It’s very rare that I stay in a hotel anymore. After 7 years as a Tour Manager, I have stayed in more hotel rooms than I can count and hotel vacations really aren’t my thing, but I always refuse to let housekeeping clean my room when I stay in a hotel.

Why do I refuse to let housekeeping clean my room? I don’t think housekeepers are on top of their duties as I have had a few experiences that I will share with you. One of them is especially gross so beware.

When I get my key and go into my room, I put my carry-on bag on the table, and get out my sanitizing wipes.

I carry these with me all the time, even when I’m not traveling. Here are the things I sanitize:

1. Remote Control

2. All knobs in the room

3. all light fixtures in the room

4. The locks on the door

5. toilet seat and handle

6. faucet handles

7. Any chairs or couches

Now, here are a couple of reasons why I sanitize my room and why I won’t let housekeeping in my room to clean up.

1. I walked into my room one day when the housekeeper was there (this was in a 5 star hotel). No problem, I was looking for something in my suitcase and I happen to look up and notice the housekeeper was coming out of the bathroom with a rag in her hand and immediately went to clean the nightstand…with the same rag. That. Is. Gross. Just nasty.

I mean, think about it, if she just finished cleaning my toilet that my booty was on and then came and cleaned my bedroom with the same rag, was that the same rag from the last room she cleaned? From the last toilet she cleaned? So she uses the same rag to clean my toilet as she used to clean the toilet of someone I don’t know, someone who sat their naked possible sweaty butt on their toilet? No thank you.

So, when I check into my room, I do the thorough wipe down and when I leave I put the do not disturb sign on the door and housekeeping does not come back into my room. I only ask for new towels and toilet paper if I happen to run out.

2. Now this one is really gross. I was in a hotel room in Paris, at a very high end hotel off The Champs Elysses. (This was before my ban on housekeeping) Housekeeping had come into my room and it was nice and clean. I went into the bathroom because I had eaten breakfast and I wanted to brush my teeth before I had to meet my guests downstairs so I picked up my toothbrush and started to brush. Toothbrush was in my mouth and a few strokes had been taken. When all of a sudden I realized that this wasn’t my toothbrush. I took it out of my mouth and it was a toothbrush from housekeeping. Something they use to clean cracks and crevices (and I refuse to think about the other things it may have cleaned). This brush had ‘mistakenly’ been put on my sink and I had put it in my mouth.

Have you ever had something happen that is so nasty you can’t think about it or you will throw up? Well, that was definitely one of those times. I didn’t have time to dwell on it, I had 50 guests waiting downstairs and I certainly couldn’t let any of them know what had just happened. However, I did tell the head of housekeeping what happened, showed her the brush and told her I didn’t want this to happen to anyone ever again. She was very apologetic and let’s hope they got things together.

So, from that experience, I learned to keep housekeeping out of my room. It doesn’t matter if I’m staying in a 5 star hotel or a low budget one, I don’t need a housekeeper. It doesn’t bother me to fix my own bed (if I choose to) and I don’t need my carpet vacuumed daily. It’s nice when they arrange things in the bathroom for you but then that means their germs are on everything and I just don’t like people touching my intimate things.

If I travel with someone and we stay in a hotel, I tell them my policy before we book a room together so they won’t be surprised because I absolutely will not let a housekeeper in my room. There was one time in Paris when I specifically told the manager I didn’t want housekeeping but they came in anyway. I simply re-sanitized the room and kept my toothbrush in my suitcase.

To this day, when I go to a hotel, I keep my toothbrush in a holder in my carry-on, just in case housekeeping ignores my do not disturb sign and cleans my room. If you had put something in your mouth that cleans bathroom surfaces and cracks, I think you would feel the same way as I do.

 

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Some people travel. Roni IS travel. For over 20 years she has been traveling the world and now shares her unique insight with her worldwide audience on her blog, www.RoniTheTravelGuru.com. Whether you have never gotten on a plane or are a seasoned traveler, the expertise and insider knowledge she shares on her blog will help you make your travels an adventure. No where else can you find the uniquely helpful ins and out given to you by someone who has lived overseas for 4 years, speaks fluent English, French and Spanish, and works for a major airline. And guess what? She’s also a licensed elementary teacher and has an MBA.

79 COMMENTS

  1. #SheeeeeeeSH!!!
    That is unbelievable!!!!
    I think I would fall over & croak!!! .–(toothbrush mix up incident)-
    As far as my personal feelings on this…I 100% agree!
    Although we share the common concern of housekeeping not cleaning the room to our satisfaction sanitation wise- I also have a reason for not allowing this service during my hotel stays.
    I have experienced hotel staff using our toilet..not bothering to flush it ..and helping themselves to my designer lotions & perfumes I normally leave out on the sink counter!
    I didn’t report the incident to the hotel (which was also high end)-but from then on I was resolved to do my own cleaning and straightening (as I also travel w/ sanitizer wipes – Clorox brand) and whether I am home or staying in a hotel ..or even a friends house- I always, always make my bed!
    I have heard of hotel incidents involving housekeeping stealing clothes, jewelry, shoes & even underwear! (really people, really)!
    But these tales are true and I would rather do an extra wipe & tug on the sheets than risk going home with my suitcase a little lighter than the way it came!

    • I can’t believe they used your toilet and didn’t flush. That is just wrong. Too bad you didn’t report these things, you may have gotten a free stay! Thanks so much for reading!

  2. That is sooooo gross. There are very few times I am in a hotel, but now I will always remember this post! Thanks for the suggestions….

  3. Those wet ones you showed pic of don’t sanitize. Make sure you get something that kills germs like Lysol wipes. I forgot t I put the sign up this time and my toothbrush in my case is still wet. Is it possible that it could still wet sitting inside the case at 6pm if I used it at 730am? Yuck

  4. Hi,

    I am a housekeeper and I agree with you. First off I would like to say, that they don’t give us enough time to do each room. I work at a hotel where we have 30 minutes to clean a room, that would be okay if I actually had 30 minutes to clean a room. They don’t count our breaks or time to stock our carts, so we start off at a disadvantage.

