Your hotel room might not be as clean as you think (but you already know that)

I was browsing’s travel section today and found this article entitled “Confessions of a hotel housekeeper”.  In the article, Allison Rupp tells all about her experiences as a hotel maid, including some techniques she would use to make things appear cleaner than they really were:

Instead of vacuuming, I found that just picking up the larger crumbs from the carpet would do. Rather than scrub the tub with hot water, sometimes it was just a spray-and-wipe kind of day.

After several weeks on the job, I discovered that the staff leader who inspected the rooms couldn’t tell the difference between a clean sink and one that was simply dry, so I would often just run a rag over the wet spots. But I never skipped changing the sheets. I wouldn’t sink that low, no matter how lazy I was feeling.

Source: “Confessions of a hotel housekeeper”

But are we really surprised by this?  I’ve seen so many news exposés about the less-than-thorough cleaning practices of some hotels.  I distinctly remember a clip from a hidden surveillance camera which showed the cleaning lady spray toilet bowl cleaner on the drinking glasses.  The truth is, you can never really be sure about how clean a hotel room is, unless you’re the one doing the cleaning yourself.

You can also give more generous tips to the maids as a gesture that you appreciate any extra effort they put in.  This kind of encouragement from guests is few and far between.  While a rare $100 tip inspired Allison Rupp to clean more thoroughly one day, this inspiration did not last long.

If you do want to make the effort to avoid dirty accommodations, Trip Advisor has listed the dirtiest hotels in the world [via Standard Upright Position].  The items are categorized by region or country, including Asia, France, Italy, India, Spain, the UK, and the US.  Only the “top 10 dirtiest” are listed in each region.  The link is worth a visit if you’re planning a trip to any of those places soon.  There’s also a list for Germany, but there were only 3 hotels which made it to their list.

Have you ever stayed in a dirty hotel?  Did you ever suspect that your room was much dirtier than it looked?

Posted by | Comments (2)  | January 29, 2009
Category: Travel News

2 Responses to “Your hotel room might not be as clean as you think (but you already know that)”

  1. Carol Says:

    Anyone that has stayed in a hotel or motel has most probably been in a *dirty* room. I propose that these rooms be monitored by *secret* stayers, just like secret shoppers. They would be required to take sample swabs from sinks, bathroom countertops, toilets,drinking cups, showers and baths and even use some sort of sticky tape to find evidence of sheets not being laundered between occupants. Every room that is cleaned is a room assigned to a particular housekeeper. It can easily be traced to the employee not doing his or her job. The pay should be adequate for the job and not depend on tips from travelers that never even see the employees and have no way of knowing that the rooms they have paid for are in fact clean. Tipping in this instance should be strictly voluntary, not required in order to pay an employee’s salary. That is the responsibility of the company hiring the employee.

  2. Tumbleweed Joe Says:

    I have never stayed in a dirty hotel. But relatives of mine have where a supposed ‘En Suite’ toilet and shower had a clear glass door facing from the bedroom into the outside corridor where people could see you having a dump!!!

    The same hotel had the emergency exit through a family bedroom where that bedroom had no internal lock for obvious reasons. The dust and grease from the downstairs kitchens was something esle, and the staff just didn’t give a damn.

    I won’t mention the hotel’s name as some dude might take upon themselves to sue!!!