Why Do You Rarely See Glasses on the Housekeeping Cart?

This video is from about ten years ago, but it’s been going around again and some friends have linked me to it again.

In an undercover investigation, the group set up undercover cameras to see what happened when the dirty dishes were left out.

Apparently not much–in a bad way.

Hidden cameras in hotel rooms were set up, and discovered that the maids rinse out the used cups with either just water, or a chemical solution not suitable for drinking.

Sometimes they even use your leftover washcloths to dry them out, or “washed” the cups while wearing the gloves they wore when cleaning out the toilet (no joke!).

The camera crew tried to talk to management about how unsanitary and against health regulations this practice is, but they refused to say anything on the issue.

Ignore the over-dramatization of the bacteria and the suggestion that you can get flesh eating bacteria from this.

But imagine you have some friends stop by for a drink in your room and one isn’t feeling really well.  This method of cleaning basically creates a Russian roulette of who will become ill when you invite them in the next night.

I don’t think all hotels do this.  Sometimes I’ve come back to different glass types in the Hyatts I’ve stayed in–clearly, washing them didn’t transform them into entirely different glasses.

But the video did make me nervous enough to rinse out glasses with hot water at the property types listed in the video when I first saw it.  Or even use the disposable coffee cups instead of the glasses.

But other places, I generally trust the glasses.  What do you do?

glasses in a room

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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One comment

  1. I avoid the hotel glasses, I go to the lounge and grab an arm full of bottles of water and bring it to the room each day. If they don’t have a lounge at the property I’ll grab a case at convenience store. I do make every attempt to recycle the bottles, usually easier in overseas hotels – less than half of my US hotels bother recycling for some reason.

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