    … I’m surprised though that a housekeeper would be in an occupied room with the guest present and go from bathroom to nightstand with the same rag. Me, I only do that when I’m alone. It’s nasty, yes, but my only goal is to finish the room as quickly as possible so I can finish my list and leave on time. When I’m in an occupied with with the guest present, I always do things by the book so they don’t complain to my manager.

    When I’m alone…. like I said I only care about finishing that room on time or early, so if that means leaving the old sheets on that look okay, not cleaning the shower, not vacuuming, not mopping then I’ll avoid doing it (if I’m alone) so I meet my quota.

    Recommendations:
    1. Reserve your room in advance and tell them to put pillows, blankets and comforters on your bed that are fresh out of the washer. I’ve walked past rooms where people are screaming having sex, then they leave a wet spot on the bed and of course it ends up being one of my rooms, so I change the sheets and bounce, leaving the comforter and blanket. They are rarely changed, only when noticeably dirty.

    2. Bring multi-purpose cleanser and disinfectant and wipe down all surfaces before you open your bag. If you’re at a hotel where the rooms have kitchens, I suggest you re-wash all the dishes. Some housekeepers will use the toilet sponge in the kitchen if they can’t get two. Be sure to empty the ice trays, and refill them- we barely ever clean those.

    3. When you see a housekeeper on your floor, get the things you need: towels, sheets, tissue, soaps, etc. You can even borrow her vacuum and broom to clean up your room real quick.

    4. Keep the ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door. We are only allowed to ignore it if you’re suppose to checkout the same day, and we will not clean your room if we see that your stuff is still there so we tell our mgr and they charge you for another day and/ or tell us we can skip that room which is golden for us.

    5. Befriend your housekeeper. If I’m friends with someone, I’m always leaving them extra stuff and I always do there room legit, like I would clean my own house. Same for when someone leaves us a tip. Mostly we’ll get like 8 bucks per week, so leaving a 10+ tip is a quick way to making sure your room is done right.

    6. Typically you can take just about anything in the room except the lamps and tv. It’s hard for them to prove that you stole anything so feel free to keep the ashtray, blow dryer, pots, dishes, hangers, iron, bible, remote, alarm clock, toaster, cutting board, coffee pot, shower curtain, towels, etc. Just don’t take them all at once, LOL.

    And keep in mind, we don’t do this cause we hate you, we do it cause we don’t have time to do it the right way, that’s the hotel game for us, don’t forget your wipes cause you’ll need them. Peace!

    • Rolling on the floor laughing! Either you are terribly honest or you are just having some fun at our expense. Either way, it’s hysterical! Thanks for the laugh.

        • I’m a housekeeper too and what you say most of it is all true 🙁 aside the fact I’m a housekeeper who takes pride in my work so I try my hardest to clean right. Because if I don’t my bosses get in trouble and I love my managers and couldn’t stand the job if they left. Not too mention people complain about EVERYTHING with exactly no understanding of how hard housekeeping really is. I’m 24 and I don’t know how half of the old ladies I work with do it!! Wish everyone understood better and tipped the housekeepers. Cause yeah we just don’t have time with our general managers and the company up our asses. Even me a bust your assistance kind of girl, can’t even meet up to their expectations some days.

    • I have a friend staying in a hotel for work. He’ll likely be there at least a month. The hotel staff informed him that by law they need to enter his room every four days. This is in Wisconsin. Can anyone verify if this is accurate?

      • Hi! I am not sure about Wisconsin law but I wouldn’t worry about it. As long as he opens the door and lets them change his sheets every few days he should be fine.

        • Sadly it is that way in some states. Our hotel has the same rules. Except it’s like every 5 days pretty sure. Cause we had an employee stay there and she refused service for days and our gm said we had to go in there and clean even if she said no. They mainly needed to be sure nothing was being misused broken etc. or anything illegal may have been going on because of the suspicions of the actions being made. And in that particular situation her kids actually did destroy the room. It was gross. And a good cleaning was indeed needed! I honestly wish it wasn’t a rule. But it is sometimes a must

        • I’m also a housekeeper and writes just as well as she does. Some times people look down on housekeepers because they think we didn’t graduate high school or we have no education. That’s true for some, but it’s not always so.

      • I agree. Someone’s profession has nothing to do with their writing ability. I do housekeeping only when I’m in-between clerical jobs so that I can pay my bills while looking for clerical work.

        I’ve actually chosen not to do it housekeeping work anymore. I started doing it so I could get a paycheck while still looking for work, but when you enter the hospitality world, then you have to play their game and deal with the disrespectful egotistical managers who knowingly send you off without the needed supplies and gives you more rooms than you’re suppose to have all while acting like you’re a pebble in their shoe, or the rude guest who ask for all this extra stuff forcing you to run downstairs for more supplies and not even give you a tip… or dealing with ass-kissing co-workers who are being exploited (working off the clock and not getting paid), and when you explain that it’s illegal they continue to allow themselves to be exploited cause they are the managers favorite and they feel like that is job security… Breaks your heart and makes you want to slap somebody, but you can’t lose if you don’t play… Too many mind games for me… Not to mention, how tired you are daily for barely any pay.

        So, I’ll just do retail, or work at the local grocery store the next time I’m unemployed. Right now I’m a CSR for a prepaid debit card company. Not glamorous, but pays the bills.

        • You are awsome… I am a housekeeper too and I can feel everything what you said… Everyday it feels like we are not human being anymore….

    • Hi Dre, I hope you see this as your comment was a few years ago. But it was an extremely helpful comment, and I really appreciate that you wrote this up for everyone’s information!

