The quality and cleanliness of your hotel and spa linens can be the difference between an awkward complaint at reception and a five-star review following your guest’s stay.

If you’ve ever struggled with getting your whites truly white again or wondered how to extend the life of your linens, WASHCO’s chemical expert, Craig Banham, shares with you some of his tips and tricks.

Yellowing of White Linens

Fresh bed sheets are one of life’s simple joys, so it can be frustrating when your once crisp whites begin to yellow. While exposure over time to bodily fluids, sweat and skin care products are often the main culprit, your laundry processes can play a part too.

In many cases, this can be due to issues such as residual chemicals that turn yellow when they come into contact with heat, or using too much detergent in your wash cycle.


Using the right chemicals in your laundry process is key here. One of the easiest ways to do this is to enlist the help of a laundry specialist who can implement an auto-dosing system, which releases only the correct levels of chemicals for different cycle types. Not only will this be paired to run seamlessly with your washing machine, but will ensure you achieve the best results from your laundry too.

Food-based Stains

Table linens and napkins will naturally fall victim to food stains, but your bed sheets can too, especially when running room service.


To remove food-based stains, an emulsifier will often be needed to help remove any oils. Your best chance at getting the stain out will involve setting the cycle at a minimum of 45C, running for at least 12 minutes at wash temperature.

Fake Tan Marks

Did you know that fake tanners are costing hotels in the UK a staggering near £1.8m per year by leaving marks on linens? The new figures from Regenex also found that of the 1,120 tonnes of bedding and towels discarded by the industry each year, 224 tonnes are marked with fake tan.


For best results, set up a prewash with detergent and alkali boost, followed by a main wash with the addition of an emulsifier. This should ideally run at a minimum of 70C for around 15 minutes. You can then run a final wash at a minimum of 60C with hydrogen peroxide to remove any remaining stains.

Residual Spa Oils

Essential oils – while great for the skin – can wreak havoc on your hotel’s towels and robes. Some common issues include staining and greasy residues, as well as unpleasant lingering odours.


Because essential oils are particularly difficult to wash out of towels and robes, it is often best to start off the laundry process with a prewash. We then recommend adding an emulsifier to your main wash and running this for at least 15 minutes at 70C or above. For stubborn stains, a final wash may be beneficial. Here, you can add in hydrogen peroxide which will help to brighten your whites.