South East Wales

Fake tan 'ruining' student beds, Cardiff landlord claims

Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani dance the Argentine Tango
Image caption Fake tanning has moved from celebrities on Strictly Come Dancing to everyday life

Students' obsession with fake tanning is costing a Cardiff landlord thousands of pounds in new mattresses and mattress covers.

At first John Winter thought the marks were caused by bodily fluids or a mattress fault.

The fashion for faking bronzed skin has even resulted in a change in the type of mattress being used.

Beautician Carina Barcoe said staining can be avoided by wearing loose-fitting pyjamas.

"It seemed to be a new phenomena in Cardiff which began about four years ago, although I had come across it before when I checked other properties elsewhere," said Joe Harris, lettings manager for John Winter's company.

"John [the owner] didn't have a clue what the strange orange marks were. They were roughly body shaped and you could see the wrist, ankle and shoulder areas.

"There is a high percentage of females out of the 400 students we house, so the incidents were much higher, and you could see the fake tanning products in nearly every room," he said.


Mr Harris added that the problem was causing so much damage the type of mattress being used had to be changed.

"John had custom-made mattress which were pocket sprung and it was ruining those. I went to one house and was met by a parade of mattresses being carried down the stairs on the way to the skip.

"Those have been changed into memory foam because the covers can be removed and washed or replaced, although we still have some where the colour has gone right through and ruined the whole thing."

New mattress covers cost around £30 each, plus VAT, and so the company is taking a proactive approach to try to reduce the damage, he said.

"We try to educate the students and it has been quite successful because three years ago we had 220 mattress covers ruined, but this year that's dropped to 147."

Mr Harris says that he does not see the problem going away until the interest in fake tan wanes.

Image caption Joe Harris said it was impossible to remove the marks from this mattress

"There are quite a few orange coloured people walking around Cardiff," he added.

Using fake tanning products does not have to result in ruined mattresses, according to one Cardiff beauty therapist.

"Fake tanning will wash off sheets," said Carina Barcoe, who works at Blush Hair and Beauty in Birchgrove, Cardiff.

"I always recommend wearing loose-fitting pyjamas though, as different products have different developing times."

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