Here’s One More Thing That Can Go Wrong At Hotels With Bulk Toiletry Containers

IHG hotel group announced earlier this year that by 2021, they will remove all the miniature toiletries from hotel rooms worldwide and replace them with bulk containers. Many IHG hotel hotels already employ this practice, including many Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites properties.

While I’m OK with the changes, some have a stronger opinion on the subject.


Gary from View from the Wing has this to say:

The problem is that wall dispensers are awful and must be stopped.

  • They don’t get refilled properly and when they do get refilled hotels are more likely to use counterfeit products.
  • They’re germ magnets
  • And guests have been known to put stuff in them you wouldn’t want there. Even where there have been safeguarding locks in place I’ve had rooms where those weren’t locked.

I’m not going to worry about hotels using counterfeit products, as they could do that already if they wanted to. They’d be no more prone to germs that the ones in my home and if someone filled it, they’d need to empty it out in order to be at the bottom of the pump dispenser and that’s more thought than a simple prankster will tend to put into something as childish as that.

However, there was one thing that didn’t make his list and this happened to me.

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So, do you see it?

There are two shower gels and no shampoo. To make things worse, the shower gel on the right is clearly empty.

Since this was a Candlewood Suites, there’s no daily housekeeping service so these containers have likely been like this for a long, long time.

Maybe the guests before brought their own shampoo, like I did. Maybe they used the soap as shampoo, which is fine in a pinch. At least you’d have a conditioner to make sure you don’t do too much damage to your hair.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

7 thoughts on “Here’s One More Thing That Can Go Wrong At Hotels With Bulk Toiletry Containers”

  1. This will all go swimmingly until inevitably someone puts hydrochloric acid in one. And those people are out there. And eventually you’ll get the LSD in the strangers-delivering-my-cold-fast-food stupidity too, which will put a damper on that too.

    1. If those people really were out there, wouldn’t you think it would be easier for them just to take bottles from the housekeeping cart and replace them? That way they could hit several rooms at the same time and there’s no way to trace it back to a single room. And the fact I thought of that worries me.

  2. What this will make me do is bring my own shampoo in mini plastic disposable bottles and I will throw them out in the trash before I return home. No plastic saved and more headaches for the public. Environmentalists often don’t realize most of their solutions aren’t even environmentally friendly or practical. Plastic is no harm to the environment if it is thrown in a landfill. As long as it is kept out of the ocean we are fine. I doubt most are chucking their shampoo bottles in the ocean. While I’m fine with airlines and hotels voluntarily going with biodegradable straws and reducing plastic, some things like getting rid of mini shampoo bottles are going to far.

      1. When I travel I like to be able to leave behind a lot of the toiletries and other things I brought on the trip. I don’t want a used mini bottle of shampoo when I can buy a new mini disposable container in 4 months that I will travel in the future.

  3. Just FYI on Watkins products at Candlewood. Those bulk bottles don’t get refilled. They just replace them when empty.
    I would also argue that “shower gel” isn’t the same as bar soap.
    Maybe hotels should stop offering individual butter packets in the dining areas, we could just pass around a gallon tub of country crock. That would save some penguins or some such.

  4. The communal dispenser is not the cause of two shower gels. I’ve stayed in hotels still using the mini bottles that had been stocked with two conditioners and no shampoo.

    The main problem I encounter with these communal dispensers is that they are empty. Both of these problems are caused by mediocre housekeeping staff. That will always be a problem.

    Like you, it doesn’t bother me. I travel with shampoo.

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