How often do you wash the bedding in your vacation rental property? I don’t mean the sheets and pillow covers that are more likely to come into direct contact with guests’ skin – I’m also referring to blankets, comforters, duvet covers, mattress and pillow protectors. Should they be washed after each rental?
When we first came out to Canada from UK, I was quite taken with the idea of comforters on beds. I was used to either sheets and blankets with a bedspread, or more recently, duvets with removable covers, so the attractive comforter that went over a top sheet and had matching pillow covers – I learnt to call them shams – seemed a better option. No more struggling with duvet covers; just shake out the comforter and that was it. So, when we began to rent out our vacation rental cottage I bought comforters for all the beds and our guests supplied their own sheets and pillow cases.
At that time we were still living back in England and travelling out to Ontario three or four times a year. The first time we arrived after several sets of rental guests had been in the cottage, I missed the freshly laundered smell of my duvet cover since the comforter hadn’t been washed between guests and I got so uncomfortable about that, I went out and bought a second one for each bed so they could be washed at the end of each rental. Have you ever tried to stuff a heavy Jacquard comforter in a domestic top-loader? It’s not easy, and in fact it was such a tight fit I don’t think there was much cleaning going on in that machine. I also found that the cheaper comforters were not made well enough to withstand more than one or two laundry cycles before the filling began to bunch up in the corners.
I did a bit of research on how often hotels wash their bedspreads and comforters and this is becoming a big issue for them with the higher end establishments using ‘freshly laundered comforters for your stay’ as a marketing enticement. Now more hotels are accepting pets, I should hope so, since I saw this on one forum:
“We take our dogs with us and they sleep on the beds. I wonder if they wash after they know we’ve had pets in the room?”
My take on now it is that I don’t like the thought of rental guests sleeping under comforters that have been used by other people and not freshly laundered in between. We can never guarantee their pets have not been invited to spend the night on top of the bed (even though we specifically request them not to do this); that moms have not changed their babies on the bedding, or that (forgive me for this one) the last honeymoon couple just couldn’t wait before they got beneath the sheets (if you get my drift). So, I’m back to duvet covers that are changed for each rental and using it as a marketing ploy as well. I’m sure a lot of guests don’t know how often the bedding is changed and some may not care, but if I can open their eyes to the more common practice of only laundering comforters every few months, I figure I can pull some more guests my way. Fresh laundered bedding vs comforter not seen the inside of a washing machine in 3 months – no contest.
I know this is a contentious subject. Take a look at this forum thread for examples of different viewpoints – it’s interesting to see some rental guests weighing in on the topic too. What’s your view?
Photos courtesy of CottageLINK Rental Management and The Torpedo Dog (on Flickr)