Ask the Etiquette Expert: Host Dilemma – How Do I Address Make Up Stains on Wash Cloths?

I recently received a question from a Bed & Breakfast owner regarding how to handle guests who use their fresh, white wash towels to remove makeup. My response is below, but definitely something for us all to keep in mind as a B & B host or a travelling guest.

Q: My wife and I are the owners of a small hotel, and we repeatedly have guests use our clean white towels for makeup removal, which stains and ruins them for future guests. Is there a tasteful way to ask guests to use the colored towel we have supplied as their makeup removal towel?

A: I have enjoyed several B & B’s where there is a tasteful note addressing this issue. I suggest you have your own note, handwritten or typed in a beautiful font, with the following: “We request you kindly use the makeup towel we have provided in the basket for removing your makeup. Thank you and please enjoy your stay with us.” Consider displaying your request in a small, lovely frame, and place it in each bath, next to a basket with a few rolled washcloths and a pretty soap. If you are so inclined, you may want to add a small package of makeup remover cloths or a mini bottle of liquid makeup remover to the basket. You could also monogram “makeup” on the washcloths.

Most guests will be happy to oblige. People remember people who are negligent and you always want to be remembered in a positive light.

Have an etiquette dilemma? Tweet me your question @dianegottsman, post on my Facebook page or leave a comment below.

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Diane Gottsman

Diane Gottsman is a national modern manners and etiquette expert, sought out industry leader, accomplished speaker, Huffington Post blogger, author, and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and etiquette training. Diane is routinely quoted in national and international media including The New York Times, The BBC, CNN, Bloomberg Business Week, Kiplinger’s, Huffington Post Canada, U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes. Her blog has been named by Forbes as one of “The 100 Best Websites for Women, 2013.” She is a regular guest on two popular morning talk shows, SA Living, NBC, and Good Day Austin, FOX. She has been seen on TODAY with KLG and Hoda, HLN Headline News, and CBS Sunday Morning. Her clients range from university students to Fortune 500 companies and her workshops cover topics ranging from tattoos in the workplace to technology at the dinner table and the proper use of social media.

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