Guests at Chinese hotels scan bed sheets to see when they were WASHED

The bed sheets that tell you when they were last WASHED: Guests at Chinese hotels can scan code on quilting to make sure they are clean

  • Firm in Wuhan, Anhui has been embedding microchips on bed sheets and towels
  • A QR code on the corner of the bed sheet would reveal the date of its last wash
  • Invention has become a hit on online following series of hotel hygiene scandals

Guests staying in hotels in central China will soon be able to check the hygiene of their bed sheets by scanning a code that reveals the date of their last wash.  

A new laundry service catering to hotels in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province has been embedding microchips on bed sheets, towels and quilt covers that can be read using the QR scanner function on smartphones.

Once scanned, guests would be able to read details such as the date of their last wash, the number of times the sheets were used and the temperature that they were disinfected.

Guests staying in hotels in Wuhan city, central China will soon be able to check the hygiene of their bed sheets by scanning a code that reveals the date of their last wash

A laundry service catering to hotels in Wuhan has been embedding microchips on bed sheets, towels and quilt covers that can be read using the QR scanner function on smartphones

‘This is equivalent to giving each bed sheet and hotel linen a unique electronic identification,’ Xinhua News reported.

Developed by Beijing-based Bluesky TRS washing company and the government-backed Wuhan Kunteng Washing Company, the thin, waterproof and heat-resistant chips can withstand temperatures of up to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) and survive more than 200 washes, according to Jiemian News.

Cai Xiaosong, technical director of Bluesky TRS, told reporters that the code-equipped linens will be available in Wuhan’s hotels in November. 

The invention has become a hit on Chinese social media following a series of recent scandals over poor hygiene at high-end hotels, with many net users calling for the system to be rolled out nationwide. 

Developed by Beijing-based Bluesky TRS washing company and the government-backed Wuhan Kunteng Washing Company, the thin, waterproof and heat-resistant chips can withstand temperatures of up to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) and survive more than 200 washes, according to Jiemian News

A staff member demonstrates by scanning the QR code stitched on a towel in a hotel. Cai Xiaosong, technical director of Bluesky TRS, told reporters that the code-equipped linens will be available in Wuhan’s hotels in November

On Tuesday, ‘QR code reveals how many times hotel bed sheets were washed’ was the one of most viewed topics on Weibo, gathering more than 400 million clicks. 

‘This is so practical! Sometimes there are strange odours from the hotel sheets,’ one user commented. 

‘I think that makes the changing and washing of hotel linen transparent and tourists can enjoy a more comfortable stay,’ another said.

But others were more sceptical, saying that the information in the chip could be easily tampered with.

‘I’m still going to bring my own towels, quilt covers and pillow cases,’ one comment liked more than 2,400 times read. 

Last November, a whistle-blower posted hidden camera footage exposing unhygienic cleaning practices carried out at 14 five-star hotels in China, sparking an outcry. 

A green check mark shows that the bed sheet has been cleaned and changed. The service has become a hit on Chinese social media following a series of recent scandals over poor hygiene at high-end hotels, with many net users calling for the system to be rolled out nationwide

On Tuesday, ‘QR code reveals how many times hotel bed sheets have been washed’ was the one of most viewed topics on Weibo, with more than 400 million clicks

Housekeeping staff were caught picking up used guest towels on the floor to wipe cups, cutlery, bathroom sinks, toilet bowls and showers in a 12-minute compilation video shot inside the various luxury hotel bathrooms. Some workers even used the uniform they were wearing to clean glasses and mugs.

In September 2017, an independent watchdog group found that several five-star hotels in Beijing – including JW Marriott, Shangri-La Hotel, Hilton, Intercontinental, and W Beijing – failed to change their bed linens between guest bookings.  

Wuhan, a city of 10 million people, currently has 3,432 hotels, most of which rely on a third-party laundry service, with approximately 1,000 tonnes of laundry handled daily.

Last year, 79 of the city’s 110 commercial laundries were shut down after being deemed substandard by government inspections, Xinhua reported, a move that also decreased the daily laundry capacity to 300 tonnes.  

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