You’ll find no better experts on cleaning tips to save time and money than innkeepers. We’ve convinced a few innkeepers to start us off with their tips and are asking for more so post your own tips and keep checking back to learn something new. Please let us know which tips and tricks have helped you make more time for doing what you enjoy, what works and what doesn’t. We always enjoy hearing your feedback.

White Vinegar Miracles

White vinegar is a miracle cleaner on glass shower doors, mirrors, vanities and chrome fixtures at the Red Dog Inn. Using vinegar cuts way down on fumes and saves money over other cleaning products. Remember, don’t use white vinegar on the tile grout as it will eventually make pits in the grout. On grout, spray Clorox Clean-up and let it sit a few minutes to kill germs and mildew.

Hydrogen Peroxide Stain Removal

Hydrogen peroxide is great for removing stains without removing the color on towels, sheets even furniture at the Blair Mountain Bed & Breakfast. This works wonderfully on blood, ink and red wine stains. Try letting the stain soak briefly, and then laundering as soon as possible.

Hair Removal

Nothing is more frustrating than cleaning a bathroom only to turn around and find hair that just got pushed around during cleaning. No matter how much you wipe and clean they are hard to get rid of. They stick to everything, including your rags, particularly your wet rags and then reappear just when you think you have it clean. The Prairie Creek Inn found an end to the frustration of dealing with hair by vacuuming the bathroom first, before cleaning it. This may seem “duh” but it will save you a lot of time and frustration. Don’t forget to wash and dry your rags after every use to get rid of the hairs and keep them smelling clean.

Tip Top Towels

Guests love fluffy, good smelling, soft and absorbent towels so here are some tips from The Turkish Towel Company to keep them that way.

1. Never use fabric softener on your towels. It coats the threads and makes them nonabsorbent, meaning you’ll have to replace them sooner. Instead, use 1 cup of white vinegar, once a month, in the rinse cycle to restore your towels to full absorbency.

2. While tumble drying will make your towels fluffy, do not overdo it as heat from the dryer can damage the integrity of the cotton. Wash towels in cold water and dry them on medium setting.

3. If you catch a towel and pull a loop, simply cut off the pulled loop with a pair of scissors. High quality towels are woven so a pulled loop will not cause the towel to unravel.

Please leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear your great time and money saving cleaning tips.

17 thoughts on “Tips On How To Clean Everything

  1. Timberwolf Creek says:
    Deal with linen stains now, instead of later!

    We have a basket that gets carried room-to-room. In it are window cleaner (windows & mirrors), general purpose spray cleaner (counters, showers, tubs, etc), paper towels, light bulbs, a bag of cloths, duster, paint brush (for dusting lampshades), trash bags, laundry pretreatment spray, and a stain-remover stick.

    When the covers get flipped back to strip the bed, any stains on the bottom sheet are instantly noticeable. Far simpler to treat them immediately with the stick (and spray, too, if necessary) *before* the sheets are in the laundry. It’s just too easy to forget which are stained, and hunting for the problem later in a pile of laundry is a nightmare.

    Bonus: everyone is aware when supplies are running low.

  2. The BEST tool I have is my central vaccumn system. If you can’t afford to install one (about $1000), a microfiber cloth works pretty well to remove dust without redepositing it inside the house. A central vac. sends the exhause air outside; the collection cannister is often in the basement or garage. I figure the dirt is really gone when you suction it up. I KNOW my little cracks and crevices are clean.
    2. Leaf blowers make quick work of debris on porches and patios. Need to be quiet? Use a push broom rather than a standard type
    3. Towels: we wash them with powdered oxyclean to be sure “body odor” is removed. Cloth napkins also need this treatment now and then otherwise, even when clean, they smell stale.
    4. Rubbing alcohol is fairly good at removing ink pen stains. {Removes hair spray overspray from walls and vanity tops, too. Be sure it is suitable for your vanity top material.}
    5. A concentrated liquid soap, along the lines of Woolite, can often get out those odd black marks on linens. I scrub the specific spot with a toothbrush. Place a paper towel underneath is the spot is anything but tiny.
    6. Pine cleaner–now rather hard to find because it is petroleum based–has always shined chrome better than anything else. We dilute it. Full strength is not needed and it makes it last longer.
    7. Is your Corian solid surface countertop showing some scratches or looking dull? A Mr. Clean magic eraser may be just enough to clean it up. If not, place a Scotchbright pad on the surface and top it with a palm sander. That’s right, a SANDER. Go over the entire surface then wipe off the powdery residue. This is the method the fabricators use.

