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Common Laundry Mistakes That Make Your Clothes Stink

Nothing feels better than going to bed and diving into fresh and clean sheets, or stepping out of the shower and using towels that smell fresh like spring. Perhaps it’s one of the reasons why checking into a hotel room feels so indulging. Hotel towels and sheets are always white and clean, that sometimes you just wish to sneak into their laundry room to find out how they keep everything like that.

Well, here’s some good news: you no longer have to do so, because we know how to keep them bright and smelling fresh just like a hotel chain! Let’s discuss how you can do that for your own home below.

First things first, what kind of laundry detergent do hotels use?

The answer to that may actually already be in your laundry area or cabinets.

Most hotel establishments like to use gentle laundry detergents that fight stains while also leaving a pleasant aroma the first time it is used. Yes, they also use regular, store-bought laundry detergent, which is comparable to what many people use in their homes. These mild detergents also work wonders in removing even the toughest stains, so you don’t have to spend a lot of bucks on expensive and abrasive laundry detergents that just damage your towels and linens in the long run.

Because of the pH, hotels must use regular detergent rather than professional-grade detergent. Regular detergents found in grocery stores have a neutral pH, however professional-grade detergent is frequently basic or has a higher pH, which can be harsh on sheets, linens, and towels. Also, it breaks down fibers faster than neutral detergent.

Here’s how hotels keep towels and sheets clean, bright, and fresh:

It’s not a secret that hotels work through hundreds of linens, towels, and sheets in a single day. That is also why maintaining its clean condition is a hard challenge. Their towels and linens are washed regularly, so the next customers can enjoy its freshness.

This maintenance does not stop with choosing the right laundry detergent, it also needs to be washed in the right washing machine setting. The correct wash cycle will also help prolong life and preserve the quality of your favorite linens.

The washing time is also important, and it should be determined by the amount of clothing to be laundered. Using the same setting every time, regardless of the state of the laundry, will do nothing to help linens. The fabric can break down quickly if linens are washed for too long, and if they are not washed long enough, the stains may not be removed properly.

It's also crucial to wash linens on a warm setting that's neither too hot nor too cold. Using cold water in washing sheets and towels does not properly clean the linens, enabling bacteria and dust mites to remain. Hot water, on the other hand, destroys the quality of the fabrics as it damages the fibers in it.

Avoiding underfilling or overfilling a washing machine is a great method to keep linens fresh. When a washing machine is overloaded, there isn't enough mechanical motion to clean the garments. On the other hand, not filling a washing machine to capacity allows for excessive mechanical movement, which causes linens to break down more quickly. It is recommended that a washing machine be filled to around 80% of its capacity.

Hotels also use vinegar in washing their towels and sheets. No, they will not smell like vinegar when you use them -- instead, the towels and sheets will smell clean and fresh. The potent combination of detergent and vinegar removes any deep-seated bacteria and tough smells that laundry detergent alone won’t be able to tackle.

When used instead of the usual fabric softener, vinegar removes bacteria and freshens towels and linens. Traditional fabric softeners leave a film on the fabric, making it difficult to clean the linens thoroughly.

Hotels also use baking soda to maintain the brightness and softness of their towels and sheets. Adding ½ cup of baking soda in your laundry is a great way to maintain your towels, linens, and sheets.

It softens the fibers and makes it easier to remove stains. It also helps in removing musty odors from towels. As a result, your towels will retain their softness for a longer period of time.

And when it comes to drying, hotels also use a different approach to keep their towels and sheets free from odor, bacteria, and mildew.

When it comes to drying your towels, there are two things to keep in mind: do not over-dry or under-dry. The former makes it easier for germs and mildew to settle in the fibers, whereas the latter damages them. As a result, hotels remove towels from the dryer before they are entirely dry and hang them to dry on a line.

This is also why hotels often ask their guests to hang their towels after use. They do so by posting a card in the bathroom instructing them to hang up their towels. Mildew can grow on towels much easier if they are not put out to dry after use, resulting in a musty odor even after washing it.

The last secret in keeping your towels and sheets smelling good like a hotel’s is to keep your washing machine clean.

Cleaning the washing machines on a regular basis is an important part of keeping hotel towels and linen feeling and appearing clean. Even if the linens are clean, if mildew blooms in the washing machine, the odor is immediately transferred to them. This mildew smell can be avoided by being proactive and cleaning the washers regularly.