14 Gross Things Hotels are Doing To Save Money

5 min read
hotel guests

Taking a vacation isn’t what it used to be. You have to ask yourself: how hygienic is this hotel? Long before COVID-19, studies showed that 81% of hotel surfaces contained fecal matter.

We are still in a pandemic, so it’s expected that sanitization protocols are taken much more seriously. However, you’ll be surprised to know that some hotels are deceiving when it comes to cleanliness.

Hotels, like any other business, are in it to make money. With drastic losses due to the pandemic, many hotels are cutting corners and doing a sub-par job providing the services you pay for.

Continue reading to learn some of the gross things hotels are still doing to save money.

14. They Don’t Clean the Sheets Between Guests

dirty sheets

This was an issue even before COVID-19, but now it’s completely inhumane. If spots or stains are visible, then those sheets are not cleaned regularly.

Producers of the Inside Edition booked nine hotel rooms for a night, and the next night, they booked the same rooms under a new name.

They found that three of the nine hotels did not bother to change the sheets. Even if changing the sheets is a hotel policy, employees may not adhere to that policy.

Maids should clean the sheets after every use. Who knows what is on those sheets, especially in this COVID-19 era. Your best bet is to ask them to change the sheets right when you check-in!

13. COVID-19 Guests May Stay There

hotel sick people

Depending on the hotel you’re at, there could be guests who are positive for COVID-19 lurking around the hallways. Many hotels are not requiring a negative test or temperature check for them to accommodate you. So, it is possible for sneaky sick people to book a room.

12. Poorly Cleaned Drinking Glasses

hotel glasses dirty

Hotel maids are not closely supervised. So, when it comes to cleaning the drinking glasses in your room, they could very likely be wiping them down rather than washing them with soap and water.

ABC ran an undercover investigation in 2009, and revelations show that 75% of the glasses were only wiped or rinsed instead of getting proper sanitization.

Other investigations carried out at various hotels found that housekeepers wash glasses with dirty cloths and spray them with stuff for external use only. Some hotels, however, have replaced their glasses with disposable ones.

11. They Don’t Change Their Mattresses Often


Typically, high-end hotels change their mattress every five years, while smaller hotels change them every 10 years. Now that they are experiencing losses due to the pandemic, do you think they’re changing now? Probably not. Since it’s too expensive to throw out a mattress every time something goes wrong, many hotels hide those problems as best they can.

10. They Don’t Bother To Change the Pillow Cases

pillow cases hotel

In 2014, when the Rossen Reports team did a hidden-camera investigation on the top hotel chains in the US, they found that the housekeepers put pillows to the side while making the bed. When they were finished making the bed, they fluffed up the pillows and promptly set them back on the bed without changing the cases!

A recent study published in the Journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, discovered that COVID-19 could spread through pillows used by presymptomatic persons.

9. They Don’t Wash Coffee Pots

coffee pot

Rumor has it that hotels don’t use dish soap or any type of cleaner to wash their coffee pots. But when was the last time you washed yours? See what I mean?

Considering their hectic schedule, it’s likely hotel maids will not do a better job than you when it comes to cleaning coffee machines.

Researchers from the University of Valencia examined nine Nespresso Machines that have been in use for one year and found bacteria in them all. Ew!

8. They Allow Sick People To Still Work

employee hotel sick

An employee from the Holiday Inn LAX complained about feeling sick. She was given the day off to take a COVID-19 test. For whatever reason, instead of staying home to await the result, they allowed the employee to continue working until she received her positive result!

7. Light Switches are Hardly Ever Cleaned

light switch

We touch light switches many times per day in our own homes. Imagine how many different people have touched the light switches in hotels!

Researchers from the University of Houston found that those in hotels rarely get sanitized. The switches, especially those on bedside lamps, are wreaked with bacteria, so this is a big problem!

6. They Don’t Change the Bed Spread

bed hotel

According to TravelTruth.com, most hotels change the bedspreads four times per year! Think about that next time you snuggle up in a hotel bed!

Did you know a colored spread is used to hide dirt? That thing could be carrying a ton of bacteria and dirt residue from all over the world!

5. They Don’t Bother with the Throw Pillows

throw pillows

Those throw pillows that decorate the bed, do you think they ever wash them? You probably toss them off the bed as soon as you enter the room. And as soon as the housekeepers make the bed, they toss them right back on, with all the germs and dirt holding on tight.

4. Poor Water Supply

water supply

The Hotel Association of New York City says hoteliers can save money by controlling the water supply. This occurrence also saves money on energy, so hotel owners can install devices to distribute water slowly. This practice means there is often not enough water running to clean laundry appropriately!

3. They Don’t Always Change the Towels


Lush, clean hotel towels are so refreshing. There are usually plenty available for you when you check-in, and you hardly ever use them all unless you’re staying for a long while.

The question is: what happens to the towels that seem untouched but were actually used a few times to wipe your hands? To save on electricity, detergent and labor, maids will likely leave them for the next guest to use. This low-cost policy can benefit the environment but is far from sanitary!

2. Skipping Cleaning Day

clean, dirty, hotel

Some hotels are skipping cleaning days! Previously, guests got a $5 credit if they opt not to get their room cleaned. Now, most hotels are not cleaning your room unless you are staying over three nights. Hoteliers decided it’s not safe nor necessary. In the meantime, you are not getting your room wiped down and sanitized enough as it should be during a pandemic.

1. They Choose Colorful Carpets on Purpose

carpet hotel

Colorful carpets hide stains, so any stains you can envision are likely embedded in that lush carpet but not visible to the eye. These carpets are many times a work of art, so they can be quite deceiving to guests.

To stay or not to stay…

Staying at a hotel these days is causing some concern, but you can observe the protocols laid out to safeguard yourself. You can’t control what other people do, but you can control your actions with knowledge!

Travel experts say they still have some hotels that they trust to do things right, according to Readers Digest.