      I have a question about something you said. You suggested to call in advance and ask that the room please have freshly washed pillows, blanket, and comforter. My question is, if I do this, will that mean that it actually gets done? And will the motel staff be offended or annoyed that I ask for this? Do they get this request often enough that it will be no big deal? I’m going away next week and would love to have this done if it means they won’t be upset and that it really will be done. Thank you!!

    • Thanks. I came across this web page looking for “housekeeping uses one towel” because I picked up my sister-in-law at 2:30am from her second day at her first job in Orange County California. She moved here from out of state. She told me that they give her one towel to clean several bathrooms located on different floors in a building. She must use the same towel to wipe the toilets, urinals, sinks, mirrors and any noticeable marks on walls or stalls. She is given 15 minutes per bathroom to clean, wipe, change toilet paper, add soap, empty trash, sweep, mop and other things. She was trained by a supervisor and did mention it was gross using the same towel but was told she must use one towel. She notices some employees skip some steps in order to finish on time.

    • I am shocked by this housekeepers response. I have been a housekeeper for years now and can honestly say that 30 minutes is a very good time amount to fully clean and sanitize a room properly. I cannot believe that you use the same rag when a guest is not looking and use a different rag when a guest is looking. It does not take any time to use a different rag when you bring a few with you into the room to be prepared. And if you are short on rags there is always an alternative. (meaning go get a new rag, ask manager for an extra rag she may have) or worst case scenario use a face cloth as a rag and afterwords make it into a rag so guests do not reuse the cloth. I separate all my rags. I make sure for each room I use a clean fresh rag for the toilet. I put out a rag for the tub/shower. I put a rag out for mirrors, I put a rag out for dusting and then right after I clean that room I put in dirty bin so I do not reuse them. Guests are paying for their stay and to contaminate all the surfaces they will be using is so wrong. The fact that you stated that you are not thinking about making the room clean and that you are thinking about the time is very inconsiderate. I have a time limit at my hotel for 30 minutes per room BUT all managers (I know from experience) are definitely okay with you taking any extra time you need so that you feel comfortable and so the job is done right. I don’t blame this author of this post for using wipes after seeing all of that happen in front of his eyes. We as housekeepers are getting paid to make your stay perfect and clean. And you are paying for your room to be clean so it works both ways and there is never an excuse to take an extra 30 seconds to get a different rag or sanitize a remote.

  5. Hi Roni- Just found your site and am enjoying it! Hotels gross me out for those exact reasons. Not like they’re any cleaner, but I prefer home stays through airbnb.com and small guesthouses these days rather than an established hotel. Still do some of my own cleaning, but the staff isn’t so rushed. Plus if it’s a home stay they live there so they have personal interest in the place being cleaned properly.

  6. Oh I so don’t want housekeeping in my room anymore!!! I usually put the do not disturb sign on the door if I am only going to be there for a few days just because I don’t like people coming in my space…never in a million years would have thought something this gross could happen! Ugh!!

  7. Hi,

    I know it’s possible that the housekeeper used a bathroom rag, but it might be the case that the housekeeper had a clean rag in her uniform pocket. I often stuff them in my uniform pockets so I don’t have to keep running back and forth to the room. Of course, the best thing to do is say something to the housekeeper in case that is your concern so the matter can be cleared up. It seems unlikely they would use a dirty bathroom rag to clean the bedroom with a guest present in the room to witness their actions.

    As one poster pointed out, we housekeepers have barely any time to clean rooms. It is a frenzy, something like working out for 8 hours straight and sacrificing breaks to finish on time. I’m one of those people who is very OCD so I always clean right and don’t do any of the yucky stuff. A good sign of being able to tell that a housekeeper is really working hard and cleaning your room is if he/she has broken into a sweat. If the housekeeper is very calm and taking their precious time the likelihood that they really cleaned your room right is little.

    As a housekeeper who has seen what others do, I recommend that you wash out your coffee pots in the rooms or don’t use them. Housekeepers have been caught by managers using the same sponge used to clean the toilet to clean the coffee pot. Also ask for extra sheets and pillow cases to be left in the room. As a final note, please remember that most housekeepers work very, very hard and try to do the best they can. but having to reach a cleaning quote of anywhere between 14-30 rooms a day makes it impossible to reach the highest standard.

  8. But would you rather have not known? Peep this… Try cleaning your bedroom and kitchen when it is hella dirty in 15 -20 minutes. No really! There’s some reality for that a**… Why do you think we carry rags and stuff in our pockets because you think it’s a fashion statement? We literally have to run around the room, sweating profusely, quickly wiping items down, scrubbing sinks and tubs and making the bed all so we can just finish on time. There is NO time to keep running back and forth to the cart….I don’t agree with it, but it’s better for you to know cause now you realize that just because something is spotless doesn’t mean that it’s clean and you can take action to protect yourself. And don’t think that going to a nicer hotel will save you, hotels like the Hyatt are the worst offenders cause the housekeeper has to clean more than 30 rooms per day, so they have less time than me and are forced to do OT. I don’t even want to know what shortcuts they are doing there cause it’ll be worst than mine. Don’t believe me, they even made a website for it to gain support to make Hyatt stop… I know you all probably couldn’t care less about the plight of a housekeeper cause you don’t have to do so who cares, but that’s exactly why things like this continue. I don’t feel sorry for any of you, take corrective actions and stop crying like children.

    • Hey there! Thanks for commenting. I don’t think any of us were crying like children and my post wasn’t meant to offend any housekeepers but to enlighten people on what goes on. I know it’s a hard job and that you guys don’t get enough time to do your work. I am glad I had my experiences because now I know how to handle staying in a hotel room if I have to, and I’m able to pass on my knowledge with my readers so they can sanitize their room if they have to stay in a hotel. Thanks again for stopping by and please come back!

