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

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:

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:

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: 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: 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: 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:


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: 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.

Three Things Your Innkeeper Wants to Know


A bed & breakfast is a more personal setting than a hotel, so don’t be surprised if the innkeeper asks you a few questions that a hotel doesn’t ask. Guests who provide a little information about their trip make it possible for their innkeeper to better anticipate and serve their needs.

Here are three things your innkeeper wants to know:

1. The reason you’re in town – Are you in town for a relaxing, schedule-free getaway? Or, are you seeing a play, speaking at a conference, shopping for furniture, meeting business clients, or attending a wedding? If you are in town for a specific event, you’ll probably be adhering to a schedule, possibly needing breakfast at a specific time. Remember, too, that innkeepers love sharing tips about their city, so give them a chance! Tell them where you’re headed and they can probably recommend good restaurants nearby or offer tips about parking at the venue you will be visiting.

2. How you will be arriving – Here in Greensboro, it’s possible you might fly into one of several regional airports. If you mention which airport you’re using, your innkeeper will be able to give you a realistic drive time and may also share tips on available ground transportation options. Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad Airport is just 15 minutes from the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B. Raleigh-Durham International Airport is 1 hour, 15 minutes away; Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport is 1 hour, 30 minutes away.  Arriving at our inn by taxi? We’ll be sure to tell you to inform the driver to take the driveway to our guest entrance in the back. That way you won’t have to drag your luggage up our long front sidewalk!

3. Food allergies and preferences – If you or a traveling companion cannot eat certain foods, are on a special diet, or know of foods that you’d prefer not to see on your breakfast plate, mention these in advance. Don’t be shy about expressing your wishes. Innkeepers work very hard to ensure that the breakfasts they serve are delicious and appealing. They often are very willing to accommodate a variety of special diets, but doing so may require a little advance research and shopping. Giving the innkeeper advance notice of your preferences helps him or her best serve your needs.

How can we make your stay at the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast more enjoyable? Don’t hesitate to tell us!

What’s a “Piedmont?”


The piedmont (shaded area) extends along the eastern U.S.

You can’t be in the Greensboro area long before you hear and see the word “piedmont.” Pronounced “peed-mont,” you’ll hear it on every local TV weather report and see it as part of the names of many local businesses. Greensboro is in the heart of the piedmont, North Carolina’s most densely populated section. The “Piedmont Triad” (or simply the Triad) refers to the three city area of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point.

The word was new to me when I arrived in central North Carolina. “Piedmont” must have been one of those geographic words that they didn’t dwell on back in Missouri, where I grew up. My teachers must have been discussing the Mississippi River basin while North Carolinians were pondering the piedmont.

Here’s what I have since learned: The piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic coastal plain and the main Appalachian Mountains. It’s not exclusive to North Carolina but stretches from New Jersey to central Alabama. Geographically, the piedmont has gently rolling terrain often broken by hills or low mountain ridges. There are a few low mountain ranges and peaks found in the North Carolina piedmont, such as Pilot Mountain near the town of Mt. Airy.

The piedmont occupies about 35 percent of North Carolina. (To the east, taking up about 45 percent of the state, is the coastal plain. To the west, occupying the remaining 20 percent, are the foothills and mountains.)

Of the three regions, the mountains are the coldest part of the state with the greatest snow accumulations and mildest summers. The coastal plain has the mildest weather with its climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean has less influence on the piedmont, which has hotter summers and colder winters than the coast.

You now have a working understanding of the piedmont! To learn more about all the things to see, do and enjoy about the North Carolina piedmont, visit Better yet, come visit. You’ll find the best in piedmont hospitality at the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast in Greensboro, NC.

Blandwood: The Oldest Standing Example of Italianate Architecture in the U.S.

When Reverend Sidney Bumpass built the home that is now the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed and Breakfast, a visitor would find few homes in the immediate area. One home, however, was only a third of a mile away, and it was already more than 50 years old when Sidney and Frances Bumpass moved into their home in 1847. That house, known as Blandwood, still exists today and is a national historic landmark that is open for tours.

Blandwood Mansion

Blandwood Mansion, considered the the oldest standing example of Italianate architecture in the United States.

Originally Blandwood was a simple two-story farmhouse constructed by Charles Bland. The earliest part of the home was completed in 1795. The house was later purchased by North Carolina Governor John Motley Morehead. In 1844, toward the end of the governor’s term in office, he commissioned renowned architect Alexander Jackson Davis of New York to build significant additions to the house in the Italianate style. A central tower, stucco walls and symmetrical flanking dependencies were added. The additions were completed in 1846.

Today, Blandwood is considered the oldest standing example of Italianate architecture in the United States. The restored mansion operates as a museum and provides visitors a look into 19th century art, architecture, furnishings, and landscape. Some of the Morehead’s furnishings are on display.

Vistors to the mansion learn interesting aspects of the homes architecture as well as information about the governor and the Morehead family. Morehead earned the nickname “the father of Modern North Carolina” and was a strong supporter of statewide rail and water transportation systems; free public schools; and more humane treatment of deaf and blind children, prisoners, and the mentally ill.

While we are not certain, it seems highly likely that Frances Bumpass and her family were acquainted with their neighbors, the Moreheads.

To learn more about this treasure of architectural and historical significance, take a look at this video created by Preservation Greensboro Incorporated, the non-profit organization that operates Blandwood. Tours are available Tuesday through Sunday. An admission fee is charged. Guests at the Troy-Bumpas Inn can receive a discount coupon that offers one free admission with a paid adult admission (valid during 2014).