Hotel guests don't always treat hotel property with respect. Whether it's intentional or by accident, you may find yourself dealing with some very stubborn stains. Depending on the type of material, you'll need different cleaning techniques and some additional hospitality supplies. Here's what you need to know.
1. Carpet Stains
Carpet is especially difficult to clean as it cannot be removed to be cleaned. For fresh stains, blotting generally works: saturate the stain completely with a cleaning solution and then dry it with a towel. Repeat the process until the stain is no longer visible.
For older, set stains, a deep cleaning extractor unit may be necessary. Some stains soak through to the padding, and that means they may "rise up" again even after the surface has been cleaned. A deep cleaning extractor pushes water down into the padding of the carpet and then removes it, getting the entirety of the stain.
A white vinegar mixture is often enough to remove most stains. Enzymatic cleaners can also be used to remove organic stains, such as blood, without harsh chemicals such as bleach.
2. Furniture and Upholstery Stains
Similar to carpets, furniture and upholstery stains are often best removed through blotting. Blotting with vinegar or with a vinegar and baking soda mixture can help, but you may need to soak the stain multiple times before it comes up entirely. Like carpet, extractor units are available that can clean deep into furniture padding.
3. Drapery Deep Cleaning
Drapery can often be removed and washed in a washing machine. For new stains, cold water is usually preferred; hot water can make the stain set. For older stains, drapes can be soaked in cold water and soap for a few hours to loosen the stain. However, the material of the drapes also need to be accounted for. Some types of drape, such as silk drapes, need to be sent to a professional dry cleaner.
4. Toilet Bowl Stains
Toilet bowl stains occur over time, even when the toilet bowl has been kept clean. Regularly fill the toilet bowl with bleach or bleach powder and let it sit to remove any general staining. To remove remaining toilet bowl stains, empty the bowl of water and scrub with a powdered cleaner, such as a borax cleaner, or baking soda and vinegar.
5. Grout Stains
Grout—especially colored grout—can be difficult to keep clean. For a hotel, grout stains are often best removed through the use of a steam cleaning unit. Steam cleaning units are able to use high heat and water to remove dirt from porous materials. Otherwise, grout needs to be scrubbed with a mild abrasive to remove any staining.
6. Mattress Stains
Mattresses are expensive. No one wants to have to replace a mattress, even if other hospitality supplies are plentiful. Mattress stains are treated like upholstery stains: a hot water extraction unit is usually best. Mattresses can be steam cleaned and extraction cleaned through the use of the right equipment, which is necessary to both clean visible stains and also make sure that the mattress remains sanitary.
7. Towel, Sheet, and Comforter Stains
Towels, sheets, and comforters are among some of the easiest items to remove stains from because they can be bleached. Still, it's important to get to them quickly: many stains are going to set if they're left for too long. As with drapery, set stains can be approached through a cold water soak before being washed. Organic stains, such as blood, are almost always best tackled through the use of enzymatic cleaners—these cleaners break down the chemical components of the stain, which is more effective than simply trying to bleach them out.
One caveat: as bleach is a harsher solution, it can damage cloth over time. There may be a point in time that it's preferable to replace a towel, sheet, or comforter rather than continue to cycle it through the wash.
Of course, hoteliers also know that sometimes it's best to just replace something—spare sheets, comforters, and towels should always be among your excess hospitality supplies. Still, with the right cleaning solutions, it should be easy enough to keep most of your hotel's goods looking sparkling and new. After all, the more supplies you save, the more money you save.