As a hotelier, you want to keep your expenses low while also providing quality and comfort to your guests. Beds and its necessary adornments such as pillows and sheets are one of the key items that can make or break your guest’s satisfaction. Therefore it is important to keep them clean and in good condition. When is the time to toss and replace your sheets? Well, there are a couple of telltale signs.
Telltale sign #1: The sheets are losing their soft touch, even after washing.
In general, quality sheets should be lasting you a couple of years. The longevity of the fibers in sheets depends on the type material and how often they are washed and with what. Your sheets will last longer if they are properly washed and at lesser frequency. If you are a green hotel that encourages guests to reuse their towels, this will help preserve the quality of the fibers. This is another reason to invest in green laundry detergents that do not degrade the quality of the fabric. If the linens are dowsed in harsh washing chemicals and stains are removed as quickly as they are made, luxury sheets should last 5+ years.
High quality cotton sheets can easily last about a decade, however the type of cotton is important. Cheaper quality cotton sheets are usually made of shorter fibers, and they will be quick to untie and become brittle. Thread count has been debatable in terms of comfort but what is not contentious is the importance of thread count in durability. A higher thread count means lengthier and multiple fibers that in the long term will withstand chemicals, heat, and abrasiveness better than shorter fibers. Combining poor quality cotton linens with high temperatures, which can happen during the drying process, can quickly deteriorate the integrity of the fabric.
Telltale sign #2: The sheets lose their luster.
If you happened to have bought sateen and/or percale sheets and have noticed they are not as shiny as they were before, than it is indication that the material is breaking down. Sateen sheets are sometimes lumped with cotton sheets. Indeed they are made of cotton but have different wear and tear because they are processed completely different. Sateen sheets are given a special process called mercerizing, which involves dipping the spun cotton in lye and then in acid. This processing gives the cotton a slick shiny look, and makes the sheets look denser because the fibers have swelled. Although a great look to any bed, this heavy processing already does siginifcant changes to the fiber in the linen and therefore, is more likely to strip of color and sheen after a couple of washes. If you have sateen sheets in your hotel, you may already be aware of the short life span of that type of material. As stated previously, keeping temperatures low during the drying cycle and using less chemically dense cleaners can help preserve the color and shine of sateen sheets.
Percale sheets are also part of the cotton sheet family. These sheets usually have a thread count of 180-225 and are
usually considered to be of higher quality. Some manufactures do 50 cotton and 50 polyester blend to make percale material. Because of this process they also have a sheen to them more so than regular cotton sheets but less so than sateen sheets. They are also more durable because of the woven process. Although they may lose some luster, percale sheets usually get softer with washes.
Hotels4Humanity carries Westpoint, Millennium T300 sheets that have selections of percale sheets for sale! In addition to the pristine look of sateen sheets made by Martex Millennium.
Telltale sign #3: Stains no longer come out as easily.
There comes a point in every sheets life where it just does not bounce back like it used to. With proper care and instruction, many stains can be removed from cotton fabrics. After several washes, and stains, the fibers begun to retain more and more of whatever color or residue is left by a stain. In time, removing stains becomes more difficult or leaves a slightly bruised circle on the material. Fibers can only be washed and scrubbed so much before falling away. This one is obvious, you do not want to be giving slightly discolored, brittle feeling sheets to your lodgers. If you begin to notice lost in buoyancy from the material, it is time for replacement.
A lot of your hotel sheets should be lasting a couple years, as discussed, much of that is dependent on your hotel’s cleaning practices and the quality of sheets you purchase. Sheets are an item that should be spent more on, it will cost less in the future than to buy cheaper material that must be replaced more often. It tells your guests that you care about their comfort.
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