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Hampton Inn CommercialSometimes you don’t want to know if something is clean or not (in my case, it’s just about anything I order in a restaurant). Other times, it’s all you can think about.

That’s the contention of a new Hampton Inn ad questioning the cleanliness of sheets in other hotel chains. Let’s take a look.

Effective, right? Perhaps, but according to an interesting piece by consumer advocate Christopher Elliott, it’s a little over the top. Writes Elliott, “Sheets are usually changed between guests, and sometimes state law requires it, but there’s no guarantee that they will be.” He does contend, however, that “it’s probably safe to say that all major hotel chains, including Hampton, instruct their housekeepers to change sheets between guests.”

Elliott indicates a few gray areas to keep us on our toes — for instance, what happens if a housekeeper sees a made-up bed but assumes incorrectly that no one slept in it the night before, then doesn’t swap out the linens? What-if’s aside, his overall conclusion is reassuring: “It’s possible for you to end up sleeping on someone else’s sheets. But if you’re staying at a major hotel chain, it’s highly unlikely.”

That’s the sort of thing I like to hear, though truth be told, I wonder about a lot of other things when it comes to hotel cleanliness. For instance, when’s the last time the bathroom was really scrubbed — and why is there hair in the drain? What’s that weird stain on the duvet? Actually, inasmuch as most hotels don’t wash bedspreads between guests, I try not to think about who — or what — was on top of that duvet before me.

Were those drinking glasses sanitized before they were placed in the room? Or were they left over from the last guest, simply rinsed out and deemed “ready to use”? Depends on where you’re staying. According to our guide on finding a clean hotel room, “It’s the law in both Missouri and Kansas that hotel room glasses and cups must be sanitized. Kansas’ law goes even further to state that washing of glassware must take place outside of the room.”

I have a friend who won’t go barefoot in a hotel room, for fear of what may be lurking in the carpet. I’m not that bad, but … well, now I’m thinking about that duvet.

— written by John Deiner

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5 Responses to “Hotel Sheets and You: What Lurks Beneath the Linens?”

  1. Vicki says:

    Pulling in late at night to a mom/pop arrangement on the CA coast, I was just more that a little horrified to find a dried fecal pile on the bed cover. Took it to manager who said it was from a raccoon….that he had problems with staff not remembering to keep doors closed while cleaning. There were NO other rooms. I went back to the unit – and then noticed the big cat sleeping on kitchen chair. I took the animal back to manager and told him I found his raccoon. Manager was not very civil at this point. We had NO other place to go – we were in a very desolate part of coast. OK – so there is my bed linen experience!!!

  2. Eeeuw, yuk! I suggest staying at a guest house, B&B or other small family run establishment where the owners take control and know what’s going on. Checking out guest reviews is also helpful. As owners of a guest house, we’ve chosen to do everything ourselves and there’s no confusion about whether bed linen has been changed or bathrooms properly cleaned. We take pride in our squeaky clean rooms and have just been given a prestigious Silver Award by the England Tourist Board.

  3. Vicki says:

    I understand everything you say. Ordinarily that would have been done in advance. This time, however, we were delayed and ran out of daylight on the twisty curvy reaches of Hwy 101. So – we were at the mercy of the devil, it seems.

  4. Marjorie says:

    I was staying at a large hotel chain in Aruba. I had my suspicions about the glasses and coffee mugs in my room. I got a nasty cold on day two. I asked if they were washed the glasses every day and was told they were taken out and exchanged everyday. Still I thought something was funny b/c when I was in the halls when the cleaning carts were out side the rooms I did not see a cart with clean glasses and coffee mugs. I started to mark the bottom of each glass and each mug with a magic marker, just a small x. After three days I asked to speak to the manager and showed him my 3 x’s for the three days my glasses had never been cleaned. Of course there were a lot of excuses etc, but the bottom line was there was no dishwasher facility in my building and they were not well enough staffed to make sure the glasses were taken back to the kitchen and washed everyday. I hate to tell you what they wipe out those glasses with, right you guessed it, the same dirty rag they clean the bathrooms with!… This was a very big hotel chain too. So go with your gut feeling!

  5. Karen Bryan says:

    Yes I’ve seen some stains on hotel duvets but it’s I think it’s too much to expect hotels to wash them after every guest.

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