Can these sheets be saved?

Hello fellow hosts.

I have a triplex building 2 blocks from a university. One of the units is a 3-bdrm 2-bath. I currently have 2 rooms rented to college students and ABB the 3rd room. I have a set of sheets that a student used for about a month. Like many college age males, I don’t think he would shower before bed. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: And although my property is a no smoking zone, he did smoke outside and I was ok with that. Although I have washed the sheets multiple times, once with bleach, and all times with fabric softener, they still have a very faint odor of unwashed body/cologne/nicotine. The sheets are microfiber material.

Is there any way to remove all traces of odor, or are these sheets just a loss? They weren’t very expensive so it wouldn’t be a big loss if I have to get rid of them. And do you think part of the problem is the microfiber fabric?

I think part of the problem is not changing the sheets for a month. Is there a reason you didn’t want to change the sheets sooner ?

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Try soaking in OxyClean then wash. I’d leave the fabric softener out. That’s just another layer of gross cologne and whatever that greasy film it makes is. If that doesn’t work I’d toss them.

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The students are long-term renters. They do their own cleaning and laundry. Unfortunately, some of them need to have their mommies with them as they apparently weren’t trained in the finer arts of home care. Other than that, they are amazing kids. Currently we have 3 Pharmacist students from around here, 1 Electrical Engineer from Saudi Arabia, and 1 Structural Engineer from Kuwait. In the fall we’ll be full with 7 students.

The sheets were used by a student previously, but they were going to be in rotation for use in the ABB room.

Thanks. I’ll try that.

Stop with the fabric softener! That stuff creates a barrier on the fabric that makes removing stains much harder. It is similar to when you buy a new shirt. It takes at least 3 washes to get the fabric to feel like fabric again. It does repel stains, but that assumes that there wasn’t a stain to begin with.

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I’ve rented to someone for this period of time and I changed the sheets during that period; once a week. I changed the sheets myself because I didn’t provide spares.

If they’re aware they should be changing sheets and indeed you’ve provided spare clean bedding (because for me as a guest it would be a pain to have to change the sheets and then wait for everything to dry before putting it back on the bed) then I’d be reminding people of my expectations as a host.

Again, the students are not guests, they are long-term tenants. They rent a furnished room that comes with one set of sheets and one set of towels and there are laundry facilities in the building to wash them. Even if I provided extra sheets it wouldn’t make a difference. Some kids have little sense of personal hygiene.

I clean and change linens for the ABB room weekly. Again, of our 7 rooms for rent, only 1 is an ABB room.

Great advice. I’ll do that once I get the OxyClean that Casa recommended.

Thanks for the clarification. I’ve been a long term tenant and in those situations always had to provide my own bedding.

Nothing to suggest re the cleaning - good luck getting the stains out. it sounds like it goes part and parcel with the market you’re renting to, and I assume is something you’ve costed into your business.

And they were inexpensive sheets anyway. I’m assuming that a tenant who stayed for so long was financially worthwhile so replacing a couple of sheets shouldn’t be too big a deal.

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I second the suggestion for soaking in oxyclean. If I were renting long term to students, I would stock up on the cheap sheets and let them take the sheets at the end of their stay.

Try the Oxyclean. We have separate bedding for the students and the Air guests. When it gets a bit worn it is moved to the student rotation. No way do my students mix in with the Air people!
Students during September to May, then Air in the summer. In winter the sheets, duvets, towels etc are far away from the kids!

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My dearly beloved, who has seen me struggling with mounds of guest laundry for years, has told me today that even dried in stains on whites can be almost completely minimised by spraying with Tilex mold and mildew remover. Well thanks, after all these years :slight_smile:

It’s probably is no good for the fabric but if it gets a few months more wear from stained sheets and towels, that’s good for me.

No help for the OP I know, but I thought it was worth mentioning. I’ll be trying it next week on a bunch of stained whites I have so I’ll report back.

Soaking them in soda crystals would probably do the job. I don’t know what it’s called in the US, sorry, but it’s a traditional cleaning product in UK and environmentally friendly (or at least not as harmful as some).


Microfiber sheets…ick! Just toss 'em…with vigor! I don’t know of anyone who likes to sleep on microfiber sheets, unless you’re into heat and sweat. If the smell has lingered after “multiple” (eek!) washings, the writing is on the wall.

You have paid for them many times over.

Will Tilex mold and mildew remover remove hair dye from white towels? We just had a guest who’s friend’s mother dyed her hair three days ago. She didn’t know that the dye would leach on to cloth when her hair was wet.

Oh my. The internets indicate that removing hair dye from towels is not for the weak.

I would be interested to learn if that Tilex product removes it because in my experience…nothing but nothing will remove hair color from fabric. I relegate such stained towels to floor ‘mops’ or cleaning rags.

Interestingly though, I have used old colored hand towels (lavender) and golf towels (black and navy) as cleaner rags and if I use SoftScrub with Bleach, it turns the towels white! …or at least, the portions of the towel that come into contact with the cleanser. If the towels weren’t so old/used, I might experiment further but…

Life’s too short.

I don’t know yet but I have some pretty gross guest towels :slight_smile:

I’ll give it a try later this week and let you know. I’m sure that something so strong will shorten the life of the fabrics but if I can get a few more uses out of them, that will be fine.

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