Microchips to tell travellers when hotel linens were last washed

Butler making bed in a hotel room.

A Chinese city will launch an innovative system that allows travellers to see when their hotel linens were last washed.

Chinese publisher Sixth Tone reported that travellers visiting the city of Wuhan, found in the central Chinese province of Hubei, will soon be able to check how clean their hotel linens are by scanning QR codes embedded in them.

Developed by the Bluesky TRS washing company and government-backed Wuhan Kunteng Washing Company, the high temperature- and water-resistant microchips will be sewn into the corners of bedsheets, quilt covers, and towels.

This will allow guests who scan an accompanying QR code know when, where, and how their linens were washed.

Bluesky TRS technical director Cai Xiaosong told Sixth Tone, last week, the code-equipped linens will become available in October, with an eco-friendly laundry facility for washing them already in use.

Cai said that Bluesky TRS and Wuhan Kunteng also hope to reduce the amount of water used during washes, with both companies intending to use their own wastewater treatment to minimise pollution.

Sustainable practices have reportedly been an issue for the city, with Sixth Tone reporting 79 of the city’s 110 washing companies were shut down last year for violating environmental regulations.

This put a strain on the local hospitality industry, resulting in hotels being forced to outsource their laundry needs to neighbouring cities and increased operational costs.

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