I love to travel and have stayed in my share of hotels. If you do it enough, eventually there will be a time when you find yourself in a hotel that just isn’t very clean.
One major indicator is the bedspread or comforter on your bed. When you pull back these covers to crawl into a surprisingly made bed, what do you find?
I’ll never forget the time I stayed at a nice hotel in Thailand and my right arm ( which I was laying on for a while) began itching like mad. I checked my arm in the mirror to find huge bites all over my arm.
The comforter or bedspread may look clean, but are they? Let’s talk about how often hotels wash these linens.
How Often Do Hotels Wash Linens
Typically, hotels wash their linens once a week. That includes sheets, pillowcases, and all kinds of comforters. However, they usually change sheets and pillowcases between guests.
Ritz Carlson, the Peninsula, and the Four Seasons chain say they change all bed linen and covers between guests.
How Often Do They Wash Bed Covering
Some hotels’ bed coverings do not come with a duvet and are just a flat sheet and bedspread. These types of covers can be washed in-home machines.
Some hotels wash these kinds of sheets every 3 days if the hotel has an average number of guests (about 90). It depends on what kind of beds they have, whether it is 2 people or 4.
Watch out for hotels that use multi-colored linens. This is a sly way to hide stains and dirt. This is especially true of bedspreads that are multi-colored.
Comforters and Duvets
When you request housekeeping, do they always give you a fresh washed comforter? I noticed my hotel comforter/duvet is rarely automatically changed – unless I request it.
When housekeeping goes around, I always see sheets, towels, coffee, toiletries, etc. on their carts. But I only recall seeing housekeeping tugging comforters ONE time through all the hotel stays I had. So this is a sign that hotels don’t always change comforters and duvets as needed.
Can I Wash My Own?
Some hotel guests can wash their bedding if they want to save some money on laundry costs. When I recently stayed at Clarion Suites in Alaska, a guest laundry was available.
Bugs and Hotel Linen
It’s difficult to tell how often hotels actually wash their bedding. When I stayed in Chicago, I was able to smell the scent of bleach in all the sheets, comforter, and pillowcases. I was impressed by the overall cleanliness until I spotted a bedbug the next morning!
Some hotels such as the Ritz Carlton and Marriott will immediately strip your bed and replace all bedding when you make a report of finding an uninvited guest.
For those that do not, what you need to do is take pictures of the bug and send them to management. This should be enough evidence for them to replace all bedding. Sometimes it is a good idea to bring your pillow if you are concerned about bedbugs or other germs.
How Can You Tell If The Linen Is Clean?
The biggest way to tell if the sheets are clean is by smelling them. If they smell fresh and clean, then you can guess they have been recently washed. When I check into a hotel room, the first thing I do is check the sheets. I move the pillows back, pull sheets back, smell everything, and check for stains.
If you see stains, take photos immediately and alert housekeeping. Not only is it unclean, but you don’t want to be blamed for stains that were already there. Some hotels charge a fee for stained sheets.
The smell of smoke on the sheets and covers is another sign of uncleanliness. When I smell cigarette smoke on linens, I request another room unless the hotel has no availability.
Is Hotel Cleanliness regulated?
Some state laws may require cleanliness standards, but managers don’t always enforce such rules. It is up to the hotel manager to maintain those standards.
New York State Department of Health regulations says that “every guest room shall be provided with an adequate supply of clean towels, sheets, and pillowcases that are changed on a regular schedule…”. This initiative has not stopped dirty hotel linens in rooms.
According to a former hotel worker on Quora:
“No. Sheets are done often enough to maintain the par stock and in many/most cases are changed daily. There’s a growing trend, though, for hoteliers to ask guests if they want to have their sheets changed daily or not. Bedspreads/comforters are rotated according to a longer schedule, but I don’t know of any hotel that changes them daily.”
Final Thoughts About How Often Hotels Wash Linens
When I stay in a hotel, I always look forward to a comfortable experience. I need clean bedding free of bugs and the previous guest’s hair. When we pay the money we pay for a hotel, we should not have to sleep in filth.
More hotels need to manage their room upkeep effectively. It would include keeping sheets fresh and crisp as well as comforters well-aired.