How many sheets and quilt covers can they possibly ruin?!

I have been hosting on Airbnb for almost 2 years now and I find that I am buying endless amounts of sheets and quilt covers due to guests staining them. I buy dark coloured bedding, like greys and browns but I keep getting this noticeable big dark oil looking stains on them. Not sure what it is. Does anyone know how to get rid of these stains? Should I only be purchasing black bedding from now on?
Any advice would be amazing x

Sounds like some sort of “personal” lubricant - have you rubbed the stain with dish detergent?

I was thinking it might be that. I have not but thanks for the tip, I will give it a go:)

OxyClean ™ will take out most stains… Black will show more stains than white sheets!


I have heard OxyClean is pretty good, I will try that also.

I have had more luck with my black quilt cover than any of the other colours. In saying that what colours does everyone recommend?

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I prefer white sheets. My most common stains are small blood spots and they come right out with hydrogen peroxide. I think they give an impression of clean which is reassuring for guests.


I’ve tried some light colors like gray and beige but overall white sheets and towels are best. I do have thin brightly colored cover that can easily be washed but if it gets a dark stain I won’t be able to use clorine bleach on it.

We use middle blue and middle gray sheets. Comforters are patterned off white with seashells and such in medium blue to go with our Florida Keys beach theme.

Another vote for Oxyclean here. Also for white linens and towels - if stains are really bad you can bleach them. Although it (bleach) does ruin them eventually. I’ve also discovered the wonders of white vinegar - not so much for stain removal (thought it can work in conjunction with other stuff) but for washing towels to keep them soft and absorbent.



Do you use dryer sheets with fabric softener (Downy, Bounce, etc.) because that could be the cause.

Years ago, I washed a set of burgundy colored sheets which came out of the dryer with large splotches of what looked like dark grease stains. They were in random areas and only on the top sheet! I couldn’t figure it out because the sheets were washed separately and had no stains when placed in the washer. The only foreign thing in the dryer was the fabric softener sheet.

I re-washed the sheet twice more but the grease stains never came out so I eventually tossed out the one sheet. Then it happened again with my sky blue colored sheets. This time the grease stains were on the bottom fitted sheet!

I searched the internet and discovered that fabric softener sheets can cause staining and also coat the inside of the dryer. It can also happen if you add laundry detergent on top of items instead of into the water – but I don’t do that so I figured it had to be the dryer sheets. I read that the stains cannot be removed with laundry detergent or repeat washing but can be removed by rubbing the stain with bar soap such as Fels Naptha (and another type that I can’t recall). I didn’t try it because I had already discarded the stained sheets.

I don’t know whether it had to do with the heat setting of the dryer but I stopped using fabric softener dryer sheets and never had it happen again.


Best thing for blood is peroxide, it disappears before your eyes. Use before washing. Personal lubricants are water soluble so should wash right out. The most likely candidate for oily stains is either, literal baby oil, or some other moisturiser/lubricant that is oil based. Unfortunately, the only way I have found to remove them is do a super hot wash. Multiple times. With only the offending items in the machine and use biological laundry pods. This year I am switching to coloured towels as all my beautiful white fluffy bamboo are ruined by bloody make up and fake tan. Which leaves a nasty grey stain, no matter what you do.

Chiming in
I’m an oxyclean fan
White towels & washcloths—-Costco hospitality series—cheap & reasonable thickness
I troll zuilly for discount sheets and quilt sets. Usually $30-$35 king quilt sets. $25-$35 for nice 400-600 100%cotton sheets.
Sheets off white or taupe. Can be bleached if needed. I prefer white but difficult to find super discounted. Just paid $24 free shipping for sheets with msrp of $120

So far beach condos are on 3rd sets of quilts since January 2017. After first season I stared using bargain linens…I learned a tough lesson.

I use white sheets and towels (and patterned quilts), plus grey washcloths for makeup removal. I’ve been hosting a year and a half (with well over 100 sets of guests) and I’ve only had to throw out ONE sheet, and it was due to oil stains, and a few sets of pillowcases due to black makeup stains. Oxyclean really does get out most things. If it is bad, I’ll soak in it for a few days, and then wash with it.

White is SO much easier to keep looking clean.

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For any bodily fluids I use Clorox 2 which removes the stains completely and does not hurt the color. I generally use beige towels and sheets. Also everything including the blankets and duvets are 100% cotton, I have found that cotton cleans best and my guests are more comfortable in cotton sheets and linens. My quilts are all handmade designed with wedding ring and other traditional patterns. Our guests seem to recognize them as valuable and I have had almost no dirt on them.

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Ruined linens are the bane of my Airbnb existence! Ugh. Nothing makes my heart sink more than to go in to clean-up after guests and see sheets, towels, comforters ruined.

My biggest issue is with Proactive face wash and the corresponding creams (and any similar Benzoyl Peroxide containing products). It bleaches everything it touches. I do have signs in the bathrooms politely asking people to be aware and careful when using such products and I direct them to white towels kept in the linen closet.

On my well water I simply cannot keep whites white so I use pastel colored sheets and towels. In one season (I’m only open from March to October) I went through half a dozen towels, three sets of sheets (some only used once) and two comforters in a 7 month period (a total of 11 bookings with a max of 6 guests per booking). I’ve come to accept it as the cost of doing business but I seriously wish I didn’t have to. Damn you Proactive!

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According to my housekeeper who is able to get most stains out of my sheets, white is the best color for Airbnb because it can be bleached an treated. Thanks to my housekeeper and my white sheets from Target, I rarely buy replacements.

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Thanks for the tip:)

I’ve used vinegar for towels also, particularly when they start to become a bit stiff from a build up of washing powder/liquid. Just throw in a cup of vinegar and they are nice and soft again.

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Thanks for the tip SandyToes, I don’t use a dryer so it can’t be that. I think it is the guests spilling some unknown substance on them.

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You’re probably right about the moisturiser/lubricant I suspect.

Sad to hear your beautiful white fluffy towels are ruined:/