Laundry Tips from a B&B Owner

How do you make your beds look great for guests without too much effort? Any shortcuts for moms out there?

Dry the sheets only untill they are damp. Use the ‘Damp Dry’ setting on your dryer, and then put them directly on the bed.  As they dry the fabric will tighten up and the sheets will look wrinkle free.

What kind of fabrics do you use for sheets and why?

We only use 100% cotton. I have sensitive skin and polyester irritates my skin. Our philosophy is ‘if I won’t sleep on it or eat it, we don’t give it to our guests’. So our guests get to enjoy quality 100% cotton sheets when they stay with us.

How do you handle stains?

I inspect the sheets before taking them off the bed to look for stains. It is important to catch the stain before it gets baked on in the dyer. Spot treat the stain with cold water and laundry detergent, which works for 95% of stains, and soaking overnight in cold soapy water is sometimes needed. So far I’ve only been foiled by blueberry stains, which weren’t even caused by a guest! They were from our 1 year old’s hands.

How do you keep your bedding organized?

I don’t!  It’s a mess right now.

How many sets of sheets do you have per bed? Why?

I have 2 set per bed, but really only use 1 per bed as I wash and put back on the bed right away (see first question above). It is nice to have a couple extra in rotation since I don’t always have time to deal with a stain right away.

Any other tips or tricks you can think of that would be of use to a busy household?

Yes – switch over to sleeping like a European. Many countries in Europe only use a fitted sheet and a duvet cover. Less material to wash, easier bed making, and a much nicer sleep in my opinion. No getting twisted up in the flat sheet.

Duvet Cleaning and maintenance

To clean, just air out your duvet on a regular basis (3-4 times a year, more if allergies are a major concern). Hang it outside on a warm, sunny day (possible even in the winter) for about an hour. UV light kills dust mites and the fresh air will refresh your duvet. Too long, and you’re just collecting outdoor allergens!

A duvet cover will prevent the mites getting into the bedding and absorb some sweat and oil from your skin, but be sure to wash it regularly to remove mites and their leavings.

If you sweat heavily overnight, it’s good to flip your duvet upside down to allow the moisture to escape and the duvet to dry out. If this is a common issue for you, look for duvet covers that are reversible and make a habit of flipping it each morning to keep your duvet fresh and happy.

Washing a Duvet

You can wash your duvet, but try to limit the frequency (3-4 times over the 10 year expected life of a duvet).

Spot wash when possible.

For a full wash, make sure to use mild, clean rinsing soap diluted to ½ what you’d normally use in a load.

Extend the rinse cycle if possible.

NEVER shake a wet duvet. The baffle boxes are not designed to hold wet weight. Gently give it a big hug, untwist it if necessary, and place into the dryer.

Dry at low to medium heat with a dryer ball or something hard and clean to help fluff the fill.

Keep drying until the duvet is completely dry; moisture will cause the fill to dry hard and lumpy.

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