Articles — tablecloth

8 Linen Secrets 5-Star Hotels Don’t Want You to Know


Five-star hotels have had their best-kept linen secrets - until now. We are about to tell you what those secrets are.

Confession time: don’t you just envy how these luxurious hotels have their linen game on another level?

We could go on, but today it’s about revealing secrets.

The truth is, you too can keep your hotel linen bright, beautiful, and perfect for use every day.

Want your whites whiter? Your linens stain-free? And no more gradual greying of linens?

Want to know the secret?

Keep reading - we’re revealing one five-star hotel linen secret after another. And we’re holding nothing back.

1. How to Pick the Perfect Pillow for a Good Night’s Sleep

A better Night’s Rest

Image from: Infographic Facts

Don’t you love how hotel pillows sit tall and proud waiting for you to sink your tired head in them?

A good pillow equals a good night’s sleep. And a bad one (you guessed it) equals tossing and turning and waking up with a sore neck, aching back, and a not so happy you.

So how do hotels manage to make you feel like you are sleeping on clouds? A little birdie gave us their pillow secrets:

  • Pick durable pillows;
  • Pick allergy-free pillows;
  • Buy the right pillow size;
  • Mind the firmness of your pillow;
  • Buy a pillow that’s easy to clean and dry;
  • Buy pillows according to your sleeping position;
  • Pick adjustable pillows that contour to the shape of the body.

Here’s an infographic showing you how to get a better night’s rest using pillow positioning.

2. How to Select Hotel Quality Sheets

als product

Hotels don’t use ordinary retail bed sheets; they use hotel quality sheets which are heavier, crispier, and thicker.

Hotel quality sheets are specifically designed and manufactured for the hospitality industry. Therefore, they can withstand frequent use and regular washing - day in, day out.

But there are secrets to procuring perfect hotel quality sheets:

Here are some handpicked hotel quality sheets:

3. How to Fold Hotel Towels

When you check into a hotel room and find hotel towels displayed in different attractive shapes and sizes you think “wow”. How do they do that?

It’s the little details that your guests notice. So don’t get left behind. Add a touch of elegance and class to your towel display.

The secrets of this towel folding art are:

4. How to Stop White Laundry from Going Grey

White Laundry from Going Grey

Different colours trigger various emotions and interpretations in our mind. That’s why when you check into a hotel room with white linen you get the impression that the room is clean, fresh, and uncluttered.

White shows stains easily so you feel confident using white towels, white bathrobes and white slippers.

No wonder hotels love white linen.

But as we all know, keeping your whites white is not an easy task. If you’re not careful, your white linen will gradually start greying - which is an eyesore to any guest.

Here are the secrets to stop white laundry from going grey:

  • Dry your whites in the sun; helps them stay whiter;
  • Sort white linen and wash them separately from other colours;
  • Securely close the detergent bottle after use (some bleaching agents can evaporate);
  • Use detergent intended for whites (they contain bleaching agents such as sodium percarbonate);
  • Use the correct amount of detergent for your water hardness and how soiled the white linens are;
  • Whiten greying white linen by adding a small amount of citric acid powder or vinegar instead of detergent.

5. How to Get Food Stains Out of White Napkins and Tablecloths

White napkins and tablecloths get easily stained. But if you don’t take care of those stains, your customers will doubt your level of cleanliness and form a poor impression of your establishment.

Here are the secrets to taking care of those stains before they reach your customer’s eye:

  • Remove all stains while they are still fresh;
  • Cover the stained tablecloth or napkin with artificial sweetener as soon as the stain gets on the fabric. The fine powder absorbs the oil and prevents it from making a permanent stain;
  • Soak pre-treated table cloths and napkins (use your enzyme-based stain remover as directed on the package) in hot water for at least 8 hours or overnight;
  • Run the soaked linens on a short cycle using hot water in your washing machine. (The long cycle will add extra wear and tear);
  • Hang the white linens out in the sun to keep them white naturally; don’t wring to avoid wrinkles.

