Cleaning my hotel room
Cleaning my hotel room
My guy laughs at me, but gets why I do this…
I’ve mentioned on my About page that I’m a flight attendant for a little commuter airline. That’s my day job. And I like it fine. Passengers and crews are great. There are issues that take the joy out of the whole affair, but the suits don’t get it. And won’t ever. But I digress.
The crews sleep in a different hotel every night at work– a dozen or more nights each month. Some are Hiltons, Hyatts, or Doubletrees, and others are Hampton Inns or Crowne Plazas, or worse…Quality Inns and Holiday Inn Express. Most are fine. Actually, Hampton Inns are generally reliable with decent beds and linens, clean floors, and safe.
I’m not a neat freak. At home, everything may have a place, but generally things are clueless just where that place may be. Our bed gets made twice a week. Once when I change the sheets and again when the cleaning girl comes. I do pick up. My house is clean, but not immaculate.
When I’m on a trip and get to my hotel room, if it’s going to be a short overnight— say a 10-hour layover— I’ll get to my room, shower, eat a snack, and crash, hoping to get six hours of sleep before getting up the next morning.
A 10-hour overnight translates to about 8 useable hours in your room. Those 10 hours start from our arrival time one night until we’re due back on duty at the airport the next morning. We may park at the gate at 9:30 pm and be due back at the airport at 7:30 am. But, the passengers are still on the plane, need to collect their bags, and get off.
Then, we’ve got to get our own bags, go find our hotel van somewhere near ground transportation– which may or may not be there waiting, in which case, we call and wait for them to come pick us up, drive to the hotel, and check in. It may be 10:30 pm before I walk into my room and shut the door. Then, we need to be downstairs the next morning for the shuttle to take us back to the airport at 7 or 7:15 am. Like I said, about 8 usable hours to shower, chill down, and sleep.
I’ve gotten my routine down pretty pat. We have these early morning departures where we’re supposed to be at the airport around 4 am. I can get out of the bed and be ready to walk out the door in less than 20 minutes. Eighteen, to be exact.
How? I, like many people I work with, have developed a routine. I never unpack, I lay out the next day’s clothes, everything has a place— whether that location is in my suitcase or where I place it in my room— and I try to keep everything in the same place in each hotel (unlike my home). I shower the night before, so getting ready is little more than slapping on some makeup, running a brush through my hair, and jumping into my clothes. Glamorous isn’t going to happen at 4 am.
But, on those layovers when we’ll have anywhere from 12-16 hours sitting in a hotel, I’ll do a little more in my room.
I still don’t unpack, everything is in it’s place, but I clean those surfaces I’ll be using.
Most of our rooms have microwaves and refrigerators. Many flight crews carry their food with them. I don’t like having to get out at 8 or 10 pm to look for dinner in a strange town. Heating up leftover enchiladas, climbing into my bed, and watching TV is nice at the end of a long day.
And it’s quiet. Airports are noisy.
But, these are still hotels where lots of people have stayed. And I don’t know how well it’s been cleaned after the last guest.
And guests can be nasty. I get that it’s a big job. And I know hotels are concerned that their rooms are clean.
It’s been reported that the remote control has more germs on it than any surface in a hotel room. Makes sense, when you think about it.
Airline crews can be real jerks at a hotel, too. A few act like they live in palaces. Maybe they do, but why are you working here, then? There’s no need in making a scene.
I just take care of myself. Here’s how I clean—-
I carry a small bottle of isopropyl alcohol in my lunch tote and pour a little puddle onto the desk, the bedside table by the side of the bed I’ll be using, bath vanity, the toilet seat, etc. Then, take a few Kleenex and wipe the surfaces. I’ll pour a little on more Kleenex and wipe the handles to the microwave, refrigerator, then the telephone and TV remote. I’ll wipe the toilet seat. I pour a little into the glass, if they’re real glass & not plastic that’s pre-wrapped, and sink another Kleenex into that and wipe all around the glass inside and out, then rinse it off.
And I check the bedding to see if it looks fresh.
I know this sounds like I’m a freak, but regardless of the quality of the hotel, when I wipe these surfaces, somewhere I’ll pick up something left behind. A colleague recently told me about finding crumbs in her bed when she climbed in. I once found curly hairs on my sheets.
The maids may be doing their best, but if I lay my fork or toothbrush down or sit my bare hinny down, I want to know it’s clean. I never take tub baths either, regardless, I’m not a bath person, it’s always a shower. But never a tub at a hotel.
I’ve seen too many “clean” glasses full of smudges or with left-over lipstick on the rim. There was also a clip on TV I saw recently that secretly filmed hotel cleaning maids at a couple of chains. In one room, they didn’t change the pillowcases on a bed that had been slept in. Another showed the maid wiping down the toilet, then use the same rag—after finishing the toilet—to wipe out the previously used drinking glasses, placed a new little paper cover on top, and still used the same rag to wipe the bath vanity.
I’ve found used washrags left hanging on the shower rod, used soap still in the soap dish, dirty glasses, dental floss laying on the floor, and a sock under the bed. If it’s collectable, like those things, I’ll just take a towel or something to pick it up, wrap it, and give it to the front desk. Crews can be royal assholes, so I keep it low key, but they should still know about it.
I once got bedbugs. Which wasn’t as bad as I’d heard. They sound nasty, but it’s kind of like several mosquito bites together. They’re little bugs that can get in the best of hotels and require a serious fumigation. I’m told they must close that room as well as the ones on each side and above and below it on adjacent floors. Everything is scrubbed and the room itself fogged.
The bug bites were just a tiny patch on my knee. It itched a little. I woke up with it and thought it looked more like a rug burn, but I knew I hadn’t been on any hotel carpet. Then, I noticed another patch on my thigh and one low on my shin. They call them “breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
I understand the little buggers like crevices in bedding and clothing. You can pull back the linens and, with a bright light, see them congregate around the edges of the mattress or down on the floor near the baseboards. Supposedly little white things. I never actually saw them. We checked out for our trip, I told my crew, and they told me what it was. I went to the drugstore when we got home that evening and got some ointment for itchies. It was gone in about 3 days. I did call our company’s hotel committee and report it.
Oddly, I haven’t had a cold or the flu in years. And I don’t get the shot.
I wanted to show you this picture of an airport toilet. We were in Arkansas, I think. This is genius! The plastic seat cover automatically slides around the seat to give you a fresh seat cover before use. Genius, I say!
Call me a freak, but that’s how I clean my hotel room.