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Stains and security deposits
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Moonshine



Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 28
Location: South Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:18 pm    Post subject: Stains and security deposits Reply with quote

I would like two bits of advice please. Whatís the very best, heavy-duty way to get stains out of white cotton bed linen and towels - the very last thing you try before you give up? Iíve tried two machine washes at max everything and one hour of boiling in strong washing soda (much better than something like Vanish), but with only partial success. The stains were pale brown, now theyíre pale yellow - presumably caused by something like fake tan. Mouse, if youíre there, youíve written about tacking this problem, I think successfully. How did you do it?

In 15 years of letting Iíve never asked for a security deposit - and never needed one - but this incident has made me think I probably should. I assume this will encourage guests to take more care of things, but will it? The cost of replacing irrevocably stained linen is presumably deductable, but what about the cost of non-standard heavy-duty cleaning? Do deductions - reasonable ones, of course - lead to disputes with guests? I donít advertise on the big sites and manage all payments myself.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7104
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi moonshine! The yellow stains are from a type of suntan lotion and the stain is clear before its washed but when washed the limescale in the water clings to it and that causes it to go any shade from a light yellow to a darkish brown.

If it's this then the way to remove it is by spraying, or soaking if very bad, limescale remover. Here I use Viakal or another supermarket own brand.
I spray them and put them out in sunshine and they usually go.
I've had 2 cases where this didn't work and I think it was because the sun lotion was actually spilled on the duvet covers. In both case I took a photo, sent it to the client and said I was charging.

Hopefully you'll get it out. If not then just try Viakal next time the stains show after washing.

This sun lotion thing is a pain. Last week we had 3 large sheets affected and had I not discovered the Viakal thing I would have been throwing them.

Each year I say I will ask guests either not to use the lotion (think it's the once a day apllicaton type) or if they do, then to make sure they show it off before bed. So far I've not done that.

I feel your pain!

Good luck.

Mousie
x
p.s. I've charged guests over the years for things....in fact the last time was last week when I ended up with 5 bleached towels due to the facecream the daughter was using. The parents took it on the chin aftr I showed them.
I've only had 2 instances when guests got angry and I wouldn't have wanted them back anyway....so no problem. Others have been fine.
I often think it's how you approach it. We've had repeat business from guests that I've charged.
Does it make them more careful? I don't know. I've never not taken a DD.
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13117
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think avobenzone is the ingredient that causes the staining.
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 648
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all feel the pain of this. Mouse's remedy is the one and has helped/saved me on numerous occasions since she shared it.

I currently have two white hand towels soaking and two tea towels which have already been on a hot wash. Fingers crossed.

In the Summer my 'spare' sink is constantly busy with something or another soaking and it drives my OH mad. He calls my array of Viakal, bleach, Vanish, washing powder and bicarbonate of soda my 'chemistry set'.

I've sometimes deducted from damages deposits for careless staining which has caused a write off (acne cream destroyed two rather nice green bath towels one year) but the client has usually known they were in the wrong and not commented. I don't suppose they were thrilled to lose money but neither am I thrilled about it!

The time/energy/products spent trying to save something? A couple of years ago I asked here if it might be reasonable to charge for it but was shot down in flames so I take it on the chin now.

I just don't understand why tea towels only used for wiping clean dishes can get so filthy and stained. I know they are used as oven gloves, floor mops and for mopping stains - but why?? Why?
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Moonshine



Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 28
Location: South Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mousie! Fantastic to get your reply, and so quickly - thank you! It wouldnít have occurred to me to try limescale remover, so Iíll buy some and try it today. The stains could well be what you describe. My cottage has only got one bedroom and these stains were on the duvet cover, bottom sheet, a large towel and all four top pillowcases. After my attempts to get them out the duvet cover and towel are OK, but the rest have still got pale yellow stains.

Surely a damage deposit has got to encourage people to take more care, even if only a bit, and youíve convinced me to go down that route now. And I think itís a good idea to ask guests to wash off suntan lotion before bed, especially if we can tell them what sort of lotion causes the problem. I already provide three pages of info about the cottage when they arrive so can easily add a little bit about the dangers of suntan lotion.

Thank you for feeling my pain, Mousie, and thank you so much for your brilliant advice!

Hi Hells Bells: thank you, thatís very interesting. Iíve googled avobenzone and it seems itís a common ingredient in chemical sunscreens. Maybe the thing to do is to ask guests to make sure they wash off chemical sunscreen before going to bed (assuming they know the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreen), explaining why. Iíll feel in a stronger position if Iím holding their damage deposit!

Hi Gillian: thank you very much. Youíve answered my point about deducting money for stain removal work very clearly, so I wonít do that. And I do agree with you about tea towels - why do they do that? I donít.
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africanpenguin



Joined: 12 Jan 2015
Posts: 14
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GillianF wrote:

I just don't understand why tea towels only used for wiping clean dishes can get so filthy and stained. I know they are used as oven gloves, floor mops and for mopping stains - but why?? Why?