You may also like:

6. How to Get Makeup Stains Out of White Towels

cosmetic product

Image from: Mordor Intelligence

Evidently, the cosmetic products market in Australia is not about to slow down. So it’s no surprise that some (if not all) of your guests will be wearing makeup. And chances are you will find makeup residue on your white fluffy hotel towels, bed sheets, and pillows.

Unless you learn the secret of getting makeup stains out of your towels and linens, or preventing them in the first place.

Here’s how:

  • Soak the stained towels in bleach and water with detergent for as long as needed, then rinse off. And do a regular wash of the towels;
  • Always provide makeup removers / makeup wipes in the guestrooms. Also, have white washcloths for people who bring their own cleansers;
  • Provide a bottle of makeup remover and a tin of cotton balls.

7. How to Stop Detergent Residue from Building Up On Your Whites

It’s easy to think that more detergent cleans your clothes better than less detergent. But that’s not the case. The detergent residue leaves your laundry feeling hard, rough, and not so squeaky clean.

Are there any secrets to counter this problem? Absolutely.

  • Add one cup of white vinegar to your wash with detergent. Vinegar will cut through the claggy residue that detergents leave behind;
  • Pour powdered detergent into the empty washer first before loading your linens. This gives it the most time to dissolve;
  • Don’t use too much detergent, especially with high-efficiency washers;
  • Never pour fabric softener directly on wet clothes. Also, use the smallest recommended amount;
  • Don’t cram too many items into the washer; it leaves little room for soil and residue to be flushed away;
  • Clean your dirty washer twice a month to remove soil, minerals, and detergent residue that’s depositing on your linen;
  • Hard water can react with detergent and leave mineral deposits on your clothes; Learn how to launder your clothes using hard water.

8. How to Make Towels Softer

It’s a delight to use soft and fluffy towels. But even the plushest towels can turn rough and scratchy when not laundered with care.

So what’s the secret to keeping your towels luxuriously soft?:

  • Start by buying dense high-quality cotton towels that are soft and absorbent. The heavier the towels, the plusher and more luxuriant they feel;
  • Wash and dry new towels alone for the first three cycles to get rid of manufacturer’s added pre-treatments and lint synonymous with new cotton towels;
  • Don’t cram too may towels into the dryer because they will clump and tangle; when the dryers' heat fails to reach all the moisture pockets the towels will come out hard and stiff;
  • Throw dryer balls or clean tennis balls into the dryer to break up clumps and help reduce static;
  • Open the dryer mid-cycle to pull apart any tangled towels;
  • Replace fabric softener with distilled white vinegar with each load; fabric softener hinders the absorbency of towels;
  • Use a product like Oxyclean (sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate - made by combining sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide) to bleach your towels instead of chlorine bleach. Chlorine contains harsh chemicals that flatten the textured loops that make up a towel’s fibres;
  • Use half a cup of baking soda to create a softer texture and get rid of the sour odour that comes from leaving wet towels in the laundry.

P.S. Don’t mix baking soda and vinegar in the machine. The chemical reaction may cause the machine to overflow.

More tips:

  • Too much laundry detergent leads to crunchy towels. Use half the recommended amount and run an extra rinse cycle to make sure all the detergent washes away;
  • Wash and dry the towels at medium heat to preserve the fibres and eliminate bacteria;
  • Only fold and put away towels that are completely dry. Don’t leave damp towels in the dryer either, in case you invite mildew or crease and crush the fibres;
  • Have enough towels to use on rotation so that the fibres get to rest in between washes.

Let’s face it, finding the best towels in town can be a daunting task. There are so many options to choose from. But don’t get overwhelmed. We recommend the following towels built specifically for the hospitality industry:

Oops! The Linen Secrets Are Out

We promised to reveal the linen secrets five-star hotels have been keeping under wraps. And we did. You now have the information you need to keep your linens in top-notch condition.

