Introduction: Don't Stay Another Night in a Hotel Without Watching This DIY!

Picture of Don't Stay Another Night in a Hotel Without Watching This DIY!

If you don't see the video above, Click here to go to the YouTube page!

This instructible will teach you how to check your hotel bed sheets before you stay in a new hotel room to make sure they were changed.
Every room in a hotel is supposed to have fresh sheets after a guest leaves. How many times are the maids too busy to change them? Is it possible that some of them simply remake the bed so it looks like clean sheets? YES! Don't sleep in someone elses mess!

Step 1: Pick Up an Inexpensive UV/ Black Light

Picture of Pick Up an Inexpensive UV/ Black Light

You can get these at spencers or any novilty type store that sells black lights. I bought this one for less than $10.00. It's battery operated.

Step 2: Keep It Packed in Your Travel Bag

Picture of Keep It Packed in Your Travel Bag

If you keep it in your travel bag, you'll always have it handy when you need it!

Step 3: Pull Down the Bed Sheets

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Observe the sheets for any visible stains with the lights on. Urine will have a slight yellow tint (obviously!) but you'll be able to see that under white light.

Step 4: Scan the Black Light Over the Sheets

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Next, turn off all the lights in the hotel room and turn on your black light. Pay attention to any area that looks brighter or darker than the rest of the sheets.

Step 5: When You Find a Stain

Picture of When You Find a Stain

It will stand out and you'll know it's an obvious stain. By the location of this stain, I would think it's semen. If it was urine, you would be able to see it in the regular light as a light yellow stain. This stain wasn't obvious under regular lights.

Step 6: This Stain Is

Picture of This Stain Is

either vomit or semen again.

Step 7: If You Find Stains on Your Sheets

Picture of If You Find Stains on Your Sheets

ask for another room. Better yet, leave and check into a different hotel! The rooms on that floor were all probably cleaned by the same maid and could have the same problem!



so how do you know what it is?

kevin71127 (author)2008-12-22

did u really find those stains? or did you, you know...

They were really there when we filmed :o)

hersheymagic2 (author)kevin711272008-12-22

LOL GREAT question! Ummm... well... you know...LOL

cjohnson2 (author)2008-09-26

you should also look for bed bugs there getting to be a real problem. I think you can find them buy looking along the seem of the matrices for blood stains. Never slept in a hotel/motel where i found them bu then again i don't travel much :( good instructible...

tinpusher (author)2008-03-14

While I too find the thought of sleeping in another's fluids disturbing, I think that the burden of guilt is being placed upon the shoulders of the innocent. Keep in mind that hotel/motel housekeepers are charged with an almost impossible task of turning (industry jargon which means cleaning) a room in the shortest time possible. These times vary based on room size but the industry average for a single occupancy room is 4 minutes for a standard clean and 6 minutes for a checkout turn and for a double occupancy room is 6 and 8 minutes for standard and checkout turns respectively. Many housekeepers are fired for exceeding these time limits and in many cases the housekeepers are paid on a per-room basis. With all of that in mind it is difficult for me to simply call the housekeeper lazy or say that she (or, rarely, he) is cutting corners. That housekeeper is simply trying to keep her (or his) job. The blame for these types of incidents should be laid at the feet of the management. Only then can the industry re-examine its priorities and prevent these incidents from occurring.

spunkysmum (author)tinpusher2008-09-25

Also, guests will soil the linens with all kinds of gross material and leave them lie for housekeeping to pick up and laundry to try and remove. And while the washing machines will sterilize the fabric, stains all too often remain.

spunkysmum (author)2008-09-25

This is all a bit paranoid. I am an extended stay guest at a motel and work in the laundry room to defray rent costs, and I can tell you that the housekeepers would never leave used sheets on a bed for a new guest. And this is not a five-star motel, the housekeepers are paid minimum wage, and the owners are penny-pinching airheads with no business sense to speak of.

lager (author)2008-08-05

Awesome idea but hey wt are u gonna tell em? im sorry but i turned on my black light and my ultraviolet lamp wich i bring to each trip i go and guess what? the room is dirty... that doesnt sound good lol

tlrussell (author)2008-05-05

fantastic info find more just like it at bed bugs

abnor (author)tlrussell2008-05-30

hey i know. bring your sleeping bag and strip the sheets off the bed!

rogers236 (author)2008-02-13

thats pretty gross. what makes it worse is that I recognize that hotel I think. Carlisle Hotel and Convention Center?

LOL no it wasn't in Carlisle!

ha, ok. looked like it

incorrigible packrat (author)2008-02-01

Stop staying at them hotels with the hourly rates!

skierchic30 (author)2008-01-07

i have done this in my own home just for giggles. we did it with a new set of sheets, just washed twice. and they showed the oddest stains. turns out fabric softener can leave odd stains as well as if laundry detergent or a stain remover sits for a long time and isn't 100% washed out. just thought i'd share!

Alathald (author)2007-12-16

Great Idea, tho you may want to be wary of the glasses in the room as well!

Beware About Drinking Out of Your Hotel Room Glasses!

NeonLime (author)2007-12-13


SurferGeek (author)2007-12-02

You'll never be able to settle on a room if you follow this instructable... you'd find that each and every room has some stain or infestation or other problem.

