Never Use Your Hotel Coffee Pot, Says Flight Attendant
Do you really think they’re scrubbing the insides of those things every time?
If you're craving a cup of coffee after waking up in your hotel room, you may want to reconsider using your your in-room coffee maker. One flight attendant alleges that hotel coffee makers serve as makeshift washing machines for flight attendants looking to quickly wash their underwear and pantyhose. Whether that's true or not, it's also not certain that hotel staff clean them thoroughly in between guests.
"To brew or not to brew the hotel room coffee," the anonymous flight attendant wrote in an entry for "The Receipt," a food diary series by Bon Appétit. "This is something most flight attendants have strong feelings about, and many senior mamas like to tell horror stories about in-room coffee pots being used to rinse pantyhose, among other things."
The author mentions that the coffee-maker-panty-cleaning method may be an "urban legend." Bon Appétit posed the debate on Instagram, and some flight attendants commented that they've never heard of or have known anyone to try it. However, one Reddit thread had many readers second-guessing their choice to use the in-room coffee pot, with a second tip that advised, "Never stay at a hotel near the airport."
Hotel coffee makers should be avoided for a more obvious reason, according to TikTok user @_sourqueen. She created a video, which has since been removed, claiming that it is barely cleaned by hotel staff.
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"Usually the housekeeper just rinses these things out in the bathroom sink and dries them off with the same rag that they used to clean the rest of the room with," the former housekeeper explained, as reported by The New York Post. This practice applies to other glassware in the room as well, the article adds.
Another Reddit thread practically advises travelers to "check the hotel coffeemaker before you use it" as some models with water reservoirs can get… kind of nasty.
Reddit user henryriver shared an image of mold spores that grew in his hotel room's coffee maker, something housekeeping likely didn't check before he checked in.
"Your example of the coffee pot is exactly why I check," Reddit user msk1974 commented on the image. "I have also heard a story from a hotel worker about a guest who pissed in the coffee pot AND the water container of the iron. A guest tried to iron his shirt and noticed something was wrong. Shirt was ruined from ironing piss onto it."
Bon Appétit ran a follow-up post with more information related to hotel cleaning standards for coffee pots, finding that the level of cleanliness depends on the hotel chain.
Radisson considers coffee makers to be "high-touch items" which are "thoroughly cleaned daily and disinfected after each check-out," while Marriott's housekeeping service is more sporadic and depends on the brand itself. Hilton brands might clean your coffee pot if you ask them, as they currently offer housekeeping "upon request" according to the publication.
So if a clean pot of coffee is what you're after, make sure to check your in-room appliance before you brew. Or just grab a cup at a local coffee shop.