How to Keep Linens Clean & Long Lasting

laundry room

Many of our guests at the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast compliment our lovely linens and wonder if there are any tricks to keeping them clean and long-lasting. Here are some tips that will help you become a laundry pro.

What’s the most common laundry error people make? It’s probably using too much detergent and hot water too often. Over-soaping is not advisable since it breaks down fibers. Likewise, constant use of hot water weakens fibers. Use hot water only when absolutely necessary to remove heavy soil. 

Before Washing

  • Always check linens for stains before washing. Shake out linens to be certain nothing is caught in the bundle of laundry.
  • Pre-treat stains with a stain removal product appropriate for the particular stain. Read the product instructions to determine the correct water temperature to use when soaking linens before adding them to your washing machine. Remember that once laundered (especially in hot water) the stain is usually set.

When Washing

  • Do not overstuff the washing machine. An over-stuffed washer will not clean properly and can cause excessive abrasion and agitation.
  • Use a mild laundry detergent that does not contain dyes, chlorine, or brightener. Always add detergent to the water or via a dispenser, not directly onto laundry. Less detergent is better unless laundry is very soiled.
  • Avoid chlorine bleach. It breaks down the fibers and causes fading and discoloration. If you need to use bleach, use an oxygen-based bleach.
  • Avoid fabric softener, especially on towels. Fabric softener coats fibers in oils, waxes, and fragrances and makes the fabric less absorbent. Instead, use ½ cup of baking soda in the wash to freshen, brighten, and soften.
  • Most linens can be washed in warm water with a cold water rinse. Always check the care label.
  • Use vinegar in the last rinse to release excess soap and soften fibers. Doing this does not leave a vinegary smell.
  • Wash new towels separately to remove excess lint.
  • Wash towels separately from sheets. The friction of towel fibers will break down fibers in sheets.
  • Do not mix cotton with poly cotton linens as it will cause fabric damage.
  • Always wash new dark color linens separately before adding to other laundry as the dye may run. You can set the dark colors by adding a tablespoon of salt to the first wash and rinse with a 1 cup of vinegar to set the dye. You won’t need detergent to set the dye.

When Drying

  • Before adding linens to the dryer, untangle them so that everything will dry evenly and have fewer wrinkles.
  • Add laundry to the dryer after checking that all stains have been removed. If stains are not removed, re-apply stain remover and wash again. Once the stains hit the dryer, they probably will be set.
  • Do not overstuff the dryer. Your laundry will dry more evenly.
  • Avoid using the high heat setting, which will weaken the fibers, damage the fabric, increase shrinking, and shorten the life of your linens.
  • Remove sheets before they are fully dried to prevent wrinkling. Smooth and fold promptly to avoid wrinkling.
  • Always clean your dryer’s lint trap after each drying cycle. Lint buildup can cause house fires and will decrease the efficiency of your dryer!

 

Source: Adapted from information on Innstyle.com

Lots of Acts & Entertainment Coming to Greensboro in 2016

Josh Groban (6/4/11)

There are lots of reasons to visit Greensboro, NC, in 2016. The Gate City will welcome a diverse list of celebrities including George Takei, Josh Groban, Justin Bieber, Carrie Underwood, and the Gregg Allman Band. This year Greensboro also will host the National Folk Festival, the Eastern Music Festival, and the Carolina Blues Festival. Below is a list of performances announced as of January 2016.

Whether you’re planning to attend a concert, performance, or festival, make it a special event and treat yourself to a the night at the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed and Breakfast. We encourage guests to reserve early to ensure widest selection of rooms. Book online at www.troy-bumpasinn.com or phone us at 336-370-1660. The Troy-Bumpas Inn is located less than 2 miles from both downtown Greensboro and the Greensboro Coliseum.