  9. Housekeeping is a very broad term that encompasses the general cleaning from ceiling to the floor, to the window to the door of your house. It also includes both outdoor and indoor chores. This has something to do with giving appropriate time, effort and techniques to every fraction of the entire house.

  10. I understand where you are coming from, when I go to a hotel I would like for it to be good & clean also! I am actually a housekeeper myself (just in a Nursing Home) setting. So I’m sure the environments are somewhat different due to the circumstances as to where I work that is their home. Either way being a housekeeper I (personally) would/have never cleaned the toilet or bathroom area & then proceeded to wipe off other surfaces of the room with the same rag. That is just simply unsanitary in my opinion! When I go in to my residents rooms I clean them to the best of my ability, 100% of the time. It takes only a few seconds to walk back to your cleaning cart & grab a new rag to clean the room with. We have certain ways we have to clean our facility (deep cleaning, moving multiple residents in one day, some will be going home, run garbage, buff floors, dining rooms, shower area, etc) & I’m sure my boss would be highly upset if I or any of my other fellow housekeepers were to use one rag for the bathroom & the rest of the room! We have 8 hours to complete every aspect of our job & I always give it my best try! I hope by all means that your experience with other housekeeping services will be better than the previous few with housekeepers at the hotels! This is my first serious job (been there one year & three months) after I graduated high school & I am very proud to say that I am a housekeeper/floor tech, I’m proud of the work that my team does, it somewhat saddens me to know that not all of these housekeepers take pride in themselves & how they do their job. Maybe they weren’t trained right, who knows? Yes, there are something’s you can get away with! If the floor doesn’t need to be vacuumed at that point guess what? You don’t have to! Ah, to bad that doesn’t always work out! As far as anything else if you do it right the first time you won’t have anything to worry about! I just see some of the other places that I have been & I want my facility to look as good as possible for anybody that walks through those doors, they will be glad to say that they are there & that it’s clean! It’s hard being a housekeeper, without a doubt stressful! It’s rough work on you & sometimes I think it’s not even worth it, but at the end of the day when my hall is clean, when I get to see my residents smile & interact with them, & enjoy my time with my fellow employees I know that it’s all worth it! I just felt the need to share 🙂

  11. I’ve been working for one of the largest hotel chains for the last 7 years. First as a housekeeper, now as deep cleaning/maintenance. Honesty, I must agree that there are housekeepers I’ve worked with that do a very poor job indeed. What’s worse is having to inspect the rooms these employees ”clean” and do the things they should have done in the first place. There are, however, a great many housekeepers who work hard and do things the right way. Everyone here who says we are expected to skip breaks/lunch to finish on time, because usually overtime is a no-no. Doing back breaking work 8-10 hours a day without a rest can take it’s toll. If you ask me, the entire hotel game is flawed. A guest pays hundreds a night for a room that just barely passes a health inspection. A room whose bed and pillows had the body of a stranger using them just hours previously, a thin piece of fabric the only thing separating you from their essence. While the guest gets ripped off, so do the workers. Housekeepers asked to bust ass rushing through 15-30 rooms daily, no breaks, no respect in return for measly pay and early arthritis. Now that my job description is about complete sanitation, it’s really hard qto fill in for housekeeping when asked. I know what ”Clean” really looks like. I change out all linens, towels, shower curtains and liners, rotate mattresses, scrub walls, use a carpet cleaner, a power washer on the balconies, a chemical filled sanitation machine that sprays down the entire bathroom, I scrub or reapply caulking, clean drains, paint, adjust and lubricate door hinges, tighten the legs of furniture, run the coffee maker with internal cleaning solution, replace light bulbs, clean out refrigerators, vacuum behind furniture, high dust, edge vac, replace HVAC filters… I’m sure there’s more. but you get the gist. And just another little additive toward how awesome the hotel industry is, My pay level never increased after taking on this position. Cleaning a room this way takes me 2-2.5 HOURS. In comparison to regular housekeeping which demands 15-30 minutes per room. So I can most definitely agree with you that general hotel housekeeping does not leave a room ”sparkling clean”. The reality is that it’s a job that offers it’s workers the short end of the stick. They are doing what is forced soo upon them by the carelessness of their employers.

    • That’s so sad to hear that housekeepers are not given enough time to thoroughly clean. And I cannot believe you don’t get more money for your work! What you said about the sheets and ‘their essence’ really resonates with me, I don’t think people really think about it. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  12. lol those are not sanitizing wipes. They are wipes to clean poop off of a baby’s butt or wipe sticky messes off of their hands and face. Did you not see the “No alcohol?”. You may as well me misting everything with water and thinking you are doing something. You’re supposed to use Lysol. Or Wipes that implicitly say they are for sanitation purpose. Do you really thing “extra sensitive” “safe for babies” wipes is going to kill any bacteria or virus? No, it’s not.

    • Hey there! Thanks for reminding me, I meant to change that picture ages ago. But as you put it, if wipes can, “clean poop off a baby’s butt or wipe a sticky mess off their hands” then I think they can do a bit better than doing nothing. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog, I appreciate it!

  13. Are you serious??? OMG!
    My mind races through all those times I came back to the room after a long day and put my head and my face on that bed. Yikes!
    And thank you Dre for the information!
    Here in Guinea, I never let the maid inside my room because she does the same thing- BUT I though it happened only here 🙁 she washed my dishes with the same rag she washed my toilet….

