Hotel housekeeper dishes the dirt on hotel room hygiene

A former hotel housekeeper has lifted the lid on what goes on behind the scenes in your hotel room when it is being cleaned.

The 19-year-old student from dished the dirt after a stint working as a housekeeper at a five-star hotel in Melbourne.

“When you always visit five-star hotels, you think you are getting the best services, clean linen and everything,” she told the ABC.

“But when you actually go behind the scenes to do the work, you realise that not everything goes as you expect.”

Common tactics adopted by housekeepers to save time involved using hand towels to clean toilet bowls and never or rarely changing doona covers and comforters, she said.

Speaking to the ABC, Marylouise McLaws, a professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases control at University of New South Wales, compared staying in a hotel to “sharing your bedroom” with hundreds of other people.

She said that “the toilet is probably the cleanest thing” in the room, with “high-touch” areas like chairs, remote controls, light switches and desks likely to be the most germ-filled parts of hotel rooms.

“Most of those bacteria are not going to cause you a problem … but you don’t know that,” she said.