Fake tan on sheets - did I handle this wrong?

It’s quite addictive this forum!
So I have someone help with sheet cleaning once a week and she told me that sheets in room X were covered in some kind of product. This is not a huge deal for me, I wasn’t freaking out or anything! But they are good sheets, bought not long ago. So I mentioned to the guest and got the impression she wasn’t impressed with this being bought to her attention. I only told her so she could be more careful about it and so it hopefully wouldn’t happen with the new sheets we had put on. If I was the guest, I would have wanted to know. Her only response was ‘well has it come out?’ to which I told her I didn’t know yet, still being washed. Even if comes out still think she should be made aware and I was v nice and gentle about it not like I acted cross…

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I might only have mentioned it if it didn’t come out. This is partly about perception. Your idea of nice and gentle may have been interpreted differently. Hopefully the stain will come out. Take a picture before washing. If not you can choose to pursue reimbursement. If it comes out you may tell her since you’ve brought it up either verbally or in your private review comments.

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Lots of smiling and casual mention equals nice and gentle me thinks! I just learned from that to think twice because even if you say it nicely,
Some people might feel uncomfortable. I told her as she’s here two more weeks and I wanted her be aware so she can scrub it off better in the next weeks! It might come off but makes the sheets a bit greyer each time. Didn’t seem a big deal to me and in her shoes I’d have wanted to know, but I perhaps would hold back next time now

You need bluing for white sheets to keep them white. If your laundry detergent is clear or white, it doesn’t have bluing and you need to use some from time to time.


Yikes please leave the guest alone. Im sure its wasn’t intentional. She’s on vacation and doesn’t want to be bothered about something so trivial. Good luck


Yes, I think yours is the best approach. Talk with her AFTER you know that the stain did not come out.

If it comes out with just a regular wash then no need to mention at all. It should be washed immediately.

It is impossible to know if our ‘nice and gentle’ is truly so to the receiver. And whether there is ‘leakage’ of blame or anxiety or whatever, despite our best intentions to conceal.

Whether our manner is truly ‘nice’ the very fact of the communication itself might suggest to the guest that possibly the guest ‘did something wrong.’

From the time forward of the ‘nice and gentle’ communication the guest now potentially has some anxiety, something to ruminate about (Will the stain come out? Did I do something wrong? When will I hear about whether the stain came out? Will she fine me or want reimbursement? Why didn’t she wait to find out if the stain came out? What am I supposed to do – shower at night and in the morning? I just had sunscreen on; it never stains at home; maybe it’s her sheets! Oh, this place isn’t perfect: their A/C doesn’t work very well. Ugh)

Not everyone thinks like I had this guest think. But that’s the risk you take with a communication that could have waited. If the sheets were not washed immediately (in which case the stain could be perceived as having ‘set’ and the guest blame you for that in self defense) then that was for your convenience. If the sheets were being washed immediately but you had the communication before you knew the outcome – maybe just to get it off your mind or make sure you didn’t forget – that was for your convenience too.

Yes, better here to wait until you had all the facts.

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This is something I really struggle with. There are many times I would like to message a guest just to get some information. But, worry that no matter how nicely I word the question, it might be taken as an accusation.

Example, recently had a wonderful guest check out. 5 stars, great communication, perfect guests. When cleaning the unit, we came up short 1 wine glass. There was no obvious broken glass in the trash and these were really not the type of guests I would expect to break one and not say anything. So, we are searching frantically for the missing wine glass. My concern was, the next guest finding a dirty wine glass sitting somewhere making it look like we don’t do a thorough cleaning.
I really wanted to ask the guest about it. Because, if they broke it, I could quit looking for it. I would never charge a guest for a wine glass. I buy cases of “party” glasses. Designed for events like weddings. They “feel” like decent quality and they have been durable so far (I guess they are designed for parties they have to be durable). But, events need 100’s of them so they are rather affordable. However, I was worried if I asked about it, they would assume I was accusing them.
I really need to figure out a way to say “hey, I am missing a wine glass. Do you have any idea where I might look for it?” without sounding accusing…
In the end, glad I never messaged the guest. On the final setup walkthrough before the next guest arrived, my wife noticed some of the books were arranged differently. When fixing them, she found the wine glass behind a book on the bookshelf. Glad it was my wife and not the next guest.

Well, I think asking them IS saying ‘You did it.’

Whether we term that an ‘accusation’ it is saying ‘You did it.’

And look at this situation. Do you think they would remember “Oh, yes! Now I remember. I was drinking glass upon glass of Pinot Noir, rehearsing lines from ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf’ and – now I’ve got it! – instead of throwing the glass at her I just placed it so neatly behind the books on the third shelf right of the chimney , behind ‘The Three Little Pigs.’”

They’re not going to remember.

The silver lining is that you really do clean up everywhere.


Try “Hello, I’m hoping you can help me. We’re missing a wine glass. It’s no big deal (we won’t charge you for it if you broke it), but we can’t find it and are hoping you might know where it is.”

What a weird place to stash a wineglass!


I like that. That takes away the possibility that the guest will be or feel blamed.

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If you aren’t going to charge even if the sheets are ruined, you could say “There are some stains on the sheets we just took off your bed. Can you tell me what that is? If I treat it wrong, it can ruin the sheets so I’d appreciate your help on this.”

The trick is to change it from an accusation to a request. Many people (not all) will be reasonable and say “Oh, yes, that’s spray tan. I hope that washes out - I never thought it might permanently stain the sheets.” If they are truly decent people, they might even offer to pay if it doesn’t wash out.


There is a couch next to the bookcase. My wife has stocked it pretty well with books on the local area, local bird watching guides (including binoculars), local wildlife information, as well as reading books. I am assuming they were simply sipping on a glass of wine while sitting on the couch browsing some of the books about the local area, and forgot the glass when they put a book away in front of it.

Yes, I think you handled it wrong. Anyone who uses fake tanner is aware of it getting on the sheets. Your guest already knew about it. It seems invasive and overbearing to mention it. Fake tanner comes out of sheets easily if pre-treated properly. That’s why your guest asked if it had come out.

You preemptively chided your guest over a set of sheets that are still in the wash. Smiling while you do it only makes it passive-aggressive, not nice and gentle.

Well we’ll be here when this guest wants to leave early and get a refund :wink:

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Such great advice! I also agree with @MtnGal that you should leave the poor woman alone.

I would add, straight hydrogen peroxide on white cotton sheets, then a hot iron, works magic quite often.

My detergent is Powerizer Complete from Amazon and sheets stay brilliant white.

Recently had someone dump Nyquil on the sheets, and mopped with nice towels. It all came out.

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Is this the same guest who’s been scowling at you about not giving her a refund? If so, there’s no way I would have approached her about it.


Who TF hides a wine glass behind some books??

That doesn’t seem mysterious to me at all. The books were apparently out of place, so the guest was perusing the book collection, might have taken a few down to look at, while setting her glass on the shelf. Then the books got put back on the shelf haphazardly, perhaps not by her, maybe in a rush to tidy up before leaving, and they didn’t pay attention to the wineglass that was still there.