  14. OMG the toothbrush thing is so disgusting! I do typically let housekeeping in, but after this I may need to rethink some things. I’m already pretty anal about cleanliness when I stay at hotels. I bring my trusty can of Lysol and spray everything down (although I never thought about the remote) I also bring my own sheets. I saw a 20/20 expose that will give you nightmares. I guess I won’t be using hotel housekeeping services anymore though. SMH

  15. Hi guys,

    I just started training at a hotel as a housekeeper a couple of days ago and let me tell you I am disgusted in what goes on when cleaning a room. The girl who was training me uses only 3 cloths the entire day . One for mopping the floor (that’s right the mopping gets done by spraying air freshener on the ground and then wiping it with your foot, only getting off the big stains). The next for the counter tops, and the next for the toilet. The cloths are all the same colour and she would get them mixed up all day. The toilet cloth she would use for every single toilet in different rooms (DISGUSTING). When I asked her why she isn’t using a different cloth for each toilet in each room she said that management won’t allow more than 3 cloths and that she doesn’t have time anyway. When I approached management they said that they cannot be giving out so many cloths and that when I start to clean rooms by myself I won’t care about this issue as I will be so rushed to get everything done in the amount of time they allot for each room. So basically just a rush job. So nothing gets cleaned properly, let me tell you the counter top in the kitchen has been wiped with 10 other peoples urine and sweat. I am still going to work there as I need a job, but will bring this up with the general manager and I have bought my own paper towel so i can clean a toilet and then throw it away. It makes me never want to stay in a hotel ever again. Does anyone know if there is somewhere I can anonymously report this hygiene health risk?

    • Hi,

      Melissa, perhaps you could post an anonymous post on yelp! 🙂 Also, I’m sure there must be a way to anonymously call

      I wonder if there are different standards for cleaning work in different countries. In Japan, even the cheapest hotels are very clean – while in London and New York, even some 4 star high end hotels are often quite dirty…

    • Hi Melissa,

      Check in your break-room. Every housekeeping job I’ve had had posters on how to complain to corporate. Corporate is who you need to contact and anonymously complain to to get anything done. And you can always find that information on the internet if it’s not in your break-room.

      During my last housekeeping job I was always being sent to this hotel and they never had enough towels to put in the rooms, to top it off the managers would take what little I had off my cart when they needed something at the front-desk. I asked them on my second day after complaining to the other housekeepers and on-site managers and getting rags to put in the hotel rooms instead of the nice towels why are there not enough and would only get BS answers. So I wrote down the web address to complain to corporate and put in a complain that night. I was actually shocked because when I was sent to the property the next week, the district manager was there supervising and they had a huge stack of new towels.

      You can also complain to OSHA and the department of labor, but be sure to read each sites rules about the type of complaints they handle before you submit anything so that you complain to the right department.

  16. Lord. Have. Mercy!!! I am just too through. I would have just..actually I don’t know what I would have done. This makes me not want to stay in a hotel ever again. How disgusting!

  17. I am a housekeeper at a very fancy casino resort lodge. Our rooms are all suites which means that we have an hour for each room, 7-10 rooms a day. Yes sometimes that means that I will not be done on time or get a break but where I work my team leaders are pretty good with telling what has and hasn’t been done. If the room is not up to company standards you get sent back to do the room AGAIN. I have got sent back because there were streaks on the toilet seat from the Ultra Concentrated Bathroom ACID cleaner we use to shine the toilet after we use the Disinfectant. Personally I could never make the room “look” clean… i could never wash the cups with water and dry them and put them back… i could never not change the sheets. Where I work we leave a little card in the rooms with our names on it… that means that room is a reflection of myself. I don’t care if i have 15 people calling me because the guest is waiting for the room, they will have to wait until I have finished cleaning the room as I was trained to do. This article, while true about some hotels/housekeepers does not apply to all. It irritates the hell out of me to hear all these negative experiences because I don’t understand how you can morally be ok with wiping the nightstand with the same rag as the toilet(if that was what actually happened, like a previous poster said, I have a clean rag on me at all times). I understand how crazy the job gets and I understand not having enough time to do what you need to do, but it is NEVER ok to skip the disinfection process. My job as a housekeeper is to COMPLETELY erase all traces of the previous guests, even the microscopic ones. And even though I hate why you do it…. I love the fact you don’t let housekeeping in to clean your room because seeing that DND sign on a stay-over all day is one of the greatest gift ever most days.

  18. My travel is limited at the moment due to a sick parent but when I start up again, will take your advice. Didn’t know about those wipes, will have to look for them at the store. Makes sense but just a shame you can’t enjoy yourself when on vacation instead of having to worry about maid’s and what they do in your room. Very sad I think. I am not a fan of having to wipe down everything in the room as soon as I enter, but if it is a good idea, I will in future trips.

  19. Great blog post and some thoughtful comments. I was googling ‘housekeeper not fast enough’ Surprise! Another commenter who is also a housekeeper. Not sure for how long though. I’ve recently been given a ‘final warning’ and still wasnt able to do all the rooms on time. I want the job and I need the job. Here in Australia the early check in time generally gives us 4-5 hrs a day. 30 mins a room standard although they occasionally let slide 5 mins over. I have often been 10 mins over and depending on the state of the room a handful of the rooms I’ve cleaned have taken 45-50 mins and one 60 min when it was late in the shift… no walking time, I had to travel up and down stairs. I think perhaps I am morally incapable of compromising what I see as essential sanitisation in the rush. I wasn’t always this way… I’m honest to a fault, so am conflicted and hate working sub-par. Its stressful, its hard work. But somehow these women do it. And some of them are in their 60s! Here’s a little into my routine. We get a bucket bull of 6 different cleaners. Two scrub sponges (a toothbrush I seldom ever use) and a literal pile of rags on top. Different jobs for each day. Window day and fridge days are the worst for time grind. I am selectively ocd with watermarks in the shower. I use two rags for the toilet, one (that came from the shower floor…) on the rim after the bowl brush with proper chemical, brush dried off and brush holder dried off with said rag and thrown towards doorway. Fresh rag for flush button then seat with Dettol. Dettol rag becomes new floor rag, actually sometimes used on lightswitches 🙁 if they have obvious fingerprint smudges as I’m backing out on my knees… spray mirrors, use shower scrubber to do dishes with watered down ‘zest’… lemon pledge? in sink, no rinse, polish dry. always fresh rag for dusting, but its used on everything- luggage rack where your shoes go and then under all glassware in the minibar then fridge…. hair hunting on my hands and knees under the vanity cursing my inability to ask for kneepads or just buy them myself to see if it makes a difference on my time… I want to be able to look for that stain on the bedcover, see it at a glance and have the confidence to get a new one because I could make up the time. It all plays on my psyche and I daydream about what it would feel like to be allowed to go very slow and how it would feel to the guest, how I would feel to stay in a room and not swipe for dust or imagine… I don’t like the idea of using sanitisers, love love steam cleaners… even soap and water… vinegar… anything earthy with tea tree. In a perfect world we would have the wisdom for balance between companies making money and cleaners cleaning ‘properly nice’ with enough time to do their jobs very well 🙂 thanks for listening xx

