Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


You've always had your suspicions, haven't you?

You've always wondered whether, beneath your hotel room's spick and span surface, there lurks a certain darkness.

Recently, I wrote about a Reddit post that suggested one hotel didn't change the sheets from one customer to the next.

I also described the experience of a friend who found a chocolate-colored stain on his hotel sheets. It wasn't chocolate.

Now, Australia's news.com has looked at more research and conducted its own investigation. I've also received one or two more reports of hotel detritus.

Naturally, this doesn't mean all hotels have gone to filth.

But here are some of the highlights. Or, if you prefer, low points of hotel hygiene.

1. Remote Controls.

These apparently house guests such as E-Coli, MSRA and staph. In essence, they can be so filthy that it's best not to touch them at all. No one watches hotel-room porn anymore, do they?

2. Light Switches, Telephones and Faucets.

These, too, seem to be crawling with things that might make your skin crawl. Or break out in hives. The culprit is simply careless cleaning. Or, one hates to suggest, no cleaning at all.

3. Glasses And Mugs.

The habit of some cleaners is, apparently, to rinse them under the bathroom tap and dry them with a hotel towel. No, soap isn't used. Drink that one in. Even the paper tops that are placed on top of glasses might have been in the room for a while.

4. Bathtubs.

More than one researcher has found, well, hairs in the bathtub. Hairs belonging to no one they know, that is. Moreover, astringent chemicals are sometimes used and not exactly rinsed properly. Sometimes, bathtubs are wiped with the same towel and gloves used to clean the toilet. Oh. Ah.

5. Beds.

One hotel's cleaning schedule required the bedspreads, blankets and mattress pads to be changed only every three months. Yes, every three months. Those blankets in the wardrobes? They might have been there since the hotel opened. Pillows might have been there for a long time too. Sometimes, they're merely fluffed and not replaced. How many hours does your face spend next to the pillows? More time than it spends next to your lover, certainly. 

6. The Drapes.

Don't assume that these are somehow supremely clean. Face it, drapes aren't easy to clean. It takes an effort to pull them down, replace them and put them up again. Some hotels, therefore, try not to bother. And when drapes have been hanging there for a while, enjoying all the stale air, they can become breeding grounds for all sorts of nasty creatures and bugs.

7. Countertops And Desks.

These can suffer from the same problem as the bathtubs. Cleaners are often in a hurry. They're also not paid enviable amounts of money. So they've been known to use the same towels to wipe all the surfaces in the room. This means that, well, stuff that they wiped in the bathroom that then get wiped onto the countertops or desks in the living area of the room. And, of course, vice-versa.