January 12, 2022

Why hotel sheets are white

T here’s nothing like lying down in a luxurious hotel bed. But have you ever noticed that hotels use bright, white sheets? You probably have. Hotels bank on those sheets being the first thing you see when you walk into a room.

The same white sheets that you struggle to keep looking new at home appear fresh out of the package in a hotel. The white they achieve could almost be its own color – hotel linen white.

So how do hotels keep sheets white? And can you mimic their technique at home? Keep reading to find out.

How Do Hotels Keep Sheets White?
Hotel sheets aren’t just clean – they’re bright. These sheets are the linen version of a tooth whitening commercial. Yet, the sheer number of people who use them and eventually spill on them is pretty horrifying.

It makes you wonder: how do hotels keep sheets so white? It depends on who you ask, but one thing is clear. It’s not just bleach and hot water.

Hotel brands have unique methods for dealing with the mountain of laundry they get each day.

In most cases, hotels treat any of the stains on the laundry. Rather than turning straight to bleach, they rely on the latest technologies, which include stain removes and soaps. In other cases, they put the laundry in a big pot full of the perfect combination of laundry detergent, baking soda, and cold water. They then boil the linens for half an hour and wring them out.

Once treated, hotels take a three-pronged approach to cleaning the bedding. First, they wash with laundry detergent. Then, they wash again with fabric softener. The final wash includes bleach to bring out the white color.

In other words, hotels don’t bleach the linens within an inch of its life and call it “good.”

But do they wash on hot?

No, hotels use cold water on most linens unless heavily stained. Hot water breaks down the material faster, which can get very expensive in hotels where sheets very often get washed every day.

Three wash cycles for one set of linens sounds like a lot of work – and a lot of wasted water and energy. While that’s true in the home context, what the experts don’t tell you is that hotels invest heavily in laundry detergent and washing technology.

For example, they use Sonic Soak technology, which breaks down even microscopic stains and dirt using modulated ultrasonic waves. Plus, they’re energy-efficient and finish the wash cycle much faster.

Why Do Hotels Use White Sheets?
Why do hotels use white sheets in the first place? After all, they’re the easiest to stain. Every little spill shows up when you have white linens.

The way white linens project stains is exactly why hotels use them. When you look at a white duvet cover or sheet, you can instantly tell its clean. If the cover has a pattern or the sheets are dark, then you don’t know what’s on them until you get closer.

A secondary reason hotels fit their rooms with white linens is that they give the room a luxurious feel. White linens look and feel clean and fresh. So, even if the room is a bit dated, the sheets stand out. A combination of bright linens and triple sheeting gives guests the feeling of relaxation as soon as they enter the room.

You don’t need to go back far to see where the trend occurred. Westin hotels popularized the use of all-white linens in the 1990s. Today, their bedding is so famous that you can buy it to use at home. The Westin Heavenly Bed store includes mattresses, pillows, and sheet sets designed for home use.

There’s a final practical use, too. And it will make you think next time you go shopping for linens of any type. When everything is white, you can wash it all together. You don’t need to sort or separate. Plus, you never need to worry about some of the colors bleeding or fading.

How Do Hotels Keep Towels Fluffy?
Let’s move on to another pressing hotel question. How do hotel towels stay fluffy, given all the washing? Even good quality towels start to get scratchy eventually.

The answer is, of course, a combination of water and biological soap, and skip the fabric softener, which will otherwise leave a thin layer of wax on the material.

However, there’s another trick or two.

One trip is to add a cap of white vinegar to the machine’s rinse cycle. The vinegar clears up lingering soap, which helps the towels bounce back.

After you pull the towels out of the washing machine, you should give them a shake. It fluffs up the loops on the fabric, which keeps them absorbent and, therefore, fluff. Make sure you throw your towels in right away, which prevents mildew from setting in.

Another trick is to throw a new, clean tennis ball into the dryer. It knocks out the lumps and reduces drying time.