Because at home, most people don't have pristine white tea towels that are only used for wiping clean dishes. They have coloured tea towels that can be used for multiple purposes and chucked in the washing machine, and they don't much care if they get the odd stain. A self catering let is a home from home and so people instinctively act as they would at home - so if they spill something, they grab the nearest tea towel to wipe it up.

Similarly with sunscreen - most people don't have white towels at home, and nor do they use much sunscreen in UK, so the idea that it would create a stain that only shows up after washing just doesn't occur to them. They have never seen it, so why would it?

Don't get me wrong, I really *do* feel your pain in terms of stain removal! But imo that's 'why'.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5901
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that Viakal works for sunblock stains.
Unlike Viakal and similar products, the eco-friendly limescale removers are primarily citric acid.
I know nothing about the chemistry involved - would using a citric acid based product still work, or are the unpronounceable ingredients in the Full Metal Jacket type products required to do the job? Anyone know?

Viakal: <5% Non-ionic surfactants; Perfumes, Benzyl salicylate, Butylphenyl methylpropional, Hexyl cinnamal.

Ecover Limescale remover: Water, Citric Acid, Alkyl Poly Glycoside C8-10, Perfume, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Hydroxy-methylpentylcyclohexene Carboxyaldehyde.
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PW in Polemi



Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 1738
Location: A village in Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use limescale remover on those stains caused by lotion, whether sun, aftersun or body lotion. I use a bright pink spray product called "Magic Oven" - it's primary use is, surprise surprise, oven cleaning but as most muck in an oven is grease, and the main product in any lotion is also grease, it works really well as a lotion remover too. (It is marketed as an alkaline detergent that dissolves fat and can be used for stain removal, as well as oven cleaning!)

I check the sheets, towels, pillow slips etc etc for suspicious marks - sometimes it's not much more than a slightly darker patch, nothing particularly obvious - give it a spray with the pink stuff and if it's lotion of any sort, hey presto, it turns bright yellow. Which was very concerning the first time this happened with my white towels. Shocked Into the washing machine on a 60C wash with my usual detergent in the drawer dispenser and half a dosing ball (remember those?) of bicarbonate of soda in the drum with the laundry.

The only time this method has not worked is when somebody must have spilled lotion on the white bathmat, then tried to rub the lotion off on the dusty floor. When I got it, the mat looked as though somebody had wiped their dusty shoes with the mat, so I didn't think to spray it for lotion. Rolling Eyes

Once washed in, I find any stains are VERY difficult to get out.
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Moonshine



Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 28
Location: South Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PW: would you be able to post up a link to a picture of this please? I can't find anything online that is clearly the Oven Magic you describe and that's available in the UK. There's an 'Oven Magic' oven cleaner that's not currently available (and may not be again) and there's a 'Mr Magic' oven cleaner that seems to only be available on Amazon or Ebay. There's yet another one with the right name but it's available 'for professsional use only' and it sounds lethal!
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PW in Polemi



Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 1738
Location: A village in Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll have a go at finding a Google link, 'cos I'm technologically incapable of posting a photo Embarassed

http://imgusr.tradekey.com/p-9729197-20150811065324/oven-cleaner.jpg

I buy this from the supermarket, but the bottle I buy appears to be made for the Greek & Cypriot markets. It's strong stuff, I nearly lost my fingerprints when using it neat on the shower floor to remove some white stuff that wouldn't come off with regular floor cleaner! OH happily uses it to clean the oven, with no adverse effect.
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bornintheuk



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 421
Location: Southern Charente

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A self catering let is a home from home and so people instinctively act as they would at home


Im sorry but I disagree in some instances people behave as though they couldn't give a damn and are real pains in the a**e.

Thankfully they are in the minority Confused
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KathyG



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3192
Location: Le Faou, Brittany

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's why I give them black tea towels! Very Happy
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Moonshine



Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 28
Location: South Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PW: thanks. The three I found don't seem to be the right ones, so as far as I can see yours isn't available here.

KathyG: black tea towels - now there's a thought. In one way brown bedlinen and towels is the way to go, although it wouldn't look very pretty. But Mouse said earlier up this thread that she had lost five towels that had got bleached only last week - by facecream, of all things (glad the cream wasn't on my face). We can't win, it seems.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7104
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KathyG wrote:
That's why I give them black tea towels! Very Happy


I do that now Kathy after you mentioning it sometime ago.....its just brilliant! They last and last Laughing

Mousie
x
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Casscat



Joined: 05 Jul 2014
Posts: 2661
Location: AndalucŪa

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 18 year old niece and her boyfriend have just departed after a week with me and the fitted sheet and top sheet on their bed are so yellow with sunscreen I have decided to just call them 'dust sheets' and pass them on to my maintenance guy for the next time we decorate. The really irksome thing, however, is that I placed a lovely, white, not inexpensive bedspread onto their bed and it would appear that they have been lying on top of it having afternoon naps drenched in sweat and sunscreen (last week was uber-hot in AndalucŪa) so my bedspread has also fallen victim. I'm damned if I'm throwing that away so it has been liberally dosed in Viakal and put through another wash before being hung out in the sun. I'm crossing all available digits....
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