International Housekeeping Week: 10 Things Housekeeping & Room Attendants wish they could tell you!

International Housekeeping Week is held during the second full week of September. 

More fully known as International Housekeepers and Environmental Services Week, it is a week dedicated to recognizing the efforts of these hard-working custodial staff members.

10 Things Housekeeping & Room Attendants Wish They Could Tell You during International Housekeeping Week.

Housekeeping is more than just bed making, cleaning agents and vacuum cleaners. It is the heart and core of any hotel. 

Housekeeping plays a huge role in the guests’ perception of the hotel, in the quality of their stay experience, and ultimately, on the hotel’s bottom line.  

Housekeeping also houses some of the most hardworking, diligent and passionate hoteliers. They are the ones who encounter many guests, and experience many things. 

Some of the things that they encounter are of the type that the rest of us can not begin to imagine. 

As part of celebrating International Housekeeping Week, I asked them a question.

“What are the things that Housekeepers or Room Attendants wish they could say to the guests?”. 

I rounded up their funny yet exasperated answers to bring you:

International Housekeeping Week: 10 Things Housekeeping & Room Attendants Wish They Could Say to Guests

1. The walls are not as soundproof as you may think.  

We know that hotels are the perfect settings for a romantic evening, but please, try to tone it down a little. 

We try to walk fast in hallways but sometimes, hearing these “sounds” is inevitable and very, very distracting.  

Love Making sounds coming from a hotel room - 10 Things Housekeepers want guests to know during International Housekeeping Week

Not to mention your neighboring guests who we’re sure could hear you, too.  

Also, please throw your used “protection” in the bin. 

We know it’s our job to clean the room, but it would be so great if you could aim for the trash can and not stash them under the bed, on the floor or inside the drawer beside the Bible.  


  1. We know you haven’t really used up all your shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and lotion in just half a day.  

Housekeeping knows they’re just there hiding in the recesses of your luggage.  Yes, amenities are part of what you paid for. But please do not ask for more than you can possibly use during your stay.  

A suitcase full of hotel shampoos, lotions, toothpaste.

Asking for an extra set of toiletries and a toothbrush is okay. Asking for a case of bottled water and requesting for your amenities to be replenished twice a day is a bit much. 

We know you want to get your money’s worth, but trust us when we say that this behavior earns you a reputation within staff.

And it’s not a good one.


  1. On the same note, please be reminded that towels, umbrellas and blow dryers are not part of the amenities you can take home.  

Putting them in your suitcase is, in effect, stealing. 

If you wish to have these items as a souvenir of your stay, they are usually available in hotel shops, or just let us know and we’ll make arrangements for you. 

But, please, do not take them and then act as if you didn’t know they weren’t for free when you get apprehended at check-out. 

We know you’re smarter than that.


  1. Please know the difference between towels and a bath mat.

And please stop complaining that your floor is wet and slippery, after your shower, when you used your bath mat on your hair.  

Also, would it be so bad to use the same bath towel for the duration of your 3-day stay and not ask for a new one every day?

We can bet you haven’t washed your own towel at home in weeks, maybe even months.  

Do your part in saving the environment and use your towel for more than a day. We’re sure you’re not that filthy.


  1. Please do not use your kettle for anything other than boiling water. 

Housekeeping staff have seen it used for things you can’t even imagine. 

Not just instant noodles and eggs. 

Photo of a kettle in a hotel room with 4 'Do Not Use for' signs around it.  Article discusses International Housekeeping Week with 10 things housekeepers want guests to know

For reasons beyond our comprehension, we’ve seen guests boil socks and even underwear in the kettles. 

Of course we clean it, but, please. Stop this madness!


  1. There is a trash can beside the toilet bowl for a reason.  

Please use it to dispose of your tissue papers and sanitary napkins. 

It’s bad enough that the toilets are clogged with these things.  

It’s even worse when some guests seem to do it intentionally by flushing down underwear, soap bars and even fruit amenities.  

Please give housekeeping a break and use your toilets responsibly.


  1. Beds and bathrooms exist to serve their own purpose.  

Please do not pee on your bed; use the toilet. 

You’re ruining the hotel’s sheets and breaking the toilet seat cover.

Similarly, yes we know there are lots of movies that have the characters “getting romantic” in the shower or bath.

We also know of shower screens which have been ripped from the wall, and even smashed, through guests trying to recreate a scene.

And as a tip, ‘Doing it’ in the bath, also not a good idea. 

Water and air can create a suction. 

Trust us when we tell you. You do not want to be carried out of your room and through the hotel, on a stretcher “attached” to each other.  And your embarrassment only covered by one of our carefully laundered bed sheets!


  1. Hotels have safety deposit boxes placed in the rooms so you can keep your valuables safe and secured.  

Please, by all means, place all your money, jewelry and gadgets in the safe.  Housekeeping and Room Attendants are in and out of rooms all the time, and it’s always easy to place the blame on them when you can’t find something.  

RA’s have been unnecessarily questioned by guests who claim they’re missing an earring and automatically blame it on Housekeeping. And then later on they discover they have just misplaced it in their luggage.  

Housekeeping has some of the most hardworking and honest employees, and they do not deserve to be stressed out this way. 


  1. Please do not place your room on Do Not Disturb status, then freak out when your room has not been serviced the whole day.  

Housekeeping staff are trained to always respect the DND sign.  

International Housekeeping Week, image of a hotel door handle with a "Do Not Disturb" Card on it

So, it’s either Make Up Room (MUR) or Do Not Disturb (DND). It can’t be both, so please make up your mind.


  1. We are happy to assist you when you request for certain amenities.

But please, make a list and let us know what you need all at once.  

Please don’t do it on installment and make us go to your room ten times a day with several different requests.

Unless, of course, you make each trip worthwhile with something purple, yellow or blue. ☺


Now, if you think about it, the things on this list are not even outrageous requests.  

They are mostly common courtesy, which some of us tend to forget or take for granted when we are on “vacation mode” and get into the mindset that someone will clean up after us. 

But now that you know what’s on the minds of housekeeping staff, perhaps you will rethink your toilet habits and amenity requests the next time you stay in a hotel.  

And don’t just be more mindful because it’s International Housekeeping Week. Make it a new personal habit.

And while you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to leave a nice tip for a job well done, or at least speak a few words of appreciation for all that they do. 

After a hard day’s work, your genuine “thank you” is sometimes all that it takes to turn Housekeeping and Room Attendants’ day around.

Happy Housekeeping Week to all our hard working colleagues all over the world!

If you are working in Housekeeping, check out our Best Practices for Better Housekeeping too!


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Written by Angel Lam Ko

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