Events in Greensboro during 2016

Jan. 21 to Feb. 8: Greensboro Fringe Festival, featuring theater and dance, www.greensborofringefestival.org

Jan. 23: John Anderson, Carolina Theatre, www.carolinatheatre.com

Jan. 27: Def Leppard, Greensboro Coliseum, www.greensborocoliseum.com

Feb. 3: Carrie Underwood, Greensboro Coliseum, www.greensborocoliseum.com

Feb. 3: Jonny Lang, Carolina Theatre, www.carolinatheatre.com

Feb. 20: Dave Mason of Traffic, Carolina Theatre, www.carolinatheatre.com

Feb. 27: Winter Jam, Greensboro Coliseum, www.greensborocoliseum.com

March 21: Bryan Series presents George Takei, Greensboro Coliseum, www.greensborocoliseum.com

March 14: AC/DC, Greensboro Coliseum, www.greensborocoliseum.com

April 13: The Gregg Allman Band, Cone Denim Entertainment Center, Greensboro, http://cdecgreensboro.com

April 20-24: Cirque du Soleil: OVO, Greensboro Coliseum, www.greensborocoliseum.com

April 26: Lauryn Hill and Gary Clark Jr., White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum, www.greensborocoliseum.com

May 21: 30th anniversary Carolina Blues Festival, downtown Greensboro, http://fest.piedmontblues.org

June 25 to July 30: Eastern Music Festival, http://easternmusicfestival.org

July 6: Justin Bieber, Greensboro Coliseum, www.greensborocoliseum.com

July 19: Josh Groban, Greensboro Coliseum, www.greensborocoliseum.com

Sept. 3 and 4: John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues Festival, High Point, www.coltranejazzfest.com

Sept. 9 to 11: 76th National Folk Festival, downtown Greensboro, http://nationalfolkfestival.com

During September (dates TBA): 17 Days: Greensboro’s Arts & Culture Festival, http://17daysgreensboro.org

During October (date TBA): Westerwood Art and Sole tour of artists’ studiosGreensboro, https://www.facebook.com/westerwoodartandsole/

Dec. 2: Festival of Lights, Greensboro, http://festivaloflightsgso.org

Troy-Bumpas Cookie: Layered Raspberry Squares

Layered Raspberry Squares
Layered Raspberry Squares

We frequently get requests from guests for our recipes. Here’s is a recipe for a favorite Troy-Bumpas Inn cookie. I once submitted this recipe to a contest and was a semi-finalist. I didn’t win the big prize (and I’ve forgotten what the big prize was), but I did win an apron. I still have that apron, but better yet, I still have this recipe. This is a go-to recipe, great for anytime you want to have a delicious and attractive bar cookie. I consider the chocolate glaze optional – the cookies (shown here without the chocolate drizzled on top) are great with the glaze and great without it. Enjoy! If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!  — Innkeeper Judy

 

Layered Raspberry Squares

  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 jar (10 ounces) seedless raspberry jam
  • Icing (below)
  • Chocolate Glaze (optional, below)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Position rack in center of oven.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and slat. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture consists of particles the size of small peas. Add eggs and mix well. The mixture will be crumbly. Measure and set aside 1-1/2 cups of the crumb mixture. Press the remaining mixture evenly into the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan to form a crust. Stir jam in jar to make it more spreadable. Spread crust with jam, carefully spreading to within ¼ inch of the sides of the pan. Sprinkle reserved crumbs mixture evenly over jam; press lightly to form a top crust.

Bake 30 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Spread with Icing; then dip a fork into the Chocolate Glaze and drizzle glaze on top of icing in thin strips. Let stand until chocolate sets.

Makes 48 squares.

Icing: Combine 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with 2 tablespoons milk or cream; mix well until smooth.

Chocolate Glaze: Melt together 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate and 1 teaspoons vegetable shortening. Gradually stir in 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons of boiling water.

 

Think About Documents When You Plan to Travel

Passport USA

No one ever plans to lose a purse or misplace a passport, but if it happens while you travel, you may find yourself in a really difficult situation.

