There is no doubt that cotton is the most used textile fiber in the world, especially when it comes to the manufacture of bed sheets. As any inn-keeper or hotel supplies manager knows, guests love slipping into bed when a set of crisp, freshly-laundered cotton sheets await. The ratings given by guests about the cleanliness and quality of your sheets can make or break a business, thus the choice in how to launder sheets for your guests is a vital one. It begs the question, what is the best and most efficient way to keep my sheets clean and bright, with that firm yet soft feeling that my guests demand, while increasing the longevity of my sheet-investment?
The answer is simple: Don’t use Chlorine bleach! Bleaching weakens the cellulosic fibers, actually causing whites to deteriorate and look yellow and dingy (of course it goes without saying what becomes of colored fabric when bleach is introduced). Because of the damage to the fabric over time on a cellular level, the life of the sheets is shortened, thus requiring more frequent replacement than if bleach wasn’t used. Also, conventional bleach products are a harmful respiratory irritant that can cause burns to the skin and is dangerous when used in a bed and breakfast that hosts children and pets (birds can die from the fumes of bleach).
What then can someone responsible for hospitality supplies choose to launder sheets that will maintain the desired look and feel? Oxygen-based bleaches are an excellent alternative. They are chemically different than chlorine bleach and they are safer workers and customers with chemical sensitivities, is gentle to the skin and friendlier to the environment.
Oxygen bleach works very well in removing soil and organic matter and doesn’t damage the fabric, even after repeated use, and is safe for whites and colors. Oxygen bleach comes in power or liquid under many different brand labels and is the preferred choice in commercial sheet care.