Potential Stains: Is this brilliant or stupid?

I have been wildly lucky. For the first year of my AirBNB, only one person has marked up a towel with what must have been mascara. But in the past month, three of the four groups have either bled or in some way dirtied their linens/towels in a non-normal-wear-and-tear kind of way.

Coincidently, I have been making little rompers for a one year old. Cut the fabric, mark the button holes, etc, put it all together. MARK the fabric. I have these marking pencils that wash right out.

I had this thought while pressing seams last night. I could circle the marks, then treat, and then I would be able to find those spots again. Finding the spots has been difficult when there are numerous spots distributed [artfully] all over a queen sized bed.

Is this nuts? How do other people manage to find those treated spots to confirm that the spots have been removed completely before washing?


That is a great idea. I plan to copy it.

Brilliant, I have such a hard time making sure all the stains are treated, thanks

Must. Buy. These. Great idea!!!

I sew, too, but I think I’m not totally following. If the marking pencils wash out, how do you find the area again to make sure the spot is gone? We use safety pins.


I thought I would mark around where I would be doing the spot cleaning, so that it wouldn’t wash out until I threw them in the machine. But, I like safety pins too. However, that could be a lot of safety pins based on the latest two sheet users.

I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the caution. Of course, I hope that I don’t need to test this idea for a very long time.

I have this question too – I treat stains prior to pulling the sheets off which is easy enough but the challenge for me is finding these previously stained areas to insure they’re completely clean before I throw them into the dryer. The safety pin idea is interesting.

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I have been getting rid of the marks before the sheets go into the washer. It might make sense to use both methods. Mark the sheets while they are on the bed, and then if it appears that the stain has “loosened” and it is ready to wash, use a safety pin to find the spot when it comes out of the washer.

@SuiteInSeattle has given us a great idea.

I may leave this marker for my cleaner. I’m the one who does the laundry and so I wouldn’t have to be the one who strips the sheets.

I have a hard time with the ick factor of treating body fluids. I usually just spray and pray but the best method would be to get the stain out with treatment and scrubbing prior to the washing machine (sounds like this is what you’re doing). Am I being too precious that I don’t want to scrub them out, even with gloves?

Your yuck factor bench is much lower than mine. I don’t even bother with the gloves since I can’t really feel my fingers inside those heavy things. I grab the clean area around the stain and then rub together, so I don’t actually tough the undefined stuff.

Precious? That is way too dismissive a word for me to use. You are just being you. The trick for all of us is to figure out ways to solve the problems in ways that work for us and allow us to be good hosts.


I’m on my third box of surgical gloves. I love them–and they are good for my stomach, too! :wink:


Today I had time to test our ideas above. First I did a big circle around the offending area while the sheet was on the bed. Sheets were carried to the basement to the “treatment” area. While the sheet was on the table I noticed a small mark near the original one. I didn’t circle it. Treated both marks. The little one disappeared quickly, but I wasn’t sure about the larger, circled one. So, safety pin time. Into the washer and with the safety pin, it was easy to find. Marking pencil was gone. Stain was gone. Pulled the safety pin and into the dryer.

I think @SuiteInSeattle and I have come up with a routine that can work!


I knot the area of the linen where the stain is.

This is what I do, and i have had my share of stains!i carefully inspect all bedding, and bedspreads and pillowcases. When I find a stain, I have a roll of blue painters tape,I rip a piece off and stick it on the linen! Its not so sticky it pulls off fabric but sticky enough to stay on and I can easily find the stain later. I treat all towels at the washer. I used to painstakingly brush out all mascara stains,now I just use bleach and spray stain remover like oxyclean on it and throw it in washer…I always mark sheet and bedspreads as its hard to find if you don’t mark it later, it is such a large piece of fabric!

When I have a stain that appears that it might not easily come out, I take needle and contrasting thread and, using long stitches, stitch around the stain.
Then, I can easily treat it…and see the area after it is washed then treat again if necessary.


That seems like a lot if work!! I’m way too lazy for that.

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A question regarding bleach: When you use bleach do you use special delicate bleach for clothes or regular strong bleach? Can you give me an idea of the process as I am having a hard time removing what I think are maskara stains from a white towel.


Take in middle aged guests, they dont stain the sheets


We soak in oxiclean. We try not to use bleach too much as it yellows your whites after a while.

I provide bleach resistant towels and ask guests to use those when using facial products with bleaching agents or when removing make up. Haven’t lost a towel since. As far as sheets… normal wear and tear no worries, significant staining? I do charge them.