  20. Well let’s talk about the hotel guess they are nasty mean and act like the housekeepers are their maid I mean really they are not and yes some of the housekeepers can be nasty not all of them are the same just like not all of the hotel guests are a bunch of pigs , some people need to bring their aid or house made along with them and the baby sitter seriously house keepers are not there to clean up your nasty mess pick up after you or u r kids when u stay in hotels .. The nerve of some people word of advice don’t be mean to a house keeper she may be the one attending your room lol!!!!

    • Hotel guests can be gross, that’s for sure. But I still don’t think that means that a housekeeper shouldn’t do her job thoroughly. I’m never mean to a housekeeper, I don’t think most people are but they do treat the rooms much worse than they treat their homes. thanks for commenting!

      • All I have to say is that it’s very easy to say what someone else should be doing when you don’t have to do the same.

        For housekeepers it’s like a Catch-22. If you take the time you need to do the work the way you’re suppose to, then you lose your job for being too slow, but if you speed it up, then you sacrifice hygiene because you have to cut corners. Either way, someone always get’s the shaft.

        And when things are so bad that the loss of a job could mean homelessness, it makes you reassess how you behave to get the job done. Not everyone can afford to be idealistic.

  21. I don’t blame you at all for being grossed out- I work in a hotel and people try to cut costs in bad ways, e.g. using guests’ dirty towels to dry a bathroom they’ve just cleaned….makes no sense in terms of hygiene at all. However, I would say that bed linen (not comforters) and towels are always put in clean and we wash cups properly in the sink in the linen room. THANK HEAVENS FOR ANTIBAC AND SOAP.

  22. I am in hotel terms a houseman. My job encompasses making sure the lobby looks nice. Cleaning the open bathrooms, hallways, elevators and entrances. I also get to do gardening, trash and cigarette butt removal right next to ashtrays. I deliver cots, cribs, coffee, toothpaste etc, I show guests their rooms, show them how to use remote, how to plug in hair dryer. I clean poop and puke off toilet and floors and plunge as they stand behide me as if it was a phantom that caused the blockage…sometimes elevators and stairwells. Why just tonight three prepubescents spit hockers at top of elevator door to drip down that I had to clean. Patrons spit gum out on carpet, spill drinks, pee the bed, pull off wallpaper. As stated above, theres only so much time alloted to clean and cater to the spoiled, disgusting and lazy. Sorry if things arent clean enough for you.

    • I agree that you don’t have enough time to do your job, I think that’s a shame. But I stand behind my belief that a cloth used to clean one toilet should never be used to clean anything else. I appreciate your comment!

      • Housekeeping is a very tough, thankless job. In an 8 hour period, a housekeeper may have to clean anywhere from 15 to 20 rooms. The problem is that if they don’t clean all the rooms on their assignment, then they are unproductive and will lose their job. In a union hotel housekeepers may make a little more money and may be treated a bit better, but in non union they may be paid a lot less to do very hard, physical labor. Then to top it all off, the hotel may not provide them with the resources they need to clean your hotel room to perfection. It is not entirely their fault. Not every housekeeping job mirrors the movie Maid in New York.

        You must live in a bubble. When you go to restaurants, how do you know your food was prepared in the utmost sanitary conditions, or when you open a door in public, how do you know the last person who touched the same handle washed their hands? Yes its disgusting to see a room attendant use the same rag they cleaned your toilet with to clean your desk or whatever else. Maybe they are not fit for housekeeping and should apply for a job just like yours. Or maybe you should apply for a job in housekeeping since you seem to be the expert?

        The point is there are a lot of things that go on in this world and for you to take the time to blog about hotel housekeepers is stupid.

        • Well, it’s my blog so I am free to blog about what I want, when I want. And I simply stated why I choose to deny housekeeping, I wasn’t speaking badly about housekeepers, there is a big difference.

          If you’d like to start paying for my hosting and all of the things that keep my blog going then send me a check and you can have say so in what I blog. If not I thank you for reading and commenting and hope you find many of the other hundreds of topics I’ve blogged about interesting.

        • Wow,, I have been reading all the responses from the very beginning of this blog and it is amazing how people will try to turn what is clearly a few shared experiences into something offensive. I have been in house keeping for a lot of years and I would never use a cloth rag to clean a toilet in the first place,, only paper towels so they are thrown away as soon as the toilet is clean. Also a properly stocked cart will also save time. I appreciate these types of blogs. Thank you for sharing.

  23. I guess in my perspective, I feel much more at ease when I’m the one cleaning my room since I know where I put my things and knowing how well you did the room. So in a fair point of view, you do have a point.

    • I agree. I stayed at Marvin Garden’s Inn in Southfield Michigan and the staff was so outraged by me not wanting the housekeeper cleaning my room, that she threatened to call the police. Definitely, a fair point of view is expressed. In my case someone acting aggressively about coming in my room made me think they were poor and wanted to steal from me.

