Do Hotels Charge for Stained Towels?

If you stain a hotel towel during your stay, they will not charge you for it if you are staying at a well-established hotel. If you are at a smaller hotel, however, they might make you pay. 

Will Big Hotels Charge for Stained Towels?

Whenever you stay at a big hotel chain, you know what to expect. The things they are most consistent about are their policies on amenities like bedding and bathroom towels.

Most established hotels will provide all hotel rooms with bath towels, often white. They are free to use, and even if you stain them, they will not charge you, partly because their final wash includes bleach anyway. 

In most cases, they can remove the stain without issue, and no one is worse off. And the hotel won’t charge you even when the mark won’t come out because they consider minor damages a business expense.

Also, hotel chains have the money to spare on professional cleaning services to get the stains from towels professionally removed. Additionally, it isn’t a big deal for them if the towels need to be completely replaced. 

They also may dye them and use them as pool towels or repurpose them as cleaning rags so they don’t waste money. 

If they were to charge for ruined towels or even stained sheets, they might generate ill will which could hurt their bottom line. So, it is often more cost-effective to replace or pay to clean towels or sheets.

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Will Smaller Hotels Charge for Ruined Towels?

Smaller hotels are a different situation. Here, the policies on amenities are more inconsistent, so keeping hotel sheets and towels clean may be in your best interest. 

Thus, if you happen to stain a towel at a small hotel or a vacation rental, they may charge you, but they also may not. It can depend on how well the hotel is doing, how stained the towel is, and the opinions of hotel management. 

While they can remove the stains as easily as a larger hotel chain, these smaller hotels may not have the money to spend on a cleaning service or extra fabric softener. Even if the hotel towels are cheap, it can get expensive to replace towels all the time.  

So, when choosing a smaller hotel, be sure to check out their policy on stained towels and other amenities, like hotel bedding. Some may charge for a stained towel even if it’s just a few drops, so pay attention, or you may end up getting phone calls asking you to pay. 

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What to Do if You Stain a Hotel Towel?

Since most hotels provide white towels, it is easy to stain them. Plus, with white, the stain is quite apparent.

So, if you do stain a towel, your first instinct may be to try and hide the evidence to avoid charges and save money, but this method has two problems. 

The first is that you likely won’t be able to hide it where it will go unnoticed. Second, if you do manage to conceal it successfully, the hotel will charge you for stealing a towel.

Also, wet towels hidden in crevices can start to mold, so you may have to pay for even more cleaning. 

Instead, the best thing to do is to inform one of the staff or a hotel manager at the front desk and get new towels. You should especially call and warn the cleaning staff of any bloodstains. 

If you’re in a large hotel chain, they won’t charge you and will provide new ones.

In a smaller hotel, your chances of a charge can go either way. But, by owning up to the accident, the hotel cleaning staff can get to the stain before it sets, especially if it’s red wine which they have to remove immediately.

Both of these above options should reduce the chance of a charge. Yet, it depends on the hotel staff and their policies.

If you want to go above and beyond, though, you can try to get the stain out yourself by rinsing with cold water and laundry detergent. 

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Why Do Hotels Have Easy-to-Stain Towels?

If you travel often, you may be familiar with the white towel that appears in every hotel. But, with so many visitors, it seems like an invitation for stains.

However, there are several reasons for white towels.

Hotels provide white towels in your hotel room because it is easy to tell that they’re clean. Other colors can disguise stains and dirt and leave you uncertain about how tidy they are.

Plus, hotels bleach towels to remove bacteria. And housekeeping staff can wash them all in the same washing machine without worrying about running colors.

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