Before you travel, take a few minutes to remove unnecessary items from your wallet, things like credit cards that you only use at local stores or gift cards you won’t be using. Take only the credit cards you may actually use. To ensure that out-of-town transactions are not declined, notify your major credit card issuers that you will be traveling. This usually only requires one or two quick phone calls.

If you will be traveling with a passport, scan the primary pages and email them to yourself (or store them in the cloud) in case your bags or wallet are lost or stolen while you’re traveling. Being able to bring up an image of your passport on your phone or someone else’s computer can speed up the process of proving your identity and getting a replacement at your country’s embassy or consulate.

It also makes sense to scan your driver’s license, insurance card, and any important travel insurance documents. It probably won’t be effective to scan credit cards since a merchant is very unlikely to accept a photocopy, especially if you’ve lost your wallet and cannot prove your identity. If you do lose your credit cards, report the loss immediately to the credit card company and see what they can do to help with your predicament.

Don’t forget prescriptions. If you suddenly need a prescription refilled out-of-town or abroad, having the dosage, proper name, and phone number for your doctor or pharmacy will make it easier for a pharmacist to help you out—or even call your doctor back home to authorize an emergency refill.

‘Looking for other travel tip? Check this blog or visit our Travel Tips board on the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/troybumpasinn.

A Packing Tip for Those Pesky Charger Cords

Have you ever left anything behind at a B&B or hotel?

One of the most common items that land in the lost-and-found at B&Bs and hotels are charger cords for cell/mobile phones. Most B&Bs and hotels have a basket full of assorted cords that have been lost by guests. In fact, if you lose one of your cords mid-trip, ask your innkeeper or hotel front desk clerk if you can look through their collection to find one that will fit your phone. Chances are they’ll give it to you.

Cords in an Eyeglass Case

Store your phone charger cord and ear buds in a hardshell eyeglass case.

A good way to keep cords and ear buds in good condition while you travel is to store them in a hard-shelled eyeglass case. Not only will the case keep the cords neatly wrapped and less prone to tangling, if you get into the habit of putting the cords away in the case as you pack your purse or suitcase, you will have a better chance of not leaving them behind!

Check this blog for other travel tips or visit our Travel Tips board on the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/troybumpasinn.

Is Mascara a Liquid? (When it comes to flying)

Packing Liquids

Packing liquids? Place plastic wrap between the bottle and cap before packing.

If you’re packing a suitcase for car travel vs. air travel, you probably will have more space and don’t need to worry about the quantities of liquids you pack. You can just grab that favorite bottle of shampoo right out of the shower and put it in your suitcase. Well, not so fast. Do yourself a favor and first put a piece of plastic wrap between the bottle and the cap as a little extra insurance against spills within your suitcase.

If you’re traveling by air, you’ll need to adhere to the regulations regarding liquids in carry-on luggage. Travelers currently may bring one small bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the airport checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less per container. Liquids must be in one 1-quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. Consolidating these containers in the small bag separate from your carry-on baggage enables TSA officers to screen them quickly.

So what will be considered a liquid when your carry-on luggage is inspected? You may be surprised by a few things on the list.

  • Water, juice, wine, beer, liquor and other drinks
  • Creams, lotions and oils
  • Perfumes and cologne
  • Sprays
  • Gels, including hair and shower gels
  • Many canned or bottled foods such as jam, jelly, salsa, soups, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, cranberry sauce, peanut butter, cheese spreads, dips, gravy
  • Contents of pressurized containers, including shaving foam, other foams and deodorants
  •  Pastes, including toothpaste
  •  Liquid-solid mixtures
  •  Mascara
  •  Snow Globes (cannot have more than 100 ml of fluid)

If you’re not sure, check with the airlines or you risk having the item tossed in the trash! Keep in mind that you can also buy most of these items at your destination.

If you can’t wait for our next Tuesday Travel Tip, you’ll find more travel tips on the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/troybumpasinn. We invite you to follow our Travel Tips board as well as the other boards we have on Pinterest.