    Greetings from Prospect Hill B&B Inn, Mountain City, TN

  3. In order to keep set of sheets together, I fold the tops sheet part way, then fold the contour and pillow cases inside. When I reach for a sheet the entire set is there. I do the same with towel sets. Makes it easy to grab and hang. Actually, I do the same with place mats and napkins. All the mats and napkins that go together stay together!!

  4. We’ve begun wearing aprons or smocks with pockets to carry a Tide pen to spot treat sheets, pillow slips as we’re stripping the bed, a scissors in case we see a carpet thread or thread on a towel,
    a note pad to jot down maintenance issues on.
    An added benefit is that you can yank off your apron or smock to go to the door and your shirt won’t have bleach spots on it!

  5. After each guest, I put 1/4 cup bleach into whirlpool tub and fill over jets. Run it 15 minutes. This clears the tub of any bacteria from the previous guest. Then I clean the surface with Windex to make it shine.

  6. 1.We store 3-4 extra trash bags at the bottom of the trash cans to help with fast cleaning.
    2-An extra set of sheets is stored in each room along with the ironed pillow cases. When we start the cleaning process, the sheets and pillow cases are at our disposal immediately and the bed is pulled together quickly. When we wash, we store the cleaned sheets in each room. Extra soap, shampoo, hand cream, and body wash is also stored in each room for ease.
    3-We keep duplicate cleaning tools and products upstairs and downstairs: Tilex Soap Scum, Windex, Paper Towels, Trash Bags, Vacuum Cleaner, Broom, Dustpans, etc.
    4-I use a lot of paper towels vs. cleaning clothes; hair will generally grabe onto a wet paper towel.

  7. This from a friendly vacation rental owner chat room.
    End of Season Cleaning at the cabin last week and found my two NEW
    mattresses with multiple urine stains. We had someone checking in, so
    I Febreze’d and put diaper changing pads (the large ones from Target)
    over the spots, covered with the regular mattress pad to get by until I
    could find a solution.

    And here is the best solution in the world:

    Mix this & spray on. Must use within 20 minutes & do not attempt to
    store the remainder in a closed bottle. It works by producing by-
    products that are only active for that time period anyway. Stored it
    leaks or foams out of the bottle!

    Mix: about 8 oz. Hydrogen Peroxide (brown bottle in 1st aid aisle) & 3
    tablespoons baking soda (small box in baking aisle), & a drop of liquid
    hand dishwashing liquid. Mix well & spray onto stain, within 5 minutes
    stain should be gone. If the baking soda leaves a white powder, you can
    vacuum it off, or wipe w/ damp rag, but this usually is not a problem
    unless you add too much baking soda. Rest Mattress against a wall in
    direct sunlight to dry. Repeat, if necessary. Use hair dryer to help
    mattress dry if necessary, but sunlight is a natural disinfectant.

    This was an amazing solution for my new pillowtop mattresses that I was
    ready to throw away!

    On Ebay, I found a wonderful seller who sells the Protect a Bed
    waterproof mattress pad at a discounted rate. I layered this pad
    against the mattress and a regular mattress pad on top. Great comfort,
    not a plastic feel, and excellent “breathing” of mattress. Also, I
    would suggest having the large pads available as a layer or in case of

    And for my tips….I have a Tide tiny scrub brush which really is great for getting out stains. Also, wine, blood, ink I find the best thing is to run cold water through it until it disappears. Let the water run and run and run!

