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Hotel Tea Kettles - why not to use

Just read the most disgusting thing about these. If you gross out easily don't read this, just don't use a hotel tea kettle ever again.

I was looking at Tours with Sarah's website last night and noted she included a coil immersion water heater in her packing list. So started googling info on them and alternatives and stumbled upon articles about people using hotel tea kettle to boil their underwear. Yep, totally disgusting even if pretty rare. Here's a piece from readers digest. https://www.rd.com/advice/travel/hotel-room-kettle/

We'll be bringing our own water heater. A dual voltage one like she recommends is $10 on Amazon or if you have the luggage space you can spring for a collapsible kettle for $20. The price for piece of mind and a cup of coffee in my pjs.

Posted by
7153 posts

You can find ANYTHING on the internet...from facts to fiction.

Posted by
20569 posts

Wrong, Tim -- almost everything on the internet is fiction.

Posted by
1840 posts

stumbled upon articles about people using hotel tea kettle to boil
their underwear.

I thought everybody did this???

Posted by
448 posts

Yes there is a chance this is all BS or worst an extremely rare occurrence. On the other hand we just assume that something in a hotel room is clean and sanitary without really knowing much about it.

My brain can tell me it's fine to use and I'll still go nope, just find a coffee shop.

Posted by
6065 posts

On the other hand we just assume that something in a hotel room is
clean and sanitary without really knowing much about it.

For your own mental hygiene, it's probably better this way - makes life a lot more easy going. The internet has become its own cesspool and echo chamber of extreme tales. I personally don't attach much importance to articles that start with "rumor has it...". Although rumor has it that people do all sorts of things in hotel beds...but I won't be packing my own duvet cover or mattress or anything else.

Posted by
95 posts

I spent many years in the Alaska Bush - we would consider this just a "little" extra flavoring! Nothing that will kill you! :)

Posted by
1029 posts

But I read it on the internet, it must be true!

Some people are scared to death of the remote control. But they’ll happily grab the remote at their friend’s house and put on the ballgame oblivious to the fact that the cute new baby had the remote in her/his mouth 2 hours ago

Posted by
703 posts

Let's see. It is standard practice to boil water from questionable sources to kill any germs that are in it. You are boiling water in the tea pot. What is the problem????????

Posted by
5238 posts

What Irv said -- maybe wash the pot out with soap and water first. Sometimes it's better not to overthink some things -- like how many people have slept in this bed, used these towels, eaten with these utensils. Otherwise we might all stay at home with the doors locked

Posted by
3904 posts

I take my mini Nespresso machine with me, it even fits in my small carryon if it's just me going away for a few nights. My wife has a small portable kettle as she travels frequently within Europe for work and has found that some rooms don't provide a kettle.

Besides, even if this story is true there are a lot more unsavoury practices going on in restaurant kitchens all over that makes this story pale in comparison.

Posted by
5817 posts

Do not put soap in a kettle!
Any of it gets left behind after the ( frankly unnecessary) wash and you are likely to get boiling suds frothing out as the water reaches boiling point.
Speaking from personal experience here after I dropped my kettle in the sink!

If you are going to worry about this, Just think what happens on a hotel bed!

Posted by
8497 posts

I travel with an immersion heater and cup for those hotels that don't have kettles. Only twice in my travels have I asked for a new kettle.

The first in Dublin where the previous occupant made tomato soup on the kettle and didn't wash it out. The second when the kettle was so old, and not used, there was some rust in it.

They now make collapsible kettles, but my immersion heater and cup take up less room.

A warning about using immersion heaters. They must be in water when plugged in. If you remove the heater while still plugged in, it will short itself out and you will have a useless immersion heater. Don't aks me now this works but I have ruined a few.

Posted by
448 posts

For Irv, no not every germ is killed in boiling water.

For Frank, you're right about using the immersion heater. Immerse, plug in, heat water, unplug then remove otherwise it burns out. Someone on Amazon that works in plumbing explained why that happens countering reviewers complaining about them.