  24. Im like you i dont like the shoddy job they do and when i stay in a motel i always clean my own room and just ask for towels as needed…..besides the cleanliness thing i just do not want strangers going through my underwear drwer when i am not around……currently we are staying at a motel for several weeks while we look for an apartment and the other day we gave the maids our towels and told them we did not want maid service….everyone said ok and then we left for a couple of hours….when we got back it was obvious they ran in our room as soon as we left the parking lot…..we have our own blankets and pillows we use and those were on the bed….when we got back those were piled in a corner of the room along with dirty and clean clothes….and because i trusted noone would be in our room i left my brand new lap top on the table and another old laptop on the desk……..my husband went down and confronted them and they said some lame thing about there being a law that they have to come in and clean every three days….well i have not been able to find this “law” anywhere and now i am basically trapped in the room because i dont trust them to stay out and i dont feel like carrying everything i own with me every time i go somewhere

  25. You are so cool! I do not think I’ve truly read through something like that before.

    So wonderful to discover another person with some genuine
    thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thank you for starting this
    up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone
    with some originality!

  26. I agree and you can never judge the level of personal cleanliness a cleaning employee has nor their level of training or common sense. My dad owns his cleaning biz and I work for him occasionally and we are very particular about this kind of stuff.

    How the hell did you not realize it wasn’t your toothbrush though?

  27. regardless of if housekeeping use dirty rags etc etc – why do people even NEED housekeeping so regularly? I’ve seen numerous reviews where they have marked a hotel down for not changing towels every day or something like that – WHY DO YOU NEED CLEAN TOWELS EVERY DAY?? what are you doing with your towels? Do you change your bed, towels, hoover your room, clean your bathroom every day at home?

  28. hi I am an Asian and working as a housekeeper. I am 100 % sure that I dont do that kind of cleaning in our guest rooms. Because I am always putting myself in the situation of a guest everytime I’m cleaning a guest rooms. Even our public toilets. It just makes me proud when someone appreciated my way of cleaning.

  29. Hi I am a housekeeping I will never ever do what you mention above but I will tell you the truth. I as a housekeeping I always maintain a good quality standard of my self I do my job well and avoid scattering bacteria which i used a proper cleaners and rags.The reason why I care the guest is because I am self love staying beautiful luxury hotels the things that I mightn’t not happy about is when I start working as housekeeping thats the time i realise my self how pity I feel about my self. The first reason I mention this is as housekeeping you are supposed the important worker in a hotel with out them no one will stay in a hotel and no guest will ever comeback if they are not satisfied . I find my self that as a housekeeping they treat us different they pay as in a lowest amount like as a casual we was been paid 21$ per hour but we need to clean the check out room for 30 minutes and occupy room for 15 minutes and the worse is when they asked 200% clean VIP room which we spend plenty of time almost 45 minutes and it was not been paid .

  30. I am a housekeeper. I use 2 rags for the bathroom.. One for the floors, one for the washroom. I use a different one for the room with the bed. A housekeeper is not allowed to touch one thing of a guest. If a bed has something on it, we are not allowed to touch it. We sanitize all door knobs, and handles in the washroom. The phone, and the remote also gets sanitized. It sounds like you rented at the wrong hotels. 5 star or not does not mean anything. By the way, if a do not disturb sign is on the door. A housekeeper is not allowed to even knock, If they do, the guest can get a 35% discount. Privacy is important for the guest.

  31. I just want to say the vast majority isn’t asking for sparkliness. We just want something sanitary enough to be comfortable after spending a small fortune.

    This cart stuff.. who’s job is it stock the cart? Prep your cart before you go, that simple.. using a toilet sponge to clean anything other than a toilet. I do not sympathize with you and its wrong for anyone else to.

    I dont care what your plight is, trust me I won’t. It’s wrong on so many levels and it doesnt have anything to do with having the room being sparkling clean. It’s atrocious amd plain malice. I am sorry that you cannot confront that on your own.

    No one is saying that your position is easy, that you’re uneducated and that your time and pay is sufficient. But when you perform tasks in this manner, I refuse to sympathize with you.. forgetting to clean the bed or vacuum is one thing.. going through someone’s things and then essentially disinfecting the room rather than cleaning anything is the issue.

    Your cart is a long distance from the room? Since when?.. almost every hotel, the cart is right outside. If it is down the hall, its still a shorter distance than most residential rooms. You have these huge carry totes with everything: USE them, extra rags, whatever you got. There’s no damn excuse. you can’t come into a room and make it appear clean while actually leaving things that could make people ill several days after they leave the hotel. I will not condone any excuse.

    My father traveled quite a bit and I saw some things; kids stayed in the room and I was very used to watching the housekeeper but not like some guard dog. It was casual at first, almost boredom but then I noticed things.. that rag thing? Ive seen it EVERYWHERE. People even cleaning their own homes do this. Its reflexive and its utterly disgusting. I have brought it up to our housekeepers now that I’m older, and I sit around them or beside them and watch. I don’t criticize but it’s just to put me at ease.

    My brother is very messy and he now is infuriated by house keepers, he’s had everything tampered with in his new job. I don’t blame him at all.

    Don’t masquerade this by asking for pity and what kindof cruel guests stay there. Did we walk into your room and do these things? Don’t you ever justify it! Ever!

    I sympathize with the struggle of earning and keeping a buck. I will never sympathize with intention behind a multitude of what housekeeping does. Nobody here is talking about a spotless room, we are referencing behaviors where anyone’s health would be at risk. Many housekeepers are single moms, would you want your kids to be put at this risk? And i know you’re the golden housekeeper commenting and so rarely does this occur or is likely to.

    Keep in mind, most people will not mention this. Its like asking for special treatment with fast food, so get over them doing this in front of a guest or asking for a clean comforter on arrival? ha.
    My last hotel stay, I opened the bedcovers and found a garbage bag in between my sheets, a quick whiff? It was pure skunk spray. I actually ripped my bed apart, and used an extra blanket elsewhere in the room and hardly slept. I felt no shame as I made sure the garbage bag was seen upon entering the room.

