Top Signs of a Dirty Hotel Room

|October 19, 2019

When we stay at hotels, we put our trust in the workers of the hospitality industry to have done a thorough and sanitary job. Although while, in many cases, that trust is often deserved, the unfortunate reality is that in many other instances it is not, which puts your health and well-being at risk. If you’re staying at a hotel room and want to make sure you can trust the integrity of the cleaning staff, here are the top signs of a dirty hotel room and how you can identify them.


Bathrooms are a great place to check as they hold some of the germiest areas that a hotel room has to offer. Check the corners to see if there is any buildup accumulating, which would be a sign that the staff has (literally) cut corners when sanitizing and mopping. The tub drain is also a good indicator of how thoroughly they have paid attention to the details, as is the underside of the toilet lid and inside the toilet tank.


For the sleeping area, check the underside of the pillows to see if they’ve simply been flipped, and inspect the sheets properly – any remaining wrinkles are a sign they have not been cleaned, and any brown ‘spots’ could be bed bugs – which is incredibly serious, and you should leave immediately. If there is a fabric headboard, look at that carefully to get an idea how they do cleaning on things other than the ‘big ticket’ items. Check the bedspread with the most vigilance, as that often gets skipped the most – if you’re unsure, ask for a replacement blanket which is much more sure to have been freshly laundered.


If you have more concerns over the quality of the cleaning, there are some less obvious places you can check. Look around the coffee machine or phone or any other items on the tables – if there is a significant amount of dust around them, they probably haven’t been moved to do a deep clean in far too long. Look under furniture in areas that are hard to see or reach and see if they are grimey, as that means they are definitely skipping over areas. In general, don’t put your toothbrush down on the counter, as the cleaning crew probably uses one rag to clean multiple surfaces. Be wary of ice buckets, which may only have been given a wipe down after another guest could have used it as a trash.

The best thing you can do, however, is before you even check in – read reviews on travel websites to see what other guests are saying. If a hotel is consistently doing a subpar job cleaning their rooms, that information is more available today than ever before. The reality is that most hotel rooms are probably cleaned decently well, and, on the whole, there’s no reason to be paranoid. It is important, however, to take health and safety concerns seriously, especially when it’s so easy for germs and bacteria to be passed from stranger to stranger. You are your own best resource, and with a little research and a quick look around the room, you’ll gift yourself peace of mind so you can sleep soundly in any hotel bed.

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