Amazon does have a dual voltage collapsible kettle

https://www.amazon.com/Gourmia-Travel-Foldable-Electric-Kettle/dp/B01MG7YLQG/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?ie=UTF8&psc=1&ref_=ox_sc_saved_image_1&smid=A21N1KPNWMDWR3

It was $20 last night but $30 this morning. Arg! Goes on the watch list.

Posted by
11417 posts

For hotels without them (common in Italy) we have a small kettle I bought in Germany; lightweight and doesn't take up much room. Otherwise, in-room kettles don't freak me out. Now, ice buckets? There's a reason for that disposable liner bag!

Posted by
5308 posts

A collapsible kettle !! That is wild — and looks cool. It’s showing at $18 something for me now.

I travel with an immersion coil and cup if necessary.

Posted by
3904 posts

If you are going to worry about this, Just think what happens on a hotel bed!

Precisely!

During a recent hotel stay my wife noticed a stain through the sheet as she re-made the bed in the morning (we know it's going to be stripped but ir's a force of habit) and she couldn't bring herself to pull back the sheet to see what it was, instead asking me to do it. When I pulled back the sheet there was a large blood stain and what appeared to be urine on the mattress topper. Whether it was menstrual blood or whatever it was a significant stain and impossible to miss by anyone making up the bed for a new guest. It was impossible to know how long it had been there (I would hope that it hadn't regularly gone ignored) so it was difficult to judge how much of a health hazard it presented. And this is only the tip of the iceberg, think of all the things that we don't notice!

Posted by
6038 posts

Ah Ha -- Now it makes sense, how Earl Gray Tea got its name.

Earl had just done his gray T-shirt in the pot.

Eureka, mystery solved.

Posted by
3083 posts

Maybe the Tea-shirt started out white, but turned grey in the pot, because of the previous user?

Posted by
3319 posts

If germs were visible, we wouldn’t even step into a hotel room...or our own home!

I’ll happily use the coffee pot provided in the hotel rooms after a good rinsing. But, I will wash the coffee cup with soap, first. Those seem to be more suspect to me.

Posted by
30893 posts

Thankfully I don't think I've ever used the kettles in a hotel room, although I'm sure not all of them have been used to boil underwear. I do occasionally use the pod-type coffee makers but it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to boil garments or anything else in those.

Posted by
1106 posts

EU regulators (and everyone else maybe) have to weigh the pluses and minuses of single-use plastic containers and utensils, etc.
It's good to recall that the original cone-shaped paper cups for water were developed for sanitary reasons, not for convenience. Likewise drinking fountains and various pumps that allow users to use without leaving their own germs behind.

Posted by
3119 posts

Of course I use a hotel’s tea kettle if provided. If one is going to look online and be afraid of boiling water, one ought to stay home.

Posted by
73 posts

Davey--LOL! have family that lives up in the bush and we have visited a handful of times. Your comment sounds exactly like something they would say;). BTW, we LOVE going up there and being a world away! The only way there is their own bush plane. No roads etc

Posted by
1097 posts

For unaccountable reasons many continental hotels use Lipton Yellow Label teabags. So, I'd have thought the added aftertaste of someone's boiled knickers can only be an improvement.

Posted by
2347 posts

Wait- those round water boiling devices are really tea kettles? Not personal underwear washers? Well, I'll be damned. Huh.

Posted by
3904 posts

For unaccountable reasons many continental hotels use Lipton Yellow Label teabags. So, I'd have thought the added aftertaste of someone's boiled knickers can only be an improvement.

Lol. I've never understood why Lipton have a reputation for good tea in the rest of the world and then I read the Wikipedia page which answers a lot of questions. The reason we don't have Lipton Yellow Label in the UK is because Lipton is owned by Unilever who also own PG Tips, why introduce a product to compete with one of your own leading products?

Thankfully I've started seeing more variety of tea in hotels, including some very good ones.

Posted by
5308 posts

I bring my own tea - I admit it, I am a tea snob and not leaving my morning cuppa to chance!!! No crummy tea for me!