    And I’ve started putting Rit for whites – boy does that make a difference when you have iron in your water!

    Enjoy our fall spectacular atop the mountain.

  8. We carry (and keep) all the supplies in a gardening bag–lots of pockets for cleaners, tools, paper towels, trash bags, etc. It is a cloth one and is easy to carry room to room and stores in a small space.

  9. Problems removing the liquid wax oil stain or other oil stains on fabric or carpeting? Spraqy on a coating of WD40 and rub it with a clean cloth. Two treatments may be needed. Works great.

    Skyrunner Guest House

  10. Don’t change Swifter duster covers when the primary side is filled up. The back side is almost as good at catching and hold dust as the primary side, so just turn it over, attach as usual and continue dusting the floors. Quick and easy and saves 50% on the costs as well.

  11. I use two mattress pads on beds the first one is waterproof the second is a regular pad. When removing the second one with every use, a hair may wiggle down to the waterproof one. I use a lint brush on mattress pads, blankets, chairs, sofas and almost any fabric surface.

  12. i-Robot’s Roomba gets turned loose in our Great Room daily. It does a wonderful job vacuuming the wall to wall and the ceramic tile in the entrance area. We shut the doors into the room and have set an electronic virtual wall (our Roomba came with two) to prevent our Roomba from running down the hall. We initially were concerned that Roomba wouldn’t be able to handle all of the stick furniture in the Great Room (it is also where we serve breakfast and have a large table and 10 dining chairs in the room) but Roomba vacuumes around each table and chair leg and goes under the couches and stuffed chairs with ease. This little robotic housekeeper is a great time-saver. Just push a button and it starts doing the large room returning to its docking/recharge station by itself when the whole room has been done. Cleaning daily, it is still amazing how much dirt and dropped foodstuff gets vacuumed every day. We empty the dirt bin in Roomba every day but that takess much less time than moving all the furniture around and vacuuming with our upright. We are considering purchasing at least one more to do the bedrooms. AMAZING!

  13. Removing White Spots From Wood Surfaces

    Many of the white spots and coffee cup rings on wood topped tables are the result of trapped moisture. Bradford Place uses a hair dryer on high speed in a circular motion approximately one-half inch above the table surface. The surface of the table will get very warm so be careful that the table finish does not start to bubble. Innkeeper Dottie Musser has excellent results using this technique to remove large white spots from wood head boards when guests have wrapped their hot damp hair in a towel, then get into bed and lean their head against the headboard. Using the hair dryer method to remove white spots and rings can take up to 30 minutes. Finish off by applying a generous amount of furniture polish or Murphy’s Soap Oil.

  14. @Stephen That is so cool! I have also been impressed with the Roomba, and it’s great to see that it’s working out at your inn. I’ve heard rumors that a larger, more industrial grade Roomba will be in the works.

  15. Nice tips people. A tip for cleaning windows and washing windows is to not wash them in direct sunlight. If you have to, wet the window down about 2-3 times to cool the temperature of the glass so that you can clean it efficiently without streaks.

  16. Here at the Canyon Ferry Mansion in Montana, we try to be fiscally conservative, yet balance being a green inn, not always an affordibly easy task. Laundry is a challenge. Wear and Tear on sheets and towels is enormous and replacement expensive. Detergents & bleaches are hard on septic systems and hot water is truly expensive. We have installed a “LaundryPure” light attachment to our washing machine allowing us state approved cold water washing and virtually eliminating detergent & bleach use to a minimum. This gadget uses Silver Ions and Radiant Catalytic Ionization via the use of UV Bulbs and a Silver Ion Probe. We calculate a $500 savings in the first 3 months of use… more than paying for the cost & simple installation.40 Watts FCC approved. Glad to share info…

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