Reader Question: What To Do When The Hotel Laundry Ruined My Clothes?

Yesterday I got an email from our reader Curtis who inquires about what to do about damaged clothing items when using the hotels laundry service.

RQ LaundryThe reader had a long term stay at a hotel and sent his laundry to be cleaned on a regular basis until he got some items returned to him that had small damages.

Depending on what type of clothing you intend to send to hotel laundry service maybe you think twice about it and rather give it to your trusted dry cleaner or wash them at home. If you travel with limited baggage though you often don’t have that option.

Here is the email from our reader:

Hi guys!

I’m writing you in regards to an issue I have at a local Hyatt Regency hotel where I’m currently staying since early March and will remain until mid May.

Usually twice a week I give a bunch of clothes to their laundry service. Once before I got a shirt back that had a button missing and now another expensive one where they clearly burned the collar during ironing. The mark is visible and permanent. Any idea what I can ask for if anything?

Cheers, Curtis.

I decided to reply to the reader immediately because I think it’s important that he informs the hotel immediately and not a few days after getting the laundry back.

Overall, just like dry cleaning services outside all hotel I have visited write a clear disclaimer on their laundry lists that they are not responsible for damages to the clothing sent via their laundry service.

However, disclaimer yes or no… if the shirt is visibly burned then I would the guest has a good case to demand a replacement of the item. Especially if in this case the guest is a repeat or long stay customer and they can expect to make plenty of money off his stays I would guess the hotel will do something as customer service.

A friend of mine had a similar case last year at a Doubletree Hotel in Shanghai where they also ruined one of his shirts and upon his next visit he was handed 700 CNY (~110 US$) in compensation without even pressing for it. His company does substantial business with this hotel though and I’m sure that played a role as well.

Often hotels have free pressing services for the Elite Members, Suites and Executive Floor guests so maybe take such things into account before sending your favorite shirt off. That being said, these things can happen just as well at home.


If you notice such damages it’s important to notify the hotel immediately so that housekeeping can inspect it to have an impression of the damages.

If the hotel refuses to do anything however I think there is little the guest can do due to the liability waiver the guest signs when sending the laundry off.