When you need accommodation linen, food & beverage linen or day spa linen, look no further than Australian Linen Supply, trusted by Australia’s best hotels.

Our customers agree...

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Trust Australian Linen Supply for your linen needs.

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How to Set a Delightful Café Table: Breakfast to Dinner

How to Set a Delightful Café Table: Breakfast to Dinner

Table setting is an art. And your café should be associated with the most artfully executed place settings.

Many health enthusiasts may say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But that won’t stop your customers from coming to your café at all hours, whether its for afternoon tea, lunch or even dinner, depending on your opening hours.

For you, that means more and more table setting throughout the day - every day.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you learned a few easy ways of setting delightful café tables?

Keep reading and we’ll show you the correct table settings for breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch, and dinner.

How Do You Set a Café Table for Breakfast?

As your customers troop to your café each morning, they have one mission in mind - to indulge in a delicious breakfast.

And chances are, they are famished - having had their last meal the previous night. And hungry customers will enjoy their yummy breakfast even more on beautifully laid breakfast tables.

Here’s how to make it happen...

What You Will Need for Breakfast Place Setting

Condiments: jams, honey, lemon slices, butter, salt and pepper

Plates: dinner plate on the table, cereal plate on the buffet, salad plate on the buffet

Cutlery: knife and fork, dessert spoon, butter spreader, teaspoon, extra cereal spoons for the buffet, service tongs for the buffet

Glasses: water tumblers, juice glass, extra water, and juice glasses for buffet, coffee cup and saucer

Table linen: table cloths, place mats, and table runner of choice. Plus, coloured napkins of your choice

Sample these:

Breakfast Table Setting Decoration

A breakfast table plainly laid with cutlery won’t look as amazing as a table that’s decorated.

  • Go for a light and fresh theme when decorating
  • Use bright coloured table linen
  • Ensure that the table linen colours coordinate
  • Don’t overcrowd the table
  • Place suitable centrepieces; floral arrangements, fruits, etc.

How Do You Set a Café Table for Afternoon Tea?

Traditional afternoon tea is mostly associated with the English. But that doesn’t mean you can’t serve afternoon tea (AKA tea reception or soiree) in Australia. Ideally, afternoon tea is served between two and five o'clock.

Most of your customers will come for afternoon tea because they are celebrating a special event such as a birthday, pre-wedding, baby shower, etc. Others may prefer afternoon tea to stave off hunger before dinner.

Setting the table for afternoon tea is easy. Here’s how:

What Should a Tea Set Include?

We’re about to list the items that you will need to set a delightful afternoon tea table at your café. But don’t let this list limit you. If there are other items you would love to include (inspired by personal experience), don’t shy away from laying them on the table.

With that in mind, here’s what a tea set should include:

Distinct courses
  • Choices of tea
  • Tea or finger sandwiches (served first)
  • Scones (served second)
  • Pastries (served last)

Table setting requirements
  • The perfect table cloth: white, off-white, lacy, or appliqued
  • Small creamers and sugar bowls conveniently placed around the table
  • Serveware: teapots, teacups, teaspoons, saucers, snack plates, etc.
  • Table napkins: durable and versatile
  • Floral centrepieces: short enough for guests to see each other across the table
  • Pitcher of hot water,
  • Sliced lemons on a plate

Teal Towels Are a Must-Have

To impress your customers, you need to make good tasting afternoon tea. And serve it in style. So far, so good. You know how to set your café tables for afternoon tea.

But hang on a minute...

There is something else that you can’t afford to overlook - tea towels.

But don’t go for mediocre tea towels. Instead, get commercial grade tea towels that are absorbent and durable and look classy.

Here are some suitable suggestions:

How to do Table Settings for Lunch and Dinner

Setting a table for lunch or dinner shouldn’t be a daunting task. Not after you read how to do it right, the easy way.

First off, you need to decide between a formal table setting or an informal table setting.