Packing: Shoes on the Top or Bottom?

Today’s Travel Tuesday Tip is about shoes.

Most authorities on packing recommend that you put your shoes at the bottom of your suitcase and fill them with rolled socks. Contrary to that advice, the TSA (Travel Security Administration) recommends packing shoes, boots, sneakers, and other footwear on top of other contents in your luggage. The TSA recommendation probably is more important if you’re packing a carry-on bag vs. checked luggage.

Regardless of whether you pack your shoes on the top or bottom, it’s a good idea to wrap your shoes. An easy way to do that, as shown in this photo, is to use a disposable shower cap. These caps, which you can pick up at the dollar store, easily fit around most shoes.

Shoes wrapped in shower cap

Use an expensive shower cap to cover shoes in your suitcase.

If you can’t wait for our next Tuesday Travel Tip, you’ll find more travel tips on the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/troybumpasinn. We invite you to follow our Travel Tips board as well as the other boards we have on Pinterest.

Tips for Packing Your Suitcase

SuitcaseIs there a best way to pack your suitcase when you travel? You can find many suggestions for efficient packing online.

One of my favorite tutorials is this video from Heathrow Airport.

Several good takeaways presented include:

  • Pack light. You really won’t need all the clothes you initially pull out of your closet and drawers.
  • Roll many of your clothes, especially undergarments, sleepwear, and socks. Stuff smaller rolled items into the shoes you pack.
  • To minimize creasing, use a layered interweave to pack your outer garments. The video shows you how to do it. For trips where you’ll visit and stay at multiple destinations, you can reduce the amount of unpacking and repacking by creating multiple interweaved stacks of clothing. That way you can hang up the clothes in one stack and leave the other stack(s) in your suitcase until you get to your next destination.

If you can’t wait for our next Tuesday Travel Tip, you’ll find more travel tips on the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/troybumpasinn. We invite you to follow our Travel Tips board as well as the other boards we have on Pinterest.

When your travels bring you to Greensboro, NC, we invite you to stay at the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B, located in historic College Hill and close to downtown Greensboro, the Greensboro Coliseum, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Greensboro College.

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIk8v__Osm8

 

Travel Tip Tuesday

The more you travel, the better you get at planning trips, interacting with the airlines, and packing your suitcase. One of the best ways to prevent traveling from “taking it out of you” is to have accommodations at a welcoming and restful location (say, for example, at the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B in Greensboro, NC). After you’ve purchased tickets and made reservations, you can use plenty of tips and tricks to make life on the road easier. We’ve collected a wide variety of tips and will share some of them with you in the coming weeks.

Have you ever lost jewelry while traveling? As shown below, one of the best tips we have for packing small pieces of jewelry is to use a pill container. You can buy inexpensive plastic pill boxes in a variety of sizes at the dollar store.

If you can’t wait for our next Tuesday Travel Tip, you’ll find more travel tips on the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/troybumpasinn. We invite you to follow our Travel Tips board as well as the other boards we have on Pinterest.

A bill box will keep small pieces of jewelry safe in your suitcase.

An expensive bill box will easily keep small pieces of jewelry safe in your suitcase.

Follow us on Pinterest!

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Follow the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B on Pinterest!

The Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B of Greensboro, NC, has a Pinterest page! We invite you to follow us for inspiration and information. We use our Pinterest page to provide information about:

— The best of Greensboro, including pictures of the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B
— Useful travel tips
Household tips (Have you ever wondered how to fold a fitted sheet?)
— A sampling of our favorite breakfast and cookie recipes
— Breakfast recipes and ideas for breakfasts for people on special diets

We anticipate that we will add more boards. And, we always welcome suggestions from our fans for things they’d like to see on our Pinterest page. You’ll find the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B Pinterest page at  http://www.pinterest.com/troybumpasinn/. Check it out!