Yes indeed, Laundry is one of the biggest indicators that your massage business is going well. I bet you didn’t know that doing laundry would be such a big part of doing massage! I probably would have went into something else! Haha!
Sheets are an important part of the process of the massage itself. I purposely choose sheets for each client and think of them usually when putting the sheets on the table. Colors and textures can make an impression. The way the sheets look on the table when the client first comes in to how they feel when they are on the table are all apart of creating an image. Sheets and draping are one of the components that create a component of trust and help the client to feel secure on the table. Men in particular are often more sensitive to thin sheets fearing the dreaded “E” during the massage.
What do you want your sheet to say?
What do your sheets say?
There is nothing worse than the oily smell of sheets or having sheets that are old and frayed. Your sheets make an impression so why not start out on the right foot….er…sheet.
Not all sheets are created equal. Your laundry job can be made much easier by getting the right sheets in the first place. There are some sheets that just hold the oils/lotions more and just want to soak it all up! You can almost tell by the feel of the sheets – they feel almost dry or scratchy in the wrapper.
Percale is one of the most basic types of sheets. I had a client describe it as “Oh I got the crispy sheets today!” Percale refers to the type of weave and they can be 100% cotton or a combination of materials.
A poly/cotton combo tends to clean easier than most but again it depends on the weave.
The new microfiber sheets tend to hold oil more which could also be a big problem in the dryer as in catching on fire!
Flannel sheets seem to be popular at many massage places because they are cozy feeling but there are also flannel sheets that sort of ‘stick together’ making it difficult for the client to turn over because the sheets don’t move easily. They also pill easily and can be a problem for dryers because they are heavier and produce more lint.
The oils/lotions that you use also vary in how easy they come out of fabric. Jojoba or Fractionated coconut oil seem to wash out the easiest with almond and grapeseed oils being the hardest to clean. Some massage lotions/oils such as those made by Bon Vital have an additive that makes the lotions/oils come out of the sheets easier.
The sheets, pillow covers, face covers, blankets and the massage table itself are potential carriers of disease and body fluids (blood, sweat, seamen, mucous, tears) along with the shedding layers of skin cells. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says:
Some infections that can be transmitted through contact with blood and body fluids include: HIV, Hepatitis A, B, C, Staph and Strep infections, Gastroenteritis-salmonella, and shigella, Pneumonia, Syphilis, TB, Malaria, Measles, Chicken Pox, Herpes, Urinary tract infections, and Blood infections. The greatest risks are from HIV and Hepatitis B and C.
The thing though is that when it is on the sheets is it less of a problem as per the CDC.
Cleaning the sheets is an art form. It is for sanitation and for the longevity of the sheets. I have heard so many horror stories of massage therapists layering the sheets
on top of each other for efficiency of time which compromises cleanliness, that it really scares the heck out of me! In WA State it is actually a law that there needs to be an impervious layer between the sheets and the massage table so sheets can remain clean which means you also have to clean the impervious layer!
- Use Warm water (71+ degrees)
- Vinegar and Baking Soda
- Washing Soda
- Try dishwasher soap for sheets that seem to absorb oils more
- Try Dawn Dish Soap (Blue Only) to treat spots like mascara in face rest covers.
- Oxyclean can also work to get out oils/stains
- Dry on High Temperatures
- Remove from Dryer immediately to reduce wrinkling
Folding the Fitted Sheets
The easiest sheets to use on your massage table are the flat and fitted sheets that fit twin sized beds. For the life of me, after 25 years of doing this, I still can’t fold a fitted sheet properly. I usually try to get them out of the dryer and right onto the massage table to avoid folding.
I have watched a few videos and tried many times, but it is just not in my nature! Well until I finally watched videos on Youtube for about an hour on how to fold a fitted sheet and found this guy!
Hygiene Fact and Fiction Taking Care of Us to Take Care of Them By Ruth Werner
Hi, thanks for the info!
I trimmed my budget and got rid of my linen service. I now have smelly sheets and I’m looking for the best solution! Jojoba oil is very expensive so may opt for coconut? Or switch to lotion? I appreciate your time! Be well!
Coconut cleans out easily and if your sheets are musty put white vinegar in the fabric softener holder of your washing machine, might have to run it through a couple of times. Then, if you can hang in the sun
You state “Your laundry job can be made much easier by getting the right sheets in the first place. There are some sheets that just hold the oils/lotions more and just want to soak it all up!”
You then mention percale weave sheets and flannel sheets, but say nothing about how that particular weave or type of finish holds oil/lotion stains.
I’ve done massage for over 25 years, and your statement “Men in particular are often more sensitive to thin sheets fearing the dreaded “E” during the massage.” is something I’ve never come across!
Lastly, in the opening paragraph, you say “I probably would have went into something else! ” is grammatically incorrect. It should be “gone into, etc.”.
Thanks for sharing, and don’t worry about all the previous comments corrections… I get them all the time (and its just the way it goes with putting stuff out). Great info.
Delivery sheet washing is around $1/sheet in many regions-
Oils: I love using sunflower oil (from the grocery store), washes out of ALL fabrics and isn’t greasy. A little bit goes a LONG way-you can mix in essential oils into your oils (I use pharmaca brand, a shop near us) but make sure there are NO chemicals in your oils as many are allergic to these chemicals and if it sets them off, they won’t be back even if you are really good). This makes cheap massage oil that lasts.
I also use a hand creme called Burts Bees which smells awesome and comes in a tin. It is designed for dry skin but used in my office on forearms and necks, it lasts a LONG time, doesn’t quickly soak in, and gives a luxurious scent you just cant get with other oils. I’d avoid anything with eucalyptus as I noticed right away a few of my clients were allergic to it and yes, definitely ask if they have allergies before using icy-hot or tiger balm, etc at the end of your session to hold your work.
THANKS for the VIDEO!
Any reccomendations on the impervious layer that you are using on your table? We are looking for an impervious layer that would go over the table warmers that are on each massage bed…so this piece needs to be compatible with heat but not block it out.
Did you find a solution? I am using a bath sheet at the moment. Thanks
There is a Thai Massage person whose business is in Tampa who does not maintain clean sheets and I refuse to return. There should be inspections done routinely about these negligences.
Dennis Miller says
how about micro fiber sheets?
i’m currently using refined coconut oil, and it is not coming out of our microfiber sheets. in the past i bought a 55 gallon of fractionated coconut oil. that seemed to come out better.
regarding using safflower oil, at first glance, that sounds…cheap, but, people get good results with that?
how about walnut oil?
about putting white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser, how much to use? use it in combo with baking soda?
the list above also lists borax and ‘washing soda.’
these are just individual options, or are intended to be used in combination? would baking soda also be added to the fabric softener dispenser, or directly into the drum on the sheets?