A few months ago, I wrote a tip about how much to tip housekeeping and make sure they actually get it. It turned out to be a fairly popular post and I received a number of good comments and emails from readers, chiming in with some tips of their own. One of those comments from a reader named Rich offered up a suggestion that I’d never thought of doing.

Rich says: “Here’s a tip from a friend who used to work at hotels. He actually strips the bed when he is checking out. Two reasons – one, it helps the housekeeper because it’s one less thing to do, and two, it ensures that the next guest in the room gets fresh sheets! A number of hotel housekeepers have been caught not changing sheets between guests, and my friend’s technique ensures that won’t happen. Paying it forward!”

It’s a solid tip, don’t you think? There aren’t too many times that I thought my hotel hadn’t changed the sheets but now this has me thinking back that maybe, just maybe they hadn’t as I have found hairs in and on my bed before.

On a side note, it’s always lovely when I come home from a trip and have a long blonde hair stuck to my clothes. That’s a whole other story.

Fortunately, there aren’t too many hotels that have bed spreads but if they do, usually for design purposes, they get kicked right to the floor since they’re not washed very often.

These days, with the labor shortage, there’s probably a much greater chance the sheets aren’t getting changed than before the pandemic. Heck, some hotels aren’t even offering housekeeping any longer. I don’t mind this at all because I’m usually only in a hotel for a short period of time and I don’t like people coming into my room since it increases the chance of things getting stolen, misplaced and more germs. Pre-pandemic too.

I definitely don’t need my sheets changed, towels replaced or trash emptied. Unless, of course, I’m traveling with my kids then I really need house-keeping multiple times a day. Ha!

How about you? Have you ever discovered your hotel or house rental didn’t change the sheets? If yes, what did you do and did the hotel or rental place agree?

6 Comments On "Paying It Forward: The Trick To Ensuring The Next Guest Gets Clean Sheets"
  1. John D Mahilo|

    Yep….my wife has done this for over a decade. Great advice.

  2. Teresa D Hill|

    GREAT tip! I read it just before checking out of a hotel this morning and so I did exactly that thanks to your article.

  3. Scott|

    Not a foolproof solution A determined Housekeeper would just put the sheets back on. How about marking them with a lipstick or or something.

  4. K.D. Morgan|

    I remember landing for the night at a Hampton Inn hotel in New Jersey. A friend and I were traveling together. Upon checking in, we entered to find that not only were there roaches in the room, but when my friend pulled back the bedspread, there was a huge wet spot! We didn’t even want to Think about what That was about! We demanded and got another hotel room. But after that incident, I have steadfastly refused to ever stay at a Hampton Inn again — and that was 14 years ago!

    Re: the tip to ensure clean sheets for the next guest — no bueno. I agree with the other commenter who said that it doesn’t really ensure anything if the housekeeper is really determined to not do his/her/their job. And what about the reason that I am at a hotel??? It’s for pampering and service, that I’m paying for, BTW. If I wanted to strip linens, I would’ve just stayed home!

  5. Laurie D.|

    This is an ongoing debate on vacation home rental sites – whether or not the guests are asked to strip the beds on checkout. Some like it as it is less work for the cleaners or owners, but other owners/property managers prefer that guests leave the sheets on the bed because they don’t want the guests to have to do any work and also it is easier to spot stains that can be dealt with more easily before washing.
    I know it sounds gross, but even after washing some hairs can stick to the sheets or blankets. They can even fall out of the head of the cleaner when she is making the bed. Not pretty, but I doubt that an odd hair ever killed anyone or made them sick!

  6. Robert|

    Great tip. When traveling, I inspect the entire room with black light and all. I search for bugs, residue in rugs, walls and restrooms. What I can’t see is what bothers me the most. The cleanest hotel I have ever visited was the Rosewood Hotel of the Anasazi, Santa Fe. I couldn’t find a flaw in my room. I walked barefoot and took a long bath.

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