Best sheets and towels to use?

I’ve been at this for three years now…originally bought some very fluffy and expensive white cotton towels and nice white cotton percale sheets so I could bleach them and keep them brilliantly clean.
I’m finding it difficult to remove stains from these white linens as it is common now to treat white linens with ‘chemical brighteners’, which will turn yellow if I bleach them.
One male guest recently left ‘blue’ stains on the pillow cases…guessing it was hair dye? One woman left make up that was impossible to remove etc.
Anyone have any recommendations as to what sheets and towels to use for ease of cleaning and premium experience? Any advice on stain removers or detergent? Is there a color that might work better than white? I’d hesitate to use a dark color thinking lint would be an issue.

After multi-hour washing of my white towels, I’ve now left darker hued face towels with a note saying ‘For makeup and similar stains’, in addition to the standard towels.

Not foolproof, but if buying a whole set of new towels is your consideration…

I offer makeup wipes and use gray washcloths. For whitening, I recommend Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing and Oxiclean.

We get a great deal at Costco on towels. Plus they are a good company to patronize because they take good care of their employees (health care). But we don’t buy white.

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I buy Egyptian cotton (the best choice, in my opinion) or Supima (Pima) cotton. No sateen. The last sets I bought were from Macy’s.
I don’t worry about the wrinkle factor. I put the sheets on the bed right out of the dryer when they are still just ever so slightly damp and use my hand to smooth out the wrinkles, but don’t tuck anything in yet (just lay the pillow cases on the bed flat, and smooth them out, too). They finish drying in a few minutes, nice and crisp and wrinkle free. Then, I finish making the bed. Beats the crap out of ironing, and it would take me longer to iron stuff than it does to do it the way I do it.

Everyone is welcome to discuss this topic again, of course, but it has come up many, many times. You will uncover some real gems of advice if you search for the words towels, sheets or make-up.

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Grey towels and washcloths, white sheets. I’ve had great luck with the Threshold from Target sheets (400tc 100% cotton) and white duvet covers from IKEA (Ofelia?). The white linens do get a little yellowed after tons of washes, but the Mrs Stewart’s bluing helps a lot.

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Thanks so much for taking the time!

Thanks! I think I’ll do that!

I now buy everything from an English company on-line, Absolutely Home Textiles. Extremely good value for sheets,including percale, towels etc, so much so, I don’t mind the odd throw away. They provide hotels, B&Bs, and residential care homes too. They are still crisply white, towels still fluffy, unlike my very expensive Sanderson white sheets.

I do think white is the best. I bought some navy blue sheets for our own bed and they really show everything!

Wow! Thanks Joan! Exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for! I’ll be looking them up.

Best to you

I only buy white sheets and towels so I can bleach them between guests. Recently, I started buying my bed linens at the thrift stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, Value Village). My trips aren’t always successful, but I have found some great quality stuff for really low prices. I take them home, give them a thorough cleaning, and away we go!

No guests are any the wiser, and why should they be? When I stay at a hotel or STR, I don’t expect brand new bedding for each guest!


Are you Nice Stefani, or do you host in Nice, France! ??? I do hope AHT ship in Europe, and I’ll speak to them in the morning. It would be bonkers to keep recommending them if they don’t…

The issue I’ve been experiencing with white sheets, is that they are commonly treated with a chemical brightener now, which turns them yellow when exposed to bleach…I shop at the Goodwill too! Always ready for a great deal!

as we rent our rooms cheap , we use the cheapest material available, but we never use white, preferable black or dark red, so far very good experience with the cheap streched stuff

towels the same , never white, preferebly black or other dark color

streched bedsheets are about $15 each , towels $5-8 each for the relativelly big ones

If you’re hosting paying guests then all white is a must. And a CRISP fresh sheet, absorbent towels. If they’re stained then send to a shelter a replace with new. That is what good hotels do. Follow what hotels do. Why re-invent an already proven method.

We host as well as stay in STR’s. By and large hosts do a great job. But I have been surprised at times at how bad the linens are, in some otherwise very nice properties.

Dark sheets or towels are gross. As a guest I want to see how clean anything is that touches my skin. Soft sheets particularly cheap soft (microfiber) sheets equate to used and worn. And say cheap.

Oxy clean products are great, bleach can yellow fabrics over time. Good hotels generously retire their linens. Cheap yucky motels don’t, and they have those disgusting swirly colored bedspreads… ick.

Ask your HOST self. Are we a good hotel or cheap motel?


@Marie All white isn’t a must. Dark or colored sheets aren’t “gross”. Those are your preferences and opinions, not some law hosts have to follow. And why should we follow what hotels do? We aren’t hotels.
I am neither a hotel or a cheap motel. I rent a private room with private bath in my home, have been hosting for over 3 years, use colored sheets and towels, get lovely guests who have complimented the bedding and towels, and I have a full 5* average in all categories.
I can just imagine all the complaints, unsolicited advice and bad reviews you give the places you stay. You sound like every host’s nightmare guest.


Don’t be silly. Dirty sheets or towels are gross; there is nothing inherently gross about dark sheets or towels.

I provide both white and blue towels and find some guests prefer white and some prefer the blue and don’t touch the white. I also provide dark colored washcloths for makeup removal.

This is a strange statement. I think some people like crisp sheets and some like soft sheets, and that is okay. Everyone is not the same. Personally, I prefer the feel of a cotton sheet that has been washed enough to where it is a little softer. You may be different. That is okay.

Neither. I do not run a hotel.


I agree with @georgiahost and @muddy on all points.
I don’t pretend to run a high-end hotel. My space is colorful (I consistently have “Stylish Space” and comment on decor mentioned in reviews) and colorful linens and towels fit in with the home. They also are way easier to keep tidy, as other hosts agree.
If I wanted to constantly purchase heavy-duty cleaning products and “retire” linens and towels, my rates would be much higher.
I also consider the waste of this constant purchasing…?

When I travel, I am absolutely happy to sleep in older, soft sheets or use unique, faded towels. If it’s clean, and I’m staying in an Airbnb, I don’t care.


Although I switched from colors to whites some time ago for all the well known reasons, I’m now using bleach and hot water on my sheets and towels out of an abundance of caution. I’m glad I didn’t have to go buy new stuff just to deal with the CV19 issue.

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