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Stop Washing Your Airbnb Sheets and Towels Together: 4 Reasons It Damages Linens

Published Date:
February 1, 2024

When you’re separating laundry, it’s easy to think you can wash sheets and towels together. Not only does it cut down on loads of laundry, but it could save some time and money. But that’s a big laundry mistake that might end up costing you. 

Should I Wash Sheets and Towels Together?

Airbnb owners all have so many questions about maintaining the linens in their rental units, especially when it comes to washing sheets and towels. Keeping an inventory of sheets and towels in circulation is important! You do not want to damage inventory that is expensive to replace.

It may seem like a good idea to wash sheets and towels together to save time and housekeeping costs, but is it a good idea? Let’s take a look at the washing differences between sheets and towels, what damage can occur if sheets and towels are washed together, and how this impacts the lifespan of linens.

You’ve probably heard different opinions on whether you should wash sheets and towels together. Well, we’re here to provide you with a definitive answer: NO.

We spoke to laundry service professionals to learn why they separate their sheets and towels in their commercial laundry businesses. And, while you might not be running a commercial laundry business, you should be caring for your linens like a pro!

Why You Shouldn’t Wash Sheets and Towels Together?

Linens and towels should be washed separately for the following reasons:

  • Material Weight: Different material thickness means sharing a wash cycle can cause damage!
  • Different Material: Pilling can be prevented by washing with similar materials and textures.
  • Temperature Control: It’s hard to believe but, you’ll do more damage to fabric in a dryer than you will in a washer! Be careful…
  • Different Sizes: Different sizes of linens prevent tumbling which can mean less cleaning & more complaints!
  • Airbnb Laundry Service: An Airbnb laundry service can increase the cleanliness and lifespan of your linens.

1. Towels And Linens Have Different Material Weights

By weight, we’re talking about the thickness of the laundry. Their thickness can affect how long they take to dry in the dryer. Sheets, a lighter weight, will dry faster than thicker towels. This means either towels won’t dry fully–which could lead to the formation of mold or mildew–or sheets will be over-dried resulting in damage and shortening their lifespan.

If you wash sheets and towels together it can make it difficult for your washer machine’s drum to move effectively during its spin cycle; this could lead to unnecessary wear-and-tear on your washer which may reduce its longevity over time if not corrected promptly. By separating your wash cycles into different loads based on temperature settings and material types (sheets vs towels), you ensure that both items are properly cleaned without increasing wear-and-tear on either item or your washer machine itself. Not only will you get cleaner linens faster with separate loads, but you’ll also extend the life of your linens by avoiding any potential damage caused by improper washing techniques.

“Not separating your sheets and towels is a one-way ticket to higher utility costs! The balance between linens in the dryer is like a dance. You can’t have one dancer dancing to a different song than the other. Everything will get tangled up! And tangled linens take forever to dry. Instead, limit your dry cycles to one type of linen so the tumble dance can be harmonious!” – Randy R., Columbus Express Laundry Service

2. They’re Made Out of Different Materials

Sheets are typically made from a lighter fabric than towels, meaning they require a gentler cycle in the washer and or dryer. Towels are much thicker, so they need a longer or stronger cycle to get them clean.

At first glance, this may not seem like a huge concern, but because towels are typically made out of cotton, they’re more likely to produce lint. Because of the material difference, your sheets can end up covered in lint, changing their appearance and texture, and shortening their lifetime. Beware, new towels produce a lot of lint.

Sheets can be sensitive to certain laundry detergents or fabric softeners, so these should be avoided when washing them. On the other hand, towels are usually quite durable and can stand up to most detergents without any problems.

“Lint on sheets will get itchy! Whether you are washing your own sheets and towels at home or providing a service as a commercial laundry service, scratchy lint on soft sheets is a surefire way to lose sleep and lose clients! -Kent W., Happy Landry and Dry Cleaning

3. They Require Different Temperatures

Sheets require a lower washer temperature setting than most towels. Sheets are generally made of a fabric blend that includes some natural fibers, so they need to be washed at a lower temperature to reduce shrinkage in the fabric.

