There Are Filthier Things In Your Hotel Room Than The Bedspread — And They Aren't What You'd Expect

HuffPost's "Am I Doing It Wrong?" podcast offers tips for scoring a great deal on a hotel room and what to do to ensure your stay is as hygienic as possible.
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A cloud-like bed.

An endless supply of fresh towels.

A mini-fridge full of delicious snacks.

These are just a few of the reasons why most of us love staying in a hotel.

But spending a night in a place where strangers have slept, lounged and done... ahem... other things means the potential to encounter something ick is especially high, even if the room has been cleaned by the hotel’s housekeeping staff.

“I have such strong memories — this is so engrained in me — of my mother telling me anytime we were in a hotel to peel the duvet cover/comforter down to the foot of the bed and don’t lie on it because those are cleaned the least often,” HuffPost senior reporter Caroline Bologna recently told us — Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson, co-hosts of HuffPost’s “Am I Doing It Wrong?” podcast.

Countless stories have been published about how many germs are probably also lurking on hotel remote controls and lamp switches, but those aren’t the only parts of your room that might be secretly — or not so secretly — disgusting.

“I’ve heard the coffee pot [can be really gross] because you don’t know when’s the last time they cleaned it is,” Michelson said. “Not just the pot itself, but the filter where [the ground coffee and water] is going can have mold in there.”

If you still want to brew yourself a cup of coffee but don’t want worry about how filthy the machine might be, you can wash it using a hack you can prep before you leave home.

“Take a kitchen sponge, fill it with soap, let it dry out, cut it in pieces and then just bring one of those pieces with you, and you can re-saturate it, and it’ll be soapy and you can clean the glasses [in your room] or you can clean the coffee pot,” Michelson suggested.

Another item you might want to steer clear of? The ice bucket.

“I’ve read that people are using them to vomit in all the time, and they aren’t necessarily being cleaned,” Michelson warned. “If you’re going to use the ice bucket, use a [plastic liner bag provided by the hotel] or thoroughly wash it with the little sponge” you brought from home.

We also chatted about how to score a room upgrade, how much and how often we should be tipping the cleaning staff, and much more:

After you’ve had a listen above or wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe to “Am I Doing It Wrong?” so you don’t miss a single episode, including our investigations of the ins and outs of tipping, how to score the best deals on airline tickets, apologizing, vanquishing your credit card debt, finding love online, online shopping, overcoming anxiety, the secrets to taking care of your teeth and pooping like a pro.

Need some help with something you’ve been doing wrong? Email us at, and we might investigate the topic in an upcoming episode.

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