Travel news

Why you might want to avoid the coffee maker in your hotel room

This may or may not have turned us off our double-shot soy lattes for at least a week...

By Melanie Aman
Every penny counts, but the next time you're staying at a hotel, you'll feel totally justified buying a latte from the Starbucks downstairs when you find out how some people are using that kettle.
Rumor has it some hotel guests are using the appliance as their own washing machine — seriously! Some desperate travellers actually dip their dirty underwear in the kettle to clean them. Ugh, the kettle?! What happened to common sense? As for why the shower in the bathroom isn't good enough, we aren't quite sure.
An Australian man named Guy Bloomberg sent out a tweet asking his fellow travellers if they had ever had to use a kettle to wash their underwear, and, fortunately, the internet collectively said, "What the heck?"
We're assuming that Bloomberg was assuming that the hot water in the kettle would be high enough to kill any nasty bacteria lurking in his undergarments. But according to an expert, that's sadly not the case.
Dr. Heather Hendrickson, who works at the Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at Massey University in Auckland, New Zeland, calls the habit, "super, super, super, super gross." We couldn't agree more!
Dr. Hendrickson says the hot water will kill most but not all bacteria. Some bacteria, like the kind that causes botulism, create spores that can only be removed by extremely hot temperatures (higher than your kettle can produce or withstand) or periods of high pressure.
"Your friend is unlikely to have a large number of highly heat resistant pathogens in his dirty undergarments but we do not know what he DOES have in there or how sick he might be," she told Gizmodo.
"There are simply too many unknowns, and hotel kettles are not industrial strength cleaning facilities. Be respectful of other people and don't do this!"
That pumpkin spice latte from the shop around the corner is starting to sound way better than coffee from your hotel room, isn't it?
This story originally appeared on First For Women.