mopping up spills, polishing shoes, dyeing hair, or removing makeup, self-tanner, or face or body wash – those things, and others leave permanent stains.

We provide a mop, paper towels, baby wipes, and makeup remover wipes. Do Not use towels for those purposes.


I like KenH’s version. I must say though that we have lost very few towels or sheets. Oxiclean is a miracle worker.


No wedding guests yet. I’m new to Airbnb but not the STR market. We seem to get either people coming for work reasons that are here temporarily, or people visiting family in the area. We have had a few weekenders from adjoining states since starting with Airbnb.

KenH…THANK YOU, thank you, thank you. That’s exactly what I needed and much appreciated!

It sure can be. Other favorites are Tide pens and Wine Away. I’ve used Oxyclean, and regular bleach, and Borax, and Fels-Naptha soap, and about everything else you can think of over the years. I have two, much read, copies of the Queen of Clean laundry stain removal book.

I used to take each stain as a personal challenge. But now, with 12 beds between 3 houses and I-dunno-how-many towels, washcloths, kitchen towels, etc., (plus my own house laundry) I don’t have the time to spend on it. When it’s my family laundry, I generally know what the stain is and can get after it quick. With guest stains, I just have to make SWAG (scientific wild ass guess) at what caused the stain and that makes a difference as to your rate of success, plus the fact that the stain usually isn’t fresh, which also can make a big difference.

With the coal dust stained washcloths, I had to ask the guest what it was. In spite of being from West Virginia, and still living here in West Virginia, I would never have guessed, :grinning: and I’m just two generations away from working in the mines (maternal grandfather worked at Widen mines).


I totally get it. My hubby is a cheapskate and will spend way too much time getting stains out. We also only have one unit so perhaps can devote more time. I do love KenH’s version of your message.

1 Like

I have a house rule saying no hair dye! This is because I had a guest who ruined the grout in my shower cubicle (blue mosaics with pink grout anyone?). The dye would not scrub off with any product. I ended up using a grout renew product which worked but took hours. All the while this took the shower room out of action for another guest. For the sake of your bathroom, towels AND bedlinen, just say no!


Buy a mini shoe polishing kit for the room?


Yep, I’m looking into it.

Agree, agree, agree. I’ve only had one or two wash cloths that have now been converted into cleaning cloths and that’s because they are dingy rather than stained. Yet I get the full variety of bodily fluids/cosmetic stains etc.

I use Oxyclean and cold water. Sometimes items need soaking more than once or washing more than once. I avoid heat though as that sets in the stains.

1 Like