Getting Guests to Use the Washer and Dryer

Hi All,

Once again, I am frustrated by European guests’ refusal to use the washing machine and/or dryer. This time the guests took our regular towels to the beach despite the fact the we told them where to find the beach towels in their room. When they returned they asked where they could hang them as they were sandy. I asked them to give them to me to wash and dry. They refused saying that they would just get sandy again. This was strange as it was their last day. They hung them, along with their bathing suits, on our outdoor table and chairs. This means that the towels will get bleached by the sun and we will have to replace them sooner. Also, our dog peed on one of the bathing suits.

Will some of the Europeans on this board please provide me with a script that will convince European guests to use our washing machine and dryer.

I’m not looking for advise on which clothes line to buy or any other alternative. I just want them to use the washing machine and dryer.

Thank you.

Could it be an environmental issue, saving electricity and saving water ?

EU laws can be rather strict, every piece of waste has to be recycled in our home, it’s the law. From school age we are all thought, reduce, reuse, recycle.

It’s in hotels in Ireland, to consider you towel usage and the environment.

I saw a post on an Irish forum that complained that Americans used 4 towels in one day and asked each day for another set clean set of clean 4 towels, I won’t repeat what was said by other hosts.

I have had Germans stay and nearly had to pull towels off them on day 3 so can give them clean ones

Not sure if it explains but just my experience

1 Like

They didn’t mention an environmental issue. As they used countless water bottles after being told that our tap water is safe to drink, I assume that they are not environmentalists.

Whatever their reason, can you suggest what I can say to them that in their eyes will override it? I would like to have a script to use to convince who are reluctant guests to wash clothes and linens in the washing machine and dry them in the dryer.

How about just something like:

‘We really would prefer if you used our washer/dryer rather than hanging things out in the sun. Our environment isn’t suited for this and will damage the towels’

If you’re talking about British people, they don’t know what sun damage is as they never see it! And line drying is very normal there.

Aside from the sun, I’ve heard the smog in LA is so bad you just can’t leave your laundry airing outside, or is this just a myth?


No, the smog in L.A. doesn’t prevent line drying. Maybe in the seventies, but the air quality is better now. I know that some people prefer line drying. I don’t like how it degrades fabric, doesn’t remove lint and makes the fabric stiff. Thank you very much for helping with a script. I hope it works.

I’ve found that most European guests are reluctant to use the washing machine and dryer. The English have been the most reluctant. I’ve had many English guests tell me that they dryer might shrink their favorite tee shirt. Up until hearing this; I’d never considered the concept of a tee shirt being treasured.

1 Like

Oh I see, well maybe you could exaggerate the smog and if they think that might ruin their favourite shirt, maybe they’ll think again?

I can’t explain the English people’s aversion to washing machines - we all have them! Most people I know have a dryer too. You must attract the quirky ones!

1 Like

It is the fear of shrinking indeed. :smiley: I had to use dryer regularly while living in a dormitory and it was indeed shrinking some of my clothes. Also fabric got thinner and wore down faster. But maybe it was just a bad dryer…

I also think the issue is with the dryer and not the washer. It seems like tumble dryers are a bit less common in Europe. My family hosted a German exchange student whose mother forbid her from using our dryer when she was with us, because she was convinced it would shrink all the clothing. She really believed that the dryer was going to bake the clothes like an oven.

Maybe show them how to use the dryer, and point out that if they are concerned with shrinkage, there are indeed settings with lower temperatures.

1 Like

I know Ellen didn’t want this post to devolve into a discussion about lines, but I have to concur that I never dry clothes or anything. Dryers do ruin clothes, and I will not put new new favorite Ts in the dryer!

But back to the original question. (OQ)

Perhaps be much more firm.

Please don’t take our house towels to the beach and rather use the beach towels we provide. Do not hang our towels in the sun. (The hot California sun will damage them.) We greatly prefer that you wash and dry towels with the machines provided. Many thanks!


The English seem fine with washing machines. It’s dryers that seem to make them nervous.

The recent guests who wanted to air dry everything that was sandy from the beach were German.

1 Like

I don’t mind a discussion of other people’s preferences for line drying at all. What I was trying to head off at the pass is people telling me that I should supply clothes lines.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see that the guests were taking the bath towels to the beach as they packed them in their bags. Next time I will be more firm in asking guests to hand over sandy towels/clothes so that I can wash them. These were the type of people who believed themselves to be nice in saving work, but were actually creating more work.

1 Like

I vote for your version! This conveys the message in a firm but polite manner.


The idea that a dryer ruins clothing is so peculiar. Just don’t use the hottest temperature!

@Ellen. You have a complete right to tell guests how you would like to clean your possessions. Can’t really tell them how to treat their own, however, your dog has given me an idea! I would explain that anything left in the back yard your dog thinks belongs to them and they might just mark their ownership.

Who would hang their wet stuff in the back yard knowing a dog might pee on it?

1 Like

It’s rare for European folks to use the dryer. I stopped using mine, here in Canada, to save money, but find that my clothes don’t age as fast. As for lint, I don’t get lint, towels are soft as are sheets. It’s also easier to hang up wet items, then fold them as you take them down, rather than sorting thru a basket of jumbled clothes. As a guest I’d be angry that your dog peed on my clothes. Do you warn guests about dog pee? Maybe they hoped to have another trip to the beach.

My dogs and Our families dogs don’t pee on blankets or towels laid out by the water when we go swimming.

We just adopted this dog on Sunday so we didn’t know that he would pee on the guest’s clothes. However, I don’t agree with you that it’s my fault. I think that if guests won’t use the dryer and insist on laying wet laundry all over my house and yard; whatever happens to their laundry is on them. They did hope for another trip to the beach. What does that have to do with refusing to let me wash and dry them?

I suppose they thought as I do, that washing/drying them at that point would be a waste of energy. Congrats on the new dog.

1 Like

Why should their views on energy use trump my wishes regarding my linens?

Having read all the posts, I feel quite befuddled! I line dry when the weather is good (in the UK…) enough. It’s a gratifying freebie, since utility costs have soared in the last few years here. And I don’t want sand going straight into the washing machine either. As a B&B, I don’t offer guests use of the washing machine or tumble dryer; they can use my laundry service who collect and deliver. An Australian long stay swimmer assumed she could use both, until I baulked at her minute loads every two days. Her: “I won’t have any socks left to wear”. Me: “I suggest you go to M&S and buy enough pairs for a week”.


I don’t use one because it takes so dam long to get anything dry, it’s not good for the environment and I love the smell of freshly washed clothes dried on a line.

1 Like

one guest managed to bleach a couple of big patches on a 4 week old towel, so I peed on his bathing suit