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Housekeeping Horrors: 6 of the Worst Things Cleaners Have Discovered at Work

There’s more than one reason why it’s essential to have workers’ compensation insurance for a cleaning business. Beyond the regulations and legalities, cleaners and housekeepers encounter a shocking array of dangerous and disgusting things during the course of the average shift.

You can probably already imagine that toilets are no one’s favorite thing to clean. However, we guarantee you’ll be aghast when you read the following stories of housekeeping horrors.

1. Post-party uglinesses

A few beer cans and overflowing ashtrays are one thing, but some hotel guests go above and beyond when they let loose. Syringes, drug paraphernalia, strange stains, bodily fluids, and burn marks are all common – if disgusting – discoveries. However, one cleaner quit her job on the spot after walking into a room that had all of the above plus vomit on the ceiling. We can’t say we blame her!

2. The aftermath of sunburn

At least once in your life, you’ve probably had a sunburn so bad it peeled. While there certainly is a kind of sick satisfaction to peeling away your flaking skin, this is something you should never leave for someone else to clean up.

Sadly, some hotel guests seem to think good manners aren’t necessary if you’re paying for a room. One poor housekeeper came into a hotel room to discover a pile of peeled-off skin beside the bed. Even thinking about it is disgusting, let alone having to clean it up.

3. Living things

From maggots to feral cats, housekeepers have found some wild creatures in hotel rooms and holiday rentals. Whether they’re brought in by the occupants or find their own way in, attracted by old, rotting food, cleaning up after them is never a fun time for the poor housekeepers.

4. Full bathtubs

At first glance, this might not seem all that gross, especially compared to some of the other entries on the list. But take a moment to think about it. You have to clean the tub after some random person has checked out, and it’s full of murky water. You have no idea what they were doing in the bath or what could be lurking under the surface, but you have to reach in to unplug it. This is the reason why most hotel bath plugs are on a chain!

5. Gross things tucked away in hiding places

This is a common theme reported not just by housekeepers but by unlucky guests. Some people apparently like to take disgusting things and hide them around their hotel room before they check out. As you can imagine, this creates a genuine moment of horror for whoever finds it. Commonly discovered surprise items include tampons and sanitary napkins, condoms, bodily excretions, fried chicken, and wedding rings.

6. Piles of hoarded junk

Some of the worst housekeeping horror stories come from hotels and apart-hotels that allow long-term guests. While most people are clean, quiet, and respectful, a few can cause quite a stir when it comes time to clean their rooms.

Quite a few housekeepers reported having to clean up after hoarders who kept mountains of junk piled in their rooms. The terrifying part of this cleaning job is that you never know what you might find under the next pile of garbage. What looks like an innocent pile of magazines could have old food, feces, maggots, or all sorts of other horrors hiding beneath it.

After reading about these nightmarish situations, we hope you have a new-found respect for cleaners and housekeepers. If you can afford to tip them, do it because, sadly, the people who leave the worst messes often don’t.



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