11 Things I Learned From Being a Housekeeper

by Crystal Carder
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When I was 16, I started working for a little small-town motel. This hotel, was super clean to look at and, at first, I really thought being a housekeeper there would be a really easy job, boy was I wrong!!

My first day of work, not only did I get the surprise of a lifetime,  but I saw things I can literally never unsee. (People literally smeared human feces all over the first room I had to clean…gross!)

After working as a housekeeper for almost 2-years, I no longer look at hotels the same and I doubt you do after reading these facts…

Not All Rooms Are Cleaned the Same

You know those times when you go to check into a hotel, but the hotel doesn’t have your room ready yet? Well, normally,  the hotel will rush the housekeeper to finish that room, so beware of what your housekeeper is or is not cleaning.

No, Comforters Are Not Always Washed

It amazes me just how many people think their comforters get cleaned after every hotel stay because truth is, they don’t. Comforters are probably one of the dirtiest items in a hotel and are lucky to be cleaned every few weeks. Most of the comforters in our hotel only got cleaned when we saw a noticeable stain or dirt all over it.

If It Looks Clean, Don’t Believe It

When you have a whole floor of rooms to clean and are the only housekeeper on that floor, sometimes you have no choice but to take every shortcut possible. Sometimes these shortcuts get done with the things the next person booking that hotel room are bound to use. While I personally never did it, I have seen housekeepers skip changing hotel linens if they looked unused. I’ve also heard of them not cleaning things in the room that looked clean just to save some time. So next time you head to a hotel, you may want to bring your own linens and Clorox wipes.

The Last Person in Your Room May Have Done Gross Things

My first day as a housekeeper, I knocked on a door, opened it and saw human feces all over the place. It was so gross that I could not believe someone could do such things. While we cleaned the room to the best of our abilities, you should never ever eat food off a hotel floor or walk around barefoot. Just because your room looks clean, remember you have no idea what the people before you did in it.

Not All Housekeepers Want to Charge You Extra

Growing up, my father would freak out if a tiny stain would get on a hotel towel or linen because he thought the hotel would try to charge us. Not only was he completely wrong, but most of the time housekeepers don’t care about stains. (Hotels use white linens so they bleach them all anyways after each stay).

Housekeepers Don’t Like it When You Sneak Up on Them

At just 16 years old, I would always get freaked out when a hotel guest would come in while I was cleaning a room. Not only did I have no clue who they were, but I had no idea why they were even there in the first place.

Housekeepers Do More Than Most People Realize

At most smaller hotels, a housekeeper does more than just clean rooms. Some housekeepers are in charge of laundry, ordering supplies, some maintenance, and so much more, so don’t ever think your housekeeper has more time than she lets on.

They Don’t Care How Many People are in Your Room

I’ll admit, I always freak – out when I book a room and realize I only checked 2 kids and not 3, but in all honesty, most hotels do not care. Unless your room is having a party, most housekeepers are not going to say anything if they notice an extra person in the room, in fact, most of the time we didn’t even know how many were supposed to be in a room.

Most People Do Not Know What “Do Not Disturb” Means

So many times, we would get a guest who used the “do not disturb” sign and would come complaining in the evening when their room wasn’t cleaned up. The “do not disturb” sign keeps housekeepers from entering your room, not other guest, so if the signs up, we’re not going to come in. And please, take the sign down when you check out, so we know we can clean your room.

Make Sure You Answer Your Housekeeper’s Knock

Housekeepers don’t like to just walk into a room if they know someones in it, so if they knock and your in there please answer. There have been times guest would deliberately not answer and then we would walk in on them half naked or worse; we really don’t want to see that, so please speak up when they knock.

It’s Common Courtesy to Tip Your Housekeeper

Apparently, when you don’t tip your waitress its rude, but don’t tip your housekeeper who cleans your bathroom and its fine?? Did you know its actually polite to tip your housekeeper and very well appreciated since most housekeepers are lucky to make minimum wage.

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