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My Hotel is Full Of What? Bed Bugs, Bacteria, and Corpses... Oh My! What to Look For in a Hotel

Updated on September 5, 2015

When you are on vacation the last thing you want to worry about is the cleanliness of your hotel room. When you arrive to your hotel room you are ready to kick off your shoes and lie back and relax. You might watch a little TV or take a nice hot shower. However, before you even think about doing anything in your hotel room there are a few things you should always check. Your hotel room may look clean enough but there are a lot of things you may be missing.Housekeepers in hotels spend about 30 minutes on average in each hotel room. So this means that they are obviously going to miss a few things in their hurried cleaning. Also, a lot of things that you think are being automatically cleaned each day ARE NOT BEING CLEANED AT ALL!!

So when you first enter a hotel room here is a list of the things you should do first:


# 1 Check for Bedbugs!

As soon as you enter the hotel room look at your mattress, bed frame, and headboard. You are looking for little brown spots. The actual bedbugs will be very hard to find and see (plus they will probably be hiding, since they like to come out at night). You are looking for stains created by the bedbugs that have been smashed on the sheets and mattress or the stains from when the bedbug actually processes the blood from the victim it has been feeding on, which means previous guests that have stayed in your room. The absolute best places to find them are in the creases of the mattresses. If you missed the signs of the bedbugs and in the morning you wake up with three small bites near each other, you may have been the bedbug’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner last night. Hydrocortisone creams works well with relieving the itch from the bite.


Do not place your luggage or bags on the bed, even if you have inspected the bed and found no stains or traces of bed bugs. Just because you haven’t seen any visible bedbug stains does not mean that the bed is bedbug free. If you place your luggage and bags on the bed, you may be invited unwanted guests to join you back at home after your vacation is over.


Take the comforter directly off of the bed and throw it right on the floor where it belongs. Don't even hesitate, JUST DO IT. TRUST ME! The comforter is FILTHY! Hotels have admitted that they do not wash the comforters daily, or even weekly. It costs a lot of money and time to wash the comforters so instead of washing the comforters, hotels instead wash the sheets under the comforter and replace the comforter back on the bed without washing even in between guest. Even if it’s a duvet cover, take that off too. IT HASN’T BEEN WASHED!! The comforter is going to have fluid from other guest on it, such as sweat, semen, and spit. That is not something you want to be cozying up too at night.

# 4 Check under the Bed and in Closets for People

Do not walk into a hotel room and go to sleep or take a shower prior to checking everything out in your room where a person could be hiding. There have been reports of individuals hiding in hotel rooms and waiting for victims to go to sleep or to take a shower before attacking them. Also, even though very rare there have been reports of corpses being found in hotel rooms. So just be careful and check. You don't want to wake up the next morning wondering what that strange rotting smell is in your room.

#5 Check for Stains on the Sheets

This seems like a common thing to do but some people do not, so I’m adding this on here as a reminder. Check for any visible stains or hairs, if you cannot spot any with your naked eye then the sheets are probably safe enough. AS LONG AS YOU HAVE REMOVED THE DUVET AND COMFORTER!!

E Coli from fecal matter
E Coli from fecal matter | Source

# 6 Wipe Down Remotes, Phones, Door Knobs, and Light switches with Antibacterial Wipes.

The highest levels of contamination in hotel rooms were found on everyday objects that individuals use on a daily basis. These items are often not cleaned by the housekeeping staff, and many dangerous type of bacteria such as e coli (which is a fecal borne organism), Candida albicans (a fungus that causes yeast infections), and Enterococci (another feces germ) have been found on phones, light switches, remote controls, and door knobs in hotel rooms. It is best to carry antibacterial wipes with you when you travel and wipe down the controller, knobs, switches, and phone receiver and then place your do not disturb sign on your doorknob to keep the housekeeper from entering your room again. Each time the housekeeper enters your room she is bringing the most contaminated object with her into your room which is her cleaning cart. She transfers bacteria from the previous rooms to the things in your room and it turns into one big bacteria sharing party.

What You Should Do

So if you are planning on traveling and staying in a hotel remember your antibacterial wipes to clean off the few things you will be touching often. Also, I would highly recommend bringing a sleep sack or a sheet of your own to sleep on. I personally travel with a sheet each time I am going to stay in a hotel room. I buy sheets that are on clearance, because I plan on throwing them away at the end of the vacation anyway. I am not buying these sheets to keep or for their fashion statement. I buy the sheets to create a barrier between myself and the filth on the bed, and then throw it away at the end of the trip. Also, it has been recommended that hotel guests bring sandals or slippers to walk around their hotel rooms in. Due to the amount of bacteria in the hotel room, you never know what bacteria you may be picking up when walking in your bare feet. Follow these few simple rules and you should have a fun, safe, healthy, and clean stay at your next hotel.


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