There’s no denying that a bit of a golden glow looks great on a pale-skinned northern European – just not so much on white sheets and bath towels.
And the unrelenting popularity of self-tan is an ongoing bane for laundry managers all over the UK and beyond.
Numbers of salons offering treatments continue to rise, and trend analysts report that a sun-kissed appearance has become an essential part of life for many exponents – a constant must-have rather than just a nice look for a special occasion.
For society and public health, this is all good news. People are increasingly turning to the bottle rather than baking in the glare of ultra-violet tubes, or the old-fashioned way – under the sun’s potentially harmful rays.
Beauty companies are certainly benefiting, too, with an industry worth £4m per year and rising, in Europe alone! That leaves the poor old laundry sector struggling with some tricky knock-on effects.
Hello, dihydroxyacetone (DHA)
Coco Chanel first sparked a craze for suntanned skin in 1923 after she returned to the public eye with a bronze glow, following a yacht trip around Cannes. Like the little black dress, this look has endured ever since.
Whether it’s referred to as sunless tanning, fake tan, or self-tan, most of today’s products contain an active ingredient, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a colour additive that creates a ‘healthy glow’ by chemically reacting with the amino acids in the dead layer – the stratum corneum – of the skin’s surface.
It makes skin darker for a few days or even weeks, and when it gets on fabric, it won’t cause a permanent stain immediately – meaning that if vigilant consumers can pop their white shirt, bedding or towels in the washing machine straight away, it will live another day.
Better still, when at home, the newly-tanned can surround themselves with dark-coloured fabrics while there’s a rubbing-off risk – and be careful not to drip lotion straight from the bottle on clothes or soft furnishings, which results in the worst sort of blemish.
Sometimes people might not be as careful with hotel textiles – and they certainly don’t have a choice of colours of bedding and towels that would minimise damage.
These factors – coupled with the impossibility of a swift wash in a large-scale hospitality setting – are causing major problems.
As we know, dirty washing typically sits in piles, on crates and in lorries, for long periods. By the time these items see the detergent and the drum, the stains are set.
Laundry staff are increasingly seeing the sort of scenes hilariously captured by the model Chrissy Teigen in her infamous ‘spray tan diaries’ Snapchat post – seen here, image: Chrissy Teigen / Snapchat – and historically, messed-up fabrics such as this have been condemned to rag or landfill.
How Regenex can clean self-tan from white linen
In 2019, there’s now no need to bin blemished items that are free from rips or tears, and otherwise have plenty of life left.
Specialist cleaning process are advancing, and Regenex has pioneered a gentle, multi-bath system that opens the fibres of cottons and polycottons to allow tough stains – including the bronze streaks of self-tan – to lift.
Repeated tests, independently verified, have shown that we are successful in rescuing and reviving over 70% of the hospitality sector’s most heavily-marked linens.
The cost benefit is obvious – an average laundry currently spends 10% of its turnover on top-up items, and much of that is needless when they are more careful with cleaning.
But the greater gain is environmental. Fabric production – and its toll on the planet – has come under intense scrutiny in the media lately.
We are all under pressure to make the most of precious resources and minimise requirements for new textiles.
So, self-tan is here to stay, but not on hotel bed sheets. Enlisting Regenex is an easy way to make a big difference.
Would you like to test Regenex’s services for yourself? We are offering a FREE 400kg trial to any new customer. Get in touch today.