Why you should think twice about making a cuppa in your hotel room

Mel Buttigieg

People have been appalled to learn some hotel guests are employing a rather unhygienic travel hack to launder their undies – by washing them in a kettle.

Holiday-makers are now thinking twice about a hotel room cuppa next time they are away.

People have been shocked to learn some hotel guests have discovered a rather unhygienic travel hack to launder their undies. Picture: Getty
People have been shocked to learn some hotel guests have discovered a rather unhygienic travel hack to launder their undies. Picture: Getty

Guy ‘Yug’ Blomberg heard rumours of people doing the kettle undies wash and took to Twitter to ask it was a real thing.

“Real question: does anyone I know clean their underwear in a kettle when travelling?” he tweeted last Tuesday.

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Many travellers who have used a hotel kettle for its intended purpose were quick to share their disgust and disbelief on social media, asking why wouldn’t someone instead just wash their unmentionables in the bathroom sink, or simply pack more jocks?

Many holiday-makers are now thinking twice about a hotel room cuppa next time they are away.
Many holiday-makers are now thinking twice about a hotel room cuppa next time they are away.

One Twitter user warned followers against hotel kettles eight months ago: “Never use a hotel kettle. I'm told cabin crew boil their underwear in it on over night stops.”

A London traveller also raised concerns in February, saying: “A girl on my flight told me sometimes people wash their underwear in the kettle, the 1st thing I did when I found the kettle was wash it.”

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Scientists have shut down the dirty habit, saying it’s not just gross, but it’s also not killing germs, not washing your tighty whities properly without detergent.

Instead, it leaves bacteria behind for the next hotel guests to ingest when making a cuppa.

Dr Heather Hendrickson, a senior lecturer in Molecular Biosciences at the Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at Massey University in Aukland told Gizmodo the practice was simply “Super super super super gross.”

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Dr Hendrickson said bacteria like Clostidium botulinum spores can’t be killed by boiling water.

“These don’t cause sickness if they are consumed, but their presence in certain environments can encourage them to produce a toxin that can be deadly,” he said.

“There are simply too many unknowns and hotel kettles are not industrial strength cleaning facilities,” he added.

The stomach-turning discovery is enough to make one order take away coffees next time in transit.