6 Secrets Your Hotel Housekeeper Won't Tell You
They range from tips to keep you comfortable to those that keep you safe.
Staying at a hotel is fun and exciting, especially if you're taking a much-needed vacation. You get to enjoy different amenities—depending on where you book–whether you're looking to hit the gym, swim in an indoor pool, or check out an exclusive beach club. But a key aspect of a comfortable stay is, of course, your hotel room. Thankfully, hotel housekeepers are there to ensure your digs are neat and tidy—but these same employees also know all the hotels' dirty secrets, literally. While some may believe there are things better left unsaid, a handful of former hotel housekeepers are spilling the beans. Read on to find out six secrets your hotel housekeeper has been hiding.
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The spa baths in your room are dirtier than you think.
Taking a bath while on vacation certainly sounds luxurious, but it might be just the opposite, according to Daniel Morris, former housekeeper in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia and current operator of Fire and Saw.
"Many of the apartments and hotel suites I cleaned had spa baths in the bathroom," Morris tells Best Life. "Every couple of weeks we would run a special cleaner through the spa that would remove a lot of the gunk that builds up through use. What comes out is disgusting! There's usually a big build-up of fats and oils that come out from the skin, along with everything else."
Morris notes that this information is obviously kept from guests, and sometimes ignorance is bliss. But even if you're not a germaphobe, this likely may skeeve you out.
"Leading up to that more thorough clean, all that stuff is circulating each time someone uses the bath," Morris says. "Pretty gross!"
Don't use the glasses.
If you make a habit of using the cups or glassware left in your hotel room, you might want to stop. In a Reddit AMA, or "ask me anything," user Booboo_the_bear, a former housekeeper who states they worked in different upscale hotels, these dishes aren't cleaned as thoroughly as they could be.
"Don't use the glasses," the user wrote. "The previous two hotels I worked at the dishes would just be washed in the sink with soap."
TikTok user @_sourqueen also mentioned this in an Aug. 2 video, noting that the glassware sometimes doesn't even get treated with soap and may just be rinsed. They are then typically dried "with the same rag that they used to clean the rest of the room with," the TikToker added.
This definitely increases the likelihood they are covered in germs, so requesting a fresh set from the front desk certainly couldn't hurt.
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The same goes for the ice bucket.
The ice bucket is a staple in pretty much any hotel room. It also gets used regularly—but not always as it's intended. In fact, @_sourqueen says they wouldn't use or touch the ice bucket at all.
"A lot of times people just innocently use these as water dishes for their pets and whatnot, but then there are times people do much worse things to these buckets," the user said in the video, which has over 84,000 likes. "I don't even want to talk about that."
You can probably imagine what ends up in the ice bucket, and unfortunately, it is sometimes used as a vomit basin. As Jennifer Stagg, MD, naturopathic physician, told Reader's Digest, this can leave germs behind and put you at risk for norovirus. If you must use the bucket, make sure a liner is intact.
They don't appreciate you pilfering from their cleaning carts.
Running out of toilet paper or shampoo is a pain, and if you happen to spot an unattended cleaning cart in the hotel hallway, you might be inclined to just grab what you need. But another hotel housekeeper shared their perspective on a separate Reddit thread, asking guests not to steal from carts.
"We usually stocked enough for the whole day and if you take all the shampoo on my cart, I have to go back to the stock room and get more," user Byzantium42 wrote. "It's a pain. If you need extra shampoo, towels, whatever, just ask."
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Do Not Disturb signs are welcome.
Putting a the Do Not Disturb (DND) sign on your door not only helps maintain your privacy, it also saves some time for your housekeeper. Byzantium42 noted that they "loved" when guests staying multiple nights would use DNDs to skip full cleaning services.
"It meant I didn't have to go in there. It was always weird going into peoples rooms when they had stuff out," the user wrote. "It felt like I was breaking and entering. And it's weird trying to clean around people's stuff since we were not allowed to touch anything of theirs."
Speaking to their previous tip, the Redditor stressed that all you have to do is ask the front desk or housekeeper if you need something. "They'll be happy to give you extra supplies if it means they don't have to clean your room," they wrote.
The blankets aren't the cleanest.
For many of us, the first thing we want to do after a long day of travel is relax. Just don't be so quick to jump on top of your hotel bed. According to Booboo_the_bear, the sheets are changed daily, but with blankets, that's not the case.
"The blankets are changed only if they have marks on them," the user wrote. "It was probably on the floor before you used it too. We only changed them if they're stained or wet." The former housekeeper added that the best way to avoid a dirty blanket is by calling and asking for an extra. "They're more likely to have been cleaned."
TikToker @_sourqueen weighed in on "heavy linens" as well, saying that they would "never ever ever" use a bedspread at a hotel; it should be taken off as soon as you walk in and not put back on for the length of your stay.
"They are so filthy," the user said in the video. "They only get washed once a year, if that, unless there is a visible stain on them."