Do my guests live with stained towels?

After 5 years of hosting I still can’t fathom how guests manage to stain towels so badly. I mean, aren’t you supposed to use towels after washing yourself!! You should be clean while using a towel to dry yourself after a shower. :soap:

Just had 5 star guests stain 3 out of 6 towels with black marks. If it wasn’t for the fact that they were here on holiday, I would have guessed that they came to work in a coal mine. I would be so embarrassed if I had to stain my hosts towels this way.

I often wonder… :thought_balloon: they must live with some badly stained towels at home :rofl:

Now back to the second soak in Oxyclean…


We provide cosmetic removal wipes to keep our washcloths from stains. Not sure if that’s the issue they were trying to solve or what, but something to consider.
I’ve had some gals’ facial products stain pillow cases, and they were all embarrassed at ruining them and left some money to replace. Grateful for that.
Did they mention anything about the stains? Did you contact them afterwards? One guy stained a sheet with something greasy that would not come out in the wash. I gave him the 5 stars he deserved in every category except cleanliness, for which I gave him 4. I didn’t say anything in the public feedback, but let him know in the private feedback. He replied immediately with embarrassment and offered to pay for a new sheet set. Very grateful for guests like these!

1 Like

Is it better to let your guests know in advance like when you send a check in instructions to include there that if they stained linens or towels especially if it’s noticeable that they would be charge? Asking a opinion. Thanks

Sounds like black mascara.

I’ve had guests clean their shoes with my white towels. Not their towels, so why worry…….


Yep, all part of the hosting job! Soak in Oxy, and again and again if necessary then wash in COLD water. I keep white towels, sheets, pillowcases, shower curtains, toweling bathmats and bathrobes fine for years using Oxyclean, lots of soaking and drying in the sun. :sun_with_face:

Although every host will lose a few towels per year - so be sure to add replacements when you’re working out an annual budget.


Basically, they probably wash their towels once a month, whether they need it or not. LOL… sorry for the snarky comment but, OMG, it’s like they go on vacation to ruins towels consequence free. I buy new towels and they are stained even quicker. Like the guest knows these towels have been untouched.


I’ve noticed that too! The newest towels get wrecked the soonest!

I’ve had good luck on my whites with White Brite:

Stinks, but really works. Also took color out of a towel I accidentally put in it, too. :frowning:


Uggggg, just discovered upon checkout one of our new towels looks like someone burst a yellow highlighter pen all over it. I have no idea what it could possibly be (Gatorade?) but hopefully a good soak in oxy and then bleach wash will help :sob:

Well it happened, (!) a lovely couple used all the towels, all the new white wash cloths, all the navy washcloths, and the whites all needed pre-spray and are soaking overnight.

Maybe our little shower stall really is just too hard for normal sized people to get fully clean or did they just take a wet towel bath and not attempt a shower?

Although I have lost a few towels and other whites to stains, this is certainly a first. We will see… Would you mention it in a review or note to guests?

updaTE. 2 washed cloths not cleaned well, oh well.


I find that like all businesses I prefer to focus on the positive things about a property. You can put something in the rules though emphasising to use provided tissues for makeup removal.

1 Like

I provide a separate blue fluffy towel thing for drying dogs. They can have at it with mud as long as it cleans reasonably well afterwards. I also replaced the white towels with dark blue towels. I just had a booked guest (sadly they had to cancel due to a lockdown) tell me unprompted that their dog had its butt cleaned by baby wipes every day. TMI. I asked they dispose of them in the rubbish rather than down the toilet where they clog up the septic system.

1 Like

That must really disappoint all the other dogs it meets!


Thank you for sharing this. My white towels end up gray by the end of summer because of Hard water.

We recently had a family stay with us who took a day trip to a local river to play in the waterfall and “ride” down the mossy covered shoal…and took our white towels with them. I am convinced that guests do things while on vacation that they would never do in their own home or with their own things. I guess that’s part of being on vacation!


We (in this forum) are all commercial innkeepers. We’re going to lose towels every now and then – more often than we do in our own homes. It’s a given. There has never been an innkeeper in the history of paid hospitality this didn’t happen to. If you subtract the cost of replacing an occasional towel from the money you earn from hosting, you are still way, way, way way ahead. Why let it bother you.
I’m not particularly religious, but this brings to mind the “Serenity Prayer”
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.


Maybe they think he is trying to hide something?

It is true, we all lose towels. But when you have a property a few hours away those replacement towels become pretty expensive.

And, more importantly, if one guest ruins the towels or sheets, then my next guest isn’t getting the experience/service we aim to provide.

We have worked around this by having the cleaners bill us for replacements, but sometimes their products aren’t what we would buy.

1 Like

I don’t where you are located but I can get very nice towels at Costco for $8 each and they often run specials. You should have plenty of extras stored in a secure closet. Same with sheets. I wouldn’t rely on the cleaners doing my linen supplies as well.

1 Like