Bath Linens to wipe cars, motor cycles, boots and shoes, makeup and foundation etc

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03/30/2014

I have a great deal of problems with guests using my linens for everything other than their bodies and end up spending close to $400.00 every 90 days replacing stained and ripped, bath and hand towels and washcloths. I tried putting a sign in all of the rooms with a price list of items that also tells guests that if they use our bath linens as makeup and foundation removers instead of the makeup removers we put on every vanity, they will be charged the quoted price and still they continue to do it. When guest are here for more than one day, and we find stained towels, we ask them personally to Pretty Please don't use the linens and the next day, we find they did again.

Men in our rooms will use our bath linens to wipe their cars, their shoes and boots, their skis, motor cycles etc.

I tried added a Please Do Not Use in our confirmation Policies page and the fact that they will be charged if they do and still, we find they used the towel to wipe down their vehicle.

So, the question is this.  Do any of you charge for ruined linens, or do you think the idea of charging ignorant guests is good or bad.

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Cathy's picture
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Most of you may not know me, been gone for a while.  We have a B&B in central Mexico, celebrated our 6th year of business this year.

We too had had the issue of floor towels used for shoes and hand towels being stained from make-up.  We buy the package of cheap-ish face clothes from Costco and put those on the sink.  Our guests use either those or the facial wipes for make-up .... mostly.  We find a few of our guests returning late from weddings go to bed without removing their make-up.  Our bed linens are damaged from sun screen.  :/   We just chalk it up as part of business and thankfully we aren't losing as much as the first few years.  Certainly are not going through that amount though.

 

 

 

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Highlands John's picture
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It's not a problem for us, I think the amount of times we've had to throw something out I can count on 1 hand, in 10 years.

However, by the sounds of it you really have to enforce your charges. These items are not supplied for these purposes and for things like wiping the car there's really no excuse, signs or no.

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06/08/2010

We have cottages on a campground/canoe outfitting business - a much dirtier place than a romantic B & B.  So I get a lot of ruined towels.  While I upgraded the linens when we bought the place I try to buy the least expensive that are acceptable.  I missed once on wash cloths and have a lot of rags...  When we increased the rates we tried to take ruined linen into account and add a few dollars into the price to cover it.  In my situation it is unfortunately the cost of doing business.  Another way I try to keep the price down is to buy in bigger quantities I get 5 - 7 dozen towels and at least 10 dozen wash cloths at a time.  The wash cloths really take the biggest hit.

I will say that like many things most people aren't too hard on them but a few are crazy bad.

white pine's picture
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02/02/2010

Hi, we have a motel and an old lodge soon to be open as a b&b.  We have had this problem in the motel, and we now put old stained towels, freshly washed and labeled as "Clean Rags for your use" on a shelf in the bathroom.  If we have a bike touring group or others who are fishing or hiking in the area, we will put them on a table just inside the door an MENTION them.  Has cut down quite a bit, but not all.  Had some one use the BRAND NEW towels in the bath to wipe down their car....I feel for you.

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I have never heard of such a thing, ever.

Wiping down their vehicles with guest room linens? You must be a motel or something, not a B&B or Inn.

You spend $400 every 90 days on destroyed bath linens? And you keep doing it? And you dont know whether to charge the guests?

If you are doing this, why? I dont believe it. 

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Generic's picture
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At some point, I might just give and and charge them for the towels...

Either charge for the towels as a deposit and give back for all the ones that are easily washable, or actually just give in and put the cost into my pricing and give up.

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seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

 Hello.

 A couple things.

 We had old, dark towels for makeup removal in a basket in each bathroom with a little note on the baskets of what they were for. I myself don't use makeup remover sheets as I have sensitive skin - they may choose not to use a wipe of some kind with a solution on it. Granted, I don't use much makeup but just a little mascara does a job on staining a wash cloth.

 If this is as chronic as you say, I would remove HALF the towels from each bathroom so they know they will have to dry off their BODIES with those towels.  

 

Wondering what kind of place this is that people are coming with skis and shoes and boots and motorcycles. 

Is it like a motor lodge where they step right outside their doors to their cars so they are grabbing the room towels and going out to their motorcycles and ski equipment?

If so, I would put the old towels (sadly ruined towels) outside each door or between two doors in a bin or something for that purpose, plainly labeled.  And tell them - show them - these are for wiping cars and skis, etc. If this is happening so much, then there is a need you must provide for. 