You'll also find many of the exact same things in your own home.

But if it;s in your own home... you KNOW where it came from lol

Unless you didn't buy a newly built house....

rc jedi (author)2007-12-01

C R A B S !

We also found a pube in the tub and a cockroach crawling along the corner of the floor, YUCK!

nepheron (author)2007-11-30

omg! thats like the same hotel room i stayed in! so weird!

Garth Knight (author)2007-11-29

I really avoid thinking about this sort of stuff when out at a hotel. It seems to be a no win situation. You're renting a room that will never be as clean as you would like. More fun... bring along an "invisible marker" and leave messages for the next person with a blacklight. Maybe a long and disturbing political/religious rant on the wall. This would really freak out the next nerd to find it. (I use the term "nerd" in an endearing way)

Doctor What (author)Garth Knight2007-11-29

Isn't geek the correct word for this one?? Using tech to scan his room? (In my opinion, geek sounds better)

Garth Knight (author)Doctor What2007-11-30

Agreed -geek it is

feign (author)2007-11-30

The stains could "sometimes" simply be from laundry detergent. It will show up under this type of light also. Check your washed laundry once in while, I'll bet you find some of the same looking stains. While I agree the thought is pretty disturbing, If I ever become so paranoid about hotel bed sheets that I need a special light to check them, I'll just stay home. Thank you for posting.

Weissensteinburg (author)2007-11-29

Keep in mind, a stain is just that. Just because the ultraviolet rays still show doesn't mean that the sheets weren't washed.

Oh, and the stains could just as well be any bodily fluid: semen, vomit, blood, urine, saliva, etc.

On top of that, location isn't an indication of type of fluid. Flip the sheets around 180 degrees. It could also be a variety of spilled drinks. Of course, all of those crazy home shopping television networks etcetera have all sorts of products to remove these "invisible stains" that normal bleach washing doesn't remove on it's own.... In any case, I don't use the comforters - and I bring my own pillow :) I also check the room before I check in. I'd personally be more worried about bed bugs...

sgt.paper (author)trebuchet032007-11-29

woudnt it suck if there were crabs(STD) in the bed

Just fyi..crabs don't count as a disease. They're like lice.

That would suck!! crabs can live about 24 hours away from a host and often ARE passed by beds. watch out, i don't know of a great way to check for them in a bed except by looking.

Urine would leave a slight yellow or brown tint and blood would leave a dark red/brown stain both visible under regular white light. The semen stans are only visible under an ultra violet light. I actually talked with a house keeper from a hotel and she's the one who put the thought in my head to do this! She flat out told me that when they were busy on days when there are a log of checkouts, they were told to just make the bed up without changing the sheets to save time. She refused to be on camera because she didn't want to get fired from telling me this info.

Both blood and urine can be washed out of linens.

Doctor What (author)2007-11-29

Yeah, seen this on the teletubes before... But think about all the grossness in a hotel room. I personally, have a problem with germs and disease, I just can't handle them. If I could, I would purel the whole room.

mspark400 (author)Doctor What2007-11-30

You could use a portable uv disinfectant wand if its that important to you. they run around $ (

I saw another video after I posted this one, that was done by a news organization. They put three hidden cameras in several different hotel rooms they were using (in different hotels) and the maids were washing out the glasses in the bathroom sink and drying them with the dirty towels lying on the floor! They would then replace the glasses as new washed glasses by putting those misleading paper lids over the top of the glass! We as a population are too trusting and just assume the cleaning people are actually doing what they're supposed to be doing. Buyer beware all the way! One of the hotels was the 5 star Ritz!

It just grosses me out. If people are willing to pay for a room, they should get a clean one.

Erik Lindemann (author)2007-11-29

So.. uh, I didn't see any color difference in the video.

Adjust your monitor settings!

sgt.paper (author)2007-11-29

can acualy catch a disease or evan worse a STD from dirty sheats !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!

admanrocks (author)sgt.paper2007-11-29

who is Evan Worse?

I don't know, but I don't wanna catch him.

westfw (author)2007-11-29

All things considered, I'm not sure you wouldn't be better off worrying about what sort of obnoxious cleaner residue is left behind (especially on rugs. Spill tap water and get suds, eh? Industrial strength rug shampoo is just the stuff I want to walk on in my bare feet.)

hersheymagic2 (author)2007-11-29

I was with Keith when he shot it. It was really gross when he turned the UV light on. I'm glad he takes it with us now because that was the first room we went to that actually had dirty sheets on the bed and I got to see what it looked like. There were even pubic hairs in the shower (Yuch!) Monica

Fenwick (author)2007-11-29

The stains on those sheets were probably washed, but the stain just stayed. What do you expect them to do, buy a new bedroom set every other time someone sleeps there?

No I've been in plenty of hotels that were clean with no stains. These sheets weren't cleaned! Made me sick thinking about it after we shot it! We're not talking about the types of stains that just don't wash out... we're talking about house keeping cutting corners and making the bed up instead of changing the sheets to save a little time.

GorillazMiko (author)2007-11-29

maybe there could be different kind of stains..... hahaha

About This Instructable




Bio: Professional magician, COO of Gray Water Ops, Media Consultant for eight Delmarva Broadcasting Company radio stations, dad and husband.
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