Weird housekeeping question

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domestique's picture
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I have been keeping pretty busy innkeeping for several B & B's that have owners that range from very hands on and high standards to those who hire out most of the work and are very uninterested in their properties, to those somewhere in the middle.

Despite the differing levels of involvement there is one consistent thing I have noticed at all of the properties that informs my question:  Do you change out the mattress pads and shower rugs/bath mats between every guest?  Or do you try to "preserve" them from too much laundering by the look and see method?  If they aren't dirty or have obvious stains, do you let them be?

I have been surprised to find that at all of the properties I have worked at that these are not laundered after every guest. I have to admit that I'm a little skeeved out by that.  Am I missing something that I need to know about?  I might be able to see that the mattress pad is protected by sheets, but the bath rug may very well have someone's foot fungus or toe crud implanted on it!

How many mattress pads do you allot per room, ditto on the bath mats?

Thanks!

 

 

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We had large waterproof pads on top of our thick mattress pads, which were on top of mattress enclosures.  Those got checked when the beds were made daily and were probably laundered more often than the actual mattress pads.  Mattress pads were usually laundered once/week.  I had 2 for every room, plus an additional spare in King and Queen.  Of course, anything with a stain or wet spot got laundered immediately.

Pillow covers were laundered between each guest.  I have to qualify that our average length of stay was about 3 days.  I don't know if I'd have been able to do that with a bunch of one nighters! 

I had about 3 sets of washable bath rugs for each guest bathroom.  They  were replaced/laundered as needed, and definitely between each guest.  A couple of rooms had decorator wool rugs in the bathrooms (large) that were not near the toilet or tub/shower which were vacuumed daily and we had to spot clean occasionally.  We also had white bath mats that were replaced daily when towels were refreshed.   

 

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domestique's picture
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I love the idea of having a pad over the mattress pad.  They carry the old-fashioned thin pads with elastic straps on the corners at IKEA--those would work great I think.

I appreciate all the replies.  I was tallking about thicker rug type bath mats, not the towel-type-those always get washed.

To JB, I have sometimes been accused of being a little "too Martha" in my cleaning approach, but at each of my B & B's I am lucky that I  get help with the laundry and the cleaning--and they are only 5 rooms each.  But my help are local teenagers and sometimes I think they turn the rooms with their eyes closed .

 

 

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Domestique, just be sure if you get the waterproof mattress protectors that they're not really "noisy".  I had something similar to what you described and they didn't crinkle or make a lot of noise on top of the mattress protector.  They definitely saved the mattress pad on a few occasions. 

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 Rugs near toilets, icky. People like them there for their feet, but you know, the rest of that story...

Once I had a pregnant guest thankful for a bath rug as she sat on it and had morning sickness, she also had a weak bladder.  Yes, agreed rugs have to be laundered too. 

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Arks's picture
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domestique wrote:

Do you change out the shower rugs/bath mats between every guest?...the bath rug may very well have someone's foot fungus or toe crud implanted on it!

How many mattress pads do you allot per room, ditto on the bath mats?

I think there's some confusion since you seem to use "rug" and "mat", " interchangeably in your original post. I'd think regular washing of mats, which are basically a heavy towel, would be automatic. But if you're talking about a furry bathroom rug with a rubber no-slip base, those won't stand up long to daily laundering, so rugs probably shouldn't be in the bathroom in the first place.

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Madeleine's picture
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Reversible, fuzzy bath rugs without the rubber backing is what I have along with the 'thick towel' mat. We use those in rooms where the floors are really cold.

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Arks's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Reversible, fuzzy bath rugs without the rubber backing is what I have along with the 'thick towel' mat. We use those in rooms where the floors are really cold.

Yes, cold floors are a problem, but as a guest I don't think I'd like those rugs unless I was sure they'd been washed since the last guest stood barefoot on them. I'd probably push it aside and use my towel to stand on*.

Heated floors would be really nice!

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*Of course we walk barefoot around swimming pools where other people have walked and think little of it. Funny how people are. If you let yourself think about this stuff too much, you'll never leave the house. Imagine sticking a fork in your mouth at a restaurant, one that's been in hundreds of other mouths, and just having to trust the disintersted teenagers in the kitchen to have cleaned and sanitized them well.

Madeleine's picture
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We try to make everything look and smell clean. Rugs are fluffed and not matted down, sometimes we just leave them folded on the side table in the bath so the guest can put it down if they want it.

A couple of years ago we went on vacation and first thing I saw in the bathroom was a matted, dirty, hairy bath rug on the floor. Turned me off completely and I went looking for other signs that cleaning was secondary. Came home and told the housekeeper, 'THIS is what we work on this week!' so it was helpful to me to go on the hunt for something I wouldn't have noticed except for that nasty bath rug.

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Madeleine wrote:

Reversible, fuzzy bath rugs without the rubber backing is what I have along with the 'thick towel' mat. We use those in rooms where the floors are really cold.