 

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Welcome Jaymeabvi! Can you tell us a little about where you're located and what kind of place you have? Sometimes answers to questions can change due to culture difference, location, etc.

We have experienced it several times where they have used our beautiful white towels to wipe their car or muddy shoes, etc. Now, when I check them in, I show them a shelf in their room that has "deck towels" (that's just what we call them). I tell them they're the cruddy towels and please use them if they go on hikes or other things where they need to wipe off crud. Then I add "so we can keep our white towels white". I make a joke out of it, trying to keep it very lighthearted.

We also have black face cloths with "MAKEUP" embroidered on it next to their hand sink. This has helped dramatically on the makeup stains.

I think being so direct with the prices in their face is not going to work and it will also make it seem like a cheap motel. Sorry, but that's the only time I've seen a list of items with prices if you steal or destroy them.

Arks's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

We also have black face cloths with "MAKEUP" embroidered on it next to their hand sink. This has helped dramatically on the makeup stains.

Grrr! She got me! I've never had any makeup problems because I have the embroidered black cloths by the sink.

But lately I've not been putting those out when it's male guests only, because men tend to splash a lot in the lavatory, shaving I guess, and get the black cloths wet so I have to wash them unnecessarily.

I've had a 30-ish guy in one of my units for a few weeks now (in town on white collar business), and last night his girlfriend showed up! Yep, black and brown stains all over a towel. I can even see a handprint in one spot where 5 brown fingers were blotted off on the towel. It's now soaking in my miracle M30 stain remover. We'll see if it works.

Live and learn. I'll start leaving the black cloths out all the time.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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Arks wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

We also have black face cloths with "MAKEUP" embroidered on it next to their hand sink. This has helped dramatically on the makeup stains.

Grrr! She got me! I've never had any makeup problems because I have the embroidered black cloths by the sink.

But lately I've not been putting those out when it's male guests only, because men tend to splash a lot in the lavatory, shaving I guess, and get the black cloths wet so I have to wash them unnecessarily.

I've had a 30-ish guy in one of my units for a few weeks now (in town on white collar business), and last night his girlfriend showed up! Yep, black and brown stains all over a towel. I can even see a handprint in one spot where 5 brown fingers were blotted off on the towel. It's now soaking in my miracle M30 stain remover. We'll see if it works.

Live and learn. I'll start leaving the black cloths out all the time.

It's always when you least expect it!

Tonight I just checked in a woman with purple hair. I didn't say anything to her about it and at the end of check-in she tells me that she brought her own pillow and towels so she wouldn't ruin our linens! Now, that's a first!!! I gushed all over her saying thank you.

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 We had guests before who dyed their hair and use our white towels.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I have been lucky I guess - no one had done this. I ask my motorcycle guests if they need towels to wipe down the bike - especially on a damp morning. I keep old towels in the shed for this and they do use those. I have yet to have someone wipe down their car - unless they had towels in the trunk (not even the Porsches). The only make-up related stain I have is a perfect hand print in an orangey color on a yellow duvet cover (new of course) that looked as if she put her hand down on the bed to steady herself to to reach for something. A couple treatments (wand washes) with Murphy's Oil Soap faded it to almost gone. I still use it with the hand print down. And it depends on the size of the inn as to whether close to $400 (yes, it is not an amount to sneeze at no matter what) is a deep ouch (as in a 3-room inn) or the cost of doing business in a 15 room. Perhaps the towels are too pricey - go down a grade. Sorry to hear you get so many guests of this sort.

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05/22/2008

Where are you that they find they  have to use your towels? We have never had anyone use our towel for other than the intended purpose.

Note: When an innkeeper joins us here for first time, they usually introduce themselves a bit first rather than just out right asking a question first.

jmj
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03/24/2014

Is there a place for introductions, or create a new entry?

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

you create a topic say "Hello I am Jmj and im new

then in the topic a bit about your property - we don't expect full disclosure ie I have a BB in Wisconsin with 8 bedrooms - tends to be walkers and hikers as our main business

Means we have a better place to start advising you - but that amount of damage? id be hiring in mine!

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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You can just tell us here on this thread. If you want a new thread, just start one clicking on "Forum topic", in the left column.

Joey Camb's picture
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if the car thing is especially common - I would say on check in "if you would like any cloths for wiping your car please let us know as we wouldn't want to have to charge you for using the bathroom towels" makes it sound more like you are doing them a favour in preventing them being charged.

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