Let’s take a closer look at these two table setting options to help you decide.

Formal Table Setting

This table setting option is also known as fine dining. Here, you have to use the finest of everything you present;

How to Set a Formal Lunch or Dinner Café Table

The most important thing to master is the cutlery placement. Keep reading to learn where to place each piece of your table setting cutlery.

Formal Place Setting

table illustration of formal table setting

As you can see, lunch and dinner require that you use assorted spoons, knives, and forks - it can get confusing. But, the image below will help you understand how each one of them looks.

Take a look:

picture of different types of spoon, forks, and knives
Image source

Before we go on to the informal table setting section, you need to keep in mind some helpful tips:

  • Don’t forget the table napkins
  • Knife blades should always face the plate
  • Table manners - the server should clear every dish after each course
  • Don’t serve up any utensils that won’t be used
  • Have everything available on the table - your guests shouldn’t have to request anything during their meals
  • Red and white wine each have their specific glasses throughout the lunch or dinner
  • Knife and fork etiquette - place them in the order the guest will use them, starting from the outside
  • Ensure that all salad dishes arrive at the table on a salad plate - the server should place them on top of the dinner plate

How to Set a Table for Informal Lunch or Dinner

To set a delightful informal table (also known as casual table setting), you need to get creative. Read on for tips to help you decorate your café tables as desired:

  • Make your own menu holder
  • Get creative with your centrepieces
  • Purchase tablecloths and ornaments that match your theme
  • Be the fun and welcoming restaurant that serves interactive foods
  • Establish a restaurant, lunch or dinner feel with a casual, inviting theme
  • No need to use fine china and silverware but ensure your table looks attractive

With table decorations sorted, next, you need cutlery suitable for informal dining.

Here’s your list:

  • Dinner plate: The first item to be set on the table
  • Two forks: Placed on the left side of the plate. Large fork for the main course and small fork for first course or salad
  • Large knife: Placed immediate to the right of the plate, the sharp edge facing inwards
  • Spoons: place them to the right of the knife and in the order that they will be used 
  • Glasses: place them at the top right of the dinner plate above knives and spoons
  • Table napkin: Fold and place it in a napkin ring or;
    • Place it to the left of the forks
    • Fold and place it into a glass
    • Place it under forks
    • Place it at the centre of the dinner table

Check out this video to learn creative ways of folding your table napkins.

Before We Wrap Up: Important Tips to Remember

So far, you’ve learned how to set a table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Congratulations. You’re probably already a step ahead of your competitors.

But hang on...

Is there anything else you can do to make your guests happy dinners?

The answer is YES. And here are the things you should keep in mind:

  • Ladies are always served first
  • Don’t engage in informal conversations with guests
  • During formal functions, employees should only use employee entrances and exits
  • Do not eat, drink, or chew gum in front of the guests
  • Exhibit proper posture at all times: don’t slouch, fold arms, or place your hands in your pockets while in service
  • Your uniforms should be pressed to remove wrinkles, they should be stain free, and spotlessly clean
  • When removing plates from the table, start from the right of the guest (it’s an industry standard)
  • When serving multiple courses, clear empty glasses and plates prior to the arrival of the next course
  • When serving wine hold the wine glass by the stem, never by the bowl
  • Always use a cloth napkin when pouring wine - to wipe the excess drips from the mouth of the bottle
  • Always make sure tablecloths are free of wrinkles and stains. Their seams should face down. Allow the same amount of overhang on each side of the table.
  • When setting the table, hold glasses by the stem and cutlery from the middle to minimise the appearance of fingerprints


Now table setting is child’s play to you, right? Go ahead and impress your customers. Let them wine and dine on the prettiest most delightful cafe tables.

For food and beverage linen; tea towels, table napkins, tablecloths, and more, head over to Australian Linen Supply now.

You’ll love their superior quality and pocket-friendly prices. Get in touch today.

Photo courtesy from by Jason Leung