Home Hotels How Can You Tell If Your Hotel Room Is REALLY Clean?

How Can You Tell If Your Hotel Room Is REALLY Clean?

by SharonKurheg

Even before COVID-19 entered our lives, you always kind of had to worry about the cleanliness of your hotel room.  I’m not necessarily talking about nightmare hotels; just regular hotels that you’d think (hope?) would be clean enough to suit you and…not necessarily were.

So how can you tell if your room has been “really” cleaned?

Unfortunately, we’ll never be able to tell if a room has been cleaned from top to bottom with whatever anti-coronavirus protocol the hotel has chosen to use. But there are still things to look for that can help you know if your room is at least adequately clean for, let’s call them “pre-COVID” times.

Obviously, every person’s tolerance for “clean” is different. Some people are fastidious and will want to change rooms if they see the tiniest speck of lint on the floor. Others may have allergies to dust, so an air conditioning vent with a layer of dust on it is going to be a game-changer. But for others, not so much. I can’t stand the smell of mildew on a shower curtain; Joe is more tolerant of it. So every person’s definition of “clean” (or “clean enough”) will be different. But these are still things you may want to look for:

Parking lot

First impressions count.

  • Is the grass mowed and bushes/trees trimmed? Are there weeds?
  • If there’s a trash can in the parking lot, is it overflowing?
  • If you’re arriving at night, are there any light bulbs out? If there’s just one, it’s possible it just happened but if it’s more than one, that’s a concern they’re not taking care of the place.


Of course, no one is staying in the lobby, but it can still give you an idea of how much they care and take care of the place.

  • Do the lamps in the lobby all work?
  • Is everything well dusted?
  • Do the trash cans need to be emptied?
  • Are chairs pushed in?
  • How do the workers in the lobby look? If the manager doesn’t insist on a certain level of appearance in the lobby, why would (s)he care about the cleanliness of the rooms?
  • With less “touch points” they may not be reading material in the lobby but if there is, is it neatly in place?


A lot happens in a bathroom and it’s a small, basic room where it’s easy to see if things may not have been cleaned as well as they could have.

  • Check the floor for hairs
  • Check the tub and sink for hairs, especially around the drain
  • Does the tub/shower have black-colored mold on the grout or in the corners?
  • Is there a mildew smell?
  • Do any of the fixtures have fingerprints on them?
  • Pick up the toilet seat and check for stains


The bedroom has its own things to look for, such as:

  • Again, telltale hairs on the floor (for both this room and the bathroom, I’m not going to hold it against anyone if I find one hair on the floor. Even I sometimes miss hairs on the floor when I’m cleaning. I mean more than a couple here and there)
  • If the floor is uncarpeted, take your shoes off and walk around for a minute…are your socks dirty?
  • Is everything dusted well? Even the corners of furniture?
  • How DOES that air vent look, anyway?
  • Did the housekeeper leave a card with his/her name on it? That shows responsibility. A card with no name could (not always, but possibly) mean they were cutting corners and didn’t want anyone to know
  • With the #coronacrapola, you probably won’t be able to tell if the coffee maker has been cleaned/dried because you probably won’t have a coffeemaker or teapot in the room anymore anyway. But that used to be another way to see if a room was being properly cleaned or not.

Again, peoples’ tolerance for cleanliness will vary; it’s a very YMMV situation. But the above are things to potentially look for if you want to make sure your hotel, and hotel room, are as clean as you’d prefer them to be.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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