7 Ways to Tell if Your Hotel Room is Really Clean

7 Ways to Tell if Your Hotel Room is Really Clean - A hotel cleaner in uniform examining white sheets

With all the hype about dirty bedspreads, germ-ridden remotes and unsanitary glassware, travelers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to hotel room cleanliness. Most establishments seem to have pulled up their socks since the black-light-on-the-sheets investigations, and on the face of it things are looking brighter. But are those shiny surfaces really clean?

Here are some tips to spotting the room that’s been properly cleaned – and the one that just looks that way.

1.  Inspect the Lobby
No, you’re not going to be sleeping on that uncomfortable couch, but if you check out the reception area before signing in, you may get no further. First impressions really matter; if the floors are sticky or the carpet looks stained, you should probably consider leaving the same way you came in.

2.  Start with the Bathroom
Hair stuck around the drain plug, soap scum on the shower curtain or gummy stains at the base of the toilet are all sufficient cause to ask for another room or for the bathroom to be cleaned again.

3.  Check Down the Side of the Bed
If one side of the bed is close to the wall, check the space in between. It’s a real pain to vacuum in tight areas, and if that part of the floor is clean, it’s a good indication that the rest of the room will be too.

4.  Get Rid of the Bed cover
Take off the bed cover because you won't be needing it. Bedspreads are not washed after every guest checks out, and you really don't want to think about who had the room before you. If you're cold, ask for another blanket which the hotel keeps in reserve and is likely to be freshly laundered. Check for bedbugs, little brown dots on the sheets that may or may not be moving. If in doubt, use a travel sheet to avoid taking home invisible passengers.

5.  Check the Door Handles and Light Switches
Fingerprints really show up on switches and handles, so a good way to see whether the room is really clean is to have a quick look at the fixtures. A dirty door handle isn't really sufficient cause to demand a new room, but it will signal a hasty cleaning job.

6.  Move Stuff Around
Shove the television six inches off center, or pick up the phone, lamp or clock radio. Look for the tell-tale line of dust that will indicate a quick swipe with a rag rather than a thorough cleaning. Again, it's not a cause to have a meltdown, but it does mean you're going want to take extra precautions like keeping your toiletries in your bag and making sure you have something on your feet.

7.  Raise the Cistern Lid
If you want an absolute fool-proof test for cleanliness, lift the lid on the back of the toilet and take a peek inside. Nobody cleans in there on a daily basis (nor is there any need to), but the condition of the tank gives you a clear indication of how often the hotel conducts regular maintenance. If the tank walls are slimy, covered in fungus or are deeply stained, you know the cleanliness you see around you is purely superficial.

Finally, your nose is probably the best guide as to whether or not a room is clean. If it smells funky, it's dirty. Other than a few types of cheese, almost nothing that smells bad is actually good. Most hotel room odors are linked to mold and mildew, neither of which is healthy or acceptable. It's your dime. so feel free to spend it somewhere else.

So, what if you end up stuck in a hotel room that isn't as clean as you'd like it to be?
Pack prepared and protect yourself with your own naturally hypoallergenic 100% silk travel sheet from Brave Era. (You'll be so glad you thought ahead!)