    We don’t report it because we are immediately heavy handed guests. Honestly, this frame of thought of pitying you and how unlikely this all is, is what should really be met heavy handed. And i don’t really blame you, I blame a manager that encourages this behavior.

    That rag thing has been a big annoyance for me, Ive seen it at regular maintenance in hospitals, cleaning tables, chairs and the surfaces of it! Ive seen it everywhere!

    The hospitality in vegas is purely pristine and there’s a rare select breed of hotels that take huge pride in houekeeping. Hyatt ain’t exactly the ultimate luxe brand okay.

    Obviously, the hotels we mention are the ones not on the top 5 and if they are, well I’m glad its being put on the spot.

    I don’t care what your explanation or excuse is, treating every part of the room like a toilet of your human emotion for the day isn’t for anyone, no matter the obnoxious guest, cause frankly, your excuses for all of it are just as obnoxious.


    With all that said, being in this industry.. if you do not like the way things are run, find a better operated hotel.. they will usually pay better! The longer you’ve been in the business is really all you need in your resume. In low level motels, I understand all of this that goes on and as hotel guests, you need to be aware of where you’re staying.. even a 5 star, check out pictures, do some research.. if it is not a well-run establishment, you have yourself to blame.. However, some regions of the world only have a few places to look at.. if your flight is cancelled for that night, you’re stuck in the middle of the country, period. But if you have the option to choose wisely, it may not need to break the bank, just do some research.

    Most of the hotel chains that are brand names are going to be 50/50 with how well the cleaning is. You really have to be your own nancy drew/hardy boy. These big hotel chains, span countries.. Her tips in the article are useful and if a hotel calls cops on you, claims that they need to check the room because its for legality, Id stay in the room while they clean! Its at the same time everyday or you can call the front desk and ask. You can also simply leave, and put your money elsewhere.

    The hotel industry that isn’t doing great isn’t a top priority to getting fixed. So look into where you’re staying and if you’re uncomfortable with the standards of where you work, see if the option of working elsewhere is of interest to you.

    Having a roll of paper towel, which is biodegradable! Should be a must, if you do care about your work, i highly recommend dropping your rags for this, no matter what your boss says. No running around or a rag limit. Its offensive that they have a rag limit but oh well.. I feel like Ive seen this article before and always wanted to comment.
    Its a controversial topic and I’m glad its in discussion either way. These are my 2 cents as well. Certain hotel branches are always going to be like this and if you don’t want to waste your money, seek other options. You get what you pay for.. 5 star or not.. I’m noticing that sometimes, people need their stars taken away so don’t just buy into a well rated or starred up place, do your research on your own.
    An infomercial claims its the best! But you’re not a fool, so understand the limitations of hotel owners as well as housekeepers. Also, some customers are not always rude, and you know the difference when you’re looked down so don’t be quick and defensive. I feel like this is a reflexive front and some of us are just trying to get through it as well. For those that do you treat you badly, Ive seen it and its terrible but dont lump up everyone. These are valid complaints. Majority of how we feel when we find issues like these where we’re staying would upset anyone. If you complain about a complaint, you probably don’t belong in hospitality, just saying.

    Thank you to the OP for some tips about traveling and cleanliness. As well as some awareness.

  32. I lived in an extended stay motel for 10 months. Housekeeping cleaned my room a total of 3 times. I kept the room cleaned myself. Front desk had given me anything I needed upon request. What I had noticed in the 10 months I lived in the extended stay motel that Housekeeping employee turnover was high.

  33. One aspect of the housekeeping business that deserves to be stressed here is that the entire business is simply creepy to many people. I’m sure the well heeled bourgeoise and 1%er’s, who have never cleaned so much as a dinner plate in their lives, enjoy having strangers enter their private spaces.

    But when I book a room to sleep in and crash my stuff, no matter how briefly, I have the expectation that it is, well, private. And privacy demands that I, not some random interloper, have both enjoyment and responsibility for that space. I’m perfectly capable of cleaning up after myself, and do.

    Is it nice to have fresh soap and towels? Sure. But it seriously creeps me out that someone is paid to wait for me to leave the room to sneak in and rifle around my belongings. However innocuous, this is just one cultural practice I will never get used to. I can’t be the only person who feels like this.

    I hear and sympathize with the housekeepers who have commented on this page. 30 minutes a room, and with restrictions on towels and such, are abhorrent practices encouraging unsanitary conditions. A far better housekeeping policy would be to allot a deep cleaning whenever a customer checks out, then and only then. That should include the bed linens, all of them. Then, when a customer checks in, staff should be prohibited from entering a room; the keys should lock them out. And it should be regulated and enforced by law to give the staff ample time to accomplish. And the customer should be held responsible by law for returning the room as good as they left it. This would save time and energy for housekeeping staff and also make our stays more enjoyable.

    Really, I hope housekeepers will push to unionize and accomplish better working conditions. Hotels charge ridiculous sums lately. I refuse to believe even half of this goes to overhead. I’d rather have happy, well paid housekeepers, who stay out of my room while I’m there, than the disgruntled and overworked. Hotels take note: people are sick of this business.

  34. Most of what she says is true.
    It’s a slavery job. We don’t even have the right to be proud of doing a good job because with the time we are given to clean all the rooms, we’ll never do a good job. It’s a shame.

    Also, never assume the maid is uninstructed because she is a maid, or she is from another country.
    I worked as a housekeeper when I moved to another country. I have higher education from 2 different universities. More extra training along my professional life. But when I moved, I had to take the jobs that were given to emigrants.

    So, for 8 months, many people had a high graduate cleaning their room.

    People should always tip their hotel room cleaners. It’s a physically very demanding work, at the end of the day we just want to rest. They live in a modern slavery job.

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