I think she was saying RUG, not bath mat.  Rug in the bathroom.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Reversible, fuzzy bath rugs without the rubber backing is what I have along with the 'thick towel' mat. We use those in rooms where the floors are really cold.

I think she was saying RUG, not bath mat.  Rug in the bathroom.

We have both. But not carpet, to throw another flooring term in the mix! Bath rugs (3x5, 4x6, whatever size) need to be washed after every guest. Bath mats (smaller, in front of shower, like a thick towel) get washed with the towels, and often get changed out everyday because they're so wet. (Hell-o people, dry off IN the tub, not on the floor, dripping all over the place!)

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PS are you saying if we hire you domestique that you will wash everything in every room after every guest? YOUR HIRED!

I had 4 or 5 one night stays for weeks and weeks, and it nearly killed me, just now at the end of it. Have a one nighter tonight and tomorrow night again.

Proud Texan's picture
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We have dry-clean only duvets, which makes it impractical to clean them after each guest.   So, we do the "icky" double sheeting.   The duvets usually stay folded at the end of the bed until the guest sleep at night.   Guests are seldom laying on them. Double-sheeting is much cleaner than a permanent bedspread that never gets washed. I'm not seeing where you're getting the "ick" factor unless you are using the duvet instead of a bed spread.  All the sheets are changed after every guest or every three days.

We change out the bath rug and bath mat and hand towel automatically and replace any used washcloths.  Towels are replace every two days or on request.   Zipped pillow covers are changed everytime.  We clean the mattress pads when obviously stained or every three weeks.   We have a second pad under that that gets washed when needed. 

 

 

Madeleine's picture
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I throw the down duvets in the wash. Dry them with a couple of round-shaped, rubber dog toys to fluff them up again. Works great for those guests who think the duvets are meant to be 'slept' on. Takes forever to dry but better than the dry cleaning costs. If you have a back-up or an old one, give it a try. I had a spare and tested the washing process on that.

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I don't have mattress pads.King beds w/a rubber protector,then feather bed mattress topper,then 2 white King bottom sheets, then the bottom bed sheet, top sheet & feather bed duvet covered w/a duvet cover. The  2 white sheets are washed  often. King beds seem to be lived-in. Wine ,food, breakfast food sometimes end up there.Breakfast is always served room service style.I am 1/2 B&B and 1/2 Cottages, 3 rooms here. B&B's are so unique.

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Joey Camb's picture
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nope new bathmat every time and if its quite wet during a longer stay it is changed then as well. Some B&B's here do double sheet so they don't have to change the duvet cover every time but I personally think that is icky.

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Highlands John's picture
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Eeeeewwww. That is icky.

We have bath mats, they get washed every day. Wouldn't have rugs or carpeting in the bathrooms for hygiene reasons.

Mattress covers get wash as and when.

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Joey Camb's picture
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they were discussing it on bedposts and I was like well you might not have a problem with it but I guarantee if your guests knew you were doing it they certainly would. Its that simple.

egoodell's picture
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 We wash the mattress cover as needed. We wash bath mats after every stay with the lowels.\

We triple sheet the blanket so we don't have to wash them so often.

Riki

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One reason I don't like reading material kept in a bathroom.

Sheesh don't stop there, people have sex on the sofas and the chairs, etc. Is every surface, carpet included cleaned between guests or cleaned at all?

You can't be serious that one room for one night you strip the room down to bare bones, the room rate would not even cover the laundry bill! The answer is no. There is not enough time in the world or resources to strip and clean everything.  A bath MAT or a rug? There is a difference.

Close up shop, do not rent rooms to people, you can't clean every thing.

Madeleine's picture
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Mattress pads a couple of times/month unless obviously stained. Ditto the pillow covers. Bath mats? Every single time. We have double-sided bathmats so if a guest is staying over, the mat gets a vigorous shake in the tub and flipped to the other side. Nothing worse than walking into your guest room, as a new guest, and seeing the bathmat is completely flat, walked on and full of crud. Ewww.

Mattress pad covered by sheet, not so bad. I do check to be sure the pad is not wet before putting clean sheets on. The pads we have are really fluffy so they take a long time to wash and dry (sanitize cycle is about 2 hours) so they are last on the cleaning list. Back-ups are essential. But storage is a bear.

Arks's picture
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Might as well add bedspreads, blankets, and pillows to the question. And why single out bath rugs? Any rug or carpeting in the guest suite could have had a visit from this foot fungus. You'd have to wash about everything in the place after every guest. Plus, fungi are VERY hard to kill. Will washing and drying even accomplish that?

Madeleine's picture
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Because you are definitely going to have your shoes and socks off if you're taking a shower. Not everyone walks around in the bedroom sans footwear. Bathmats are shoved all over. Guests put them right up to the toilet to keep their tootsies warm. And we've all told enough 'spray' stories that most guests probably would just as soon throw the bathmat out the window if they thought it wasn't washed.

I can almost tell when a 'dirty bedspread' story is making the rounds anywhere. All nicely folded as far away from the bed as they can get it.

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