Most guests staying at a five-star hotel would believe that such a rating would afford them some luxuries in terms of service and overall cleanliness. This shocking video, however, uncovers unpleasant cleaning procedures the housekeeping staff of several five-star hotels used. You can only hope that this type of cleaning isn’t the norm during your next hotel stay. Watch as a hotel housekeeper washes a guest’s tea cups… with a toilet brush. Horrific, right?
Journalists uncovered the suspect cleaning practices at three high-end hotels in China, which included not only the toilet brush used to scrub cups, but also using bath towels to wipe floors, and folding duvets on the floor. Additionally, the cleaning brush was used to scrub the toilet and the bathtub, while a bath mat was washed in the bathtub and bath towels were dipped into toilet water and used to clean the floor.
Chinese website Pear Video released the report of hotels found in the city of Harbin. Video footage was captured by undercover journalists who worked as trainee cleaners at the hotels.
The footage includes staff at the five-star Kempinski Hotel Harbin using the toilet brush to clean cups, with another worker telling the reporter to ignore sterilizing the cups. The brush then gives the toilet a scrub before returning to a stand. A hand towel is seen being dipped into the toilet and then wiping the floor.
The reporter asked if this was the standard technique and was told “yes… we just never talk about it.”
The swanky Shangri-La Hotel Harbin is also seen in the video, with a housekeeper using the same cloth to clean cups, the trash and toilet. When asked about using the same brush for tub and toilet cleaning, the staff member did note that it wasn’t permitted but that she was “too lazy” to follow the hotel rules. She cautioned: “You just need to be careful when you work and not let your boss see it” before using the brush to clean cups.
Footage taken at the Sheraton Harbin Xiangfang Hotel showed similar practices, with the brush used for cleaning the sink and toilet. A duvet is folded on the floor and a staff member notes that any towels that haven’t been opened don’t need to be changed.
Local authorities are investigating the claims of shady cleaning procedures, with Kempinski Hotels noting that this was in breach of their procedures, saying in a statement to Mail Online that they will ensure employees perform “according to strictest standards of hygiene.”
Shangri-La hotel started an investigation following the report, working to increase training and supervision, noting in a statement to Mail Online: “What the video shows is unacceptable and if accurate is a severe violation of our strict hygiene standards.”
Sheraton Harbin Xiangfang Hotel posted an apology on their social media account, explaining that they would provide additional housekeeping training and enforce their hotel policies.
The government of Harbin confirmed the authenticity of claims made in the report, issuing a statement that the hotels involved were given a warning and fined.