Shocking Hotel Housekeeping Secret: Why You Should Hide Your Toothbrush!

According to one hotel guest going viral, leaving your toothbrush out on the sink when you leave the room may mean housekeeping uses it in the course of their cleaning. He found employees doing just that.

Real estate agent Lavell Jackson shares his experience at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. He says, “From this moment on, I’m making it a point never to leave my toothbrush exposed at any hotel I stay at” claiming that his toothbrush was used for cleaning. He reports that the hotel offered him a $50 credit and a new toothbrush.

@buyandsellwithlavell Mandalay Bay Las Vegas. Housekeeping horror stories. Why would you Ean with someone's toothbrush?!? #mandalaybaylasvegas #mgm #lasvegas ♬ original sound – Lavell Jackson

Here’s an ex-hotel manager telling guests they should put away their toothbrushes – don’t leave them out in the bathroom – because housekeepers may mess with them.

Maybe the housekeeper is in a bad mood, thinks the guest is rude, or isn’t tipping. The manager says that housekeepers may “clean certain areas in bathrooms with a guest’s toothbrush that you don’t want to have near your mouth.”

@melly_creations Replying to @tee..lex I have heard that this happens. I have personally never seen it. It is definitely NOT okay to do this. #hotels #hotelstaff #advice ♬ original sound – Melly

It’s not just toothbrushes. I’ve frequently heard of housekeepers using the same service rag throughout the bathroom and it is why I’d never use a glass cup in the bathroom to drink from. Beijing hotels were actually caught using the toilet bowl cleaner on the room’s drinking glasses.

And just because a brand standard may dictate changing all the sheets on the bed and changing out all of the towels in the bathroom, that doesn’t mean it always happens. Staff may cut a few corners. Better hotels will inspect rooms after they’re cleaned but not every shortcut is visible to the eye. So I’m reminded of this hotel general manager who said the quiet part out loud:

Sheets might not be changed if a bed doesn’t look slept in. Towels still folded and on the rack may be left there between guests. Even if that’s not the instruction that housekeepers are given and especially where management, like this one, is supportive.

In 1874 Stockholm’s Grand Hotel became the first in Europe to change sheets in between guests. Unfortunately there are hotels in modern times where this idea didn’t seem to catch on. And that’s in beds that had been slept in.

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

At a minimum, put away your toothbrush. And put away all of your tempting personal items. Don’t leave anything of value in obvious view. The fact that it could happen is probably enough for some of you to think twice about leaving your toothbrush out.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Pro tip: Leave your toothbrush in the bathroom when staying at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. When you return to your room, your toilet bowl and shower should be meticulously clean and sanitized.

  2. The $50 credit and a new toothbrush seems reasonable to me but I understand it shouldn’t be happening whether a tip is left or not.

  3. Just store all your hygiene items out of reach from housekeeping. I do not want anything moved by hands or gloves that have cleaned five other guest rooms.

    In other horrors I have witnessed the toilet used as a bucket to mop the floor. There is no five second rule should something hit the ground.

  4. People don’t decline housekeeping services? Who wants a stranger rummaging through their stuff?

  5. Hide the toothbrush? I put away my toiletries and lock them up while away. I also don’t trust the hotel rooms’ “clean” glass glasses that aren’t sealed in plastic. Why? Having hired household cleaning staff who previously worked at hotels, I was shocked to see how many of them would ”clean” used dishes left in or by the sinks or elsewhere around the houses. Had to institute a requirement that all dishes be put in the dishwasher and only start to run the dishwasher when they leave. And anything that was likely hand-washed by them would go right into the dishwasher.

    If you get sick with a gastrointestinal infection from unhygienic practices, cleaners are less likely to be focused on as the source of the problem than what food you ate or what you drank. That difference has implications.

  6. You would be shocked by how some of the bathrooms are “cleaned” by hotel housekeepers. Things like first wiping down the toilet with a towel and then using the same towel to clean the fixtures that turn on the water in the sink or shower. Maybe they will spray one or two quick pumps of a disinfectant but they won’t even necessarily rinse off the physical debris on the dirty batrhoom towel used to clean the toilet, toilet seat and toilet flush.

    After you see this stuff enough, you realize how hygiene standards and common sense are not uniform. Which is probably a major reason why short populations are as short as they are and there is so much height diversity.

  7. This reeks of boomer facebook posts (previously boomer e-mail forwards) debunked on Snopes. What happened to this website?

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