That being said, there are also certain types of sheet fabrics (such as polyester microfiber) that will tolerate higher temperatures without shrinking or fading. Always read the care labels on your sheets before laundering them! Also, always use delicate laundry detergent for washing your sheets. Any harsh detergents or bleach can cause damage to the fabric over time.

Towels, on the other hand, need higher temperatures with harsher detergents to ensure proper cleaning. This is because towels tend to accumulate bacteria from frequent use and need strong detergents to kill germs effectively. Furthermore, high temperatures help remove oils from the skin which may build up on towel fibers over time.

“Because towels come into contact with skin cells and dampness frequently, you should wash them with hot water to rid them of any lingering bacteria. However, sheets don’t need to be washed in hot water. If you do, it could damage the finer fabric.

Most people are afraid to wash in hot cycles. As a commercial laundry service, we know the benefits of hot cycle washes. But, you don’t want to process your delicate linens in hot cycles. These sheets can’t stand the heat like the towels can!” -Matt P., Washed Commercial Laundry

4. They’re Different Sizes

This is important because it also affects drying time. If a towel becomes tightly wrapped in a sheet, it won’t dry properly resulting in mildew and mold. Additionally, if towels or other pieces of clothing are getting caught in sheets, they’re not rubbing up against other items of clothing which is an essential part of the cleaning process in a washer.

When washing sheets and towels together, remember that towels can cause damage to sheets due to their size and thickness. This is because thicker fabrics will cause friction between them during the wash cycle which can lead to pilling or tearing of the delicate fabric of your sheets over time. Also, towels tend to collect lint during the wash cycle which can then transfer onto your sheets.

“Also, when you are heading to fold, it helps to have all the sheets with the sheets and towels with the towels. When you are folding a lot of laundry, the consistency helps. Muscle memory takes over and folding gets a lot easier!” -Ayad M., Orange Bag Laundry Service

Protect the Lifespan of Your Airbnb Linens

Despite how convenient it might be, you should not wash sheets and towels together.

Different materials require different care instructions, which means mixing these two types of linen during one wash cycle can result in damaged linens over time. It’s a gradual decline that will slowly deplete all of your Airbnb linen inventory – causing you to replace linens quicker.

That is a big price tag caused by simple improper laundering techniques!

Separating linens into separate loads based on their material type (sheets vs. towels) will not only give your linen a better clean, but it will also help prevent unnecessary wear-and-tear on your linens and your washer – extending the life of your linens & washer significantly!

Our Recommendations for Airbnb Sheets & Towels

As an Airbnb laundry service, we see a ton of sheets and towels. The cheap ones never last! If you are looking for a good return on on your inventory investment, we recommend GhostSheets Bedsheets and American Soft Linen Bath Towels for all Airbnb laundry service customers.

Ghost Sheets

Ghost Sheets, the sheet set from Ghost Bed, is a linen set that is built to last. These TENCEL® sheets are a laundry service favorite because they are easy to stain-treat, wrinkle-resistant, and stand the tough conditions of commercial laundry cycles.

American Soft Linen Towels

The American Soft Linen Bath Towels are the perfect Airbnb towel. The hint of geometry in its dobby-border adds personality to the greeting without adding color – allowing easy stain treatment. The ELS Combed Cotton means quick drying too.

2ULaundry is a premium laundry and dry-cleaning pick-up and delivery service available in Charlotte, Atlanta, Tampa, Austin, San Antonio, and Phoenix. Learn more about 2ULaundry and sign up on our website.

Our promise to you

We will do everything we can to return your clothes to you in great shape. In the rare instance that an item goes missing or is damaged during the cleaning process, we’ll reimburse you up to the full value of the item with a $1,000 maximum per order.