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Why You Should Always Check Your Hotel Coffee Maker Before Using It

Why You Should Always Check Your Hotel Coffee Maker Before Using It
Meg Butler

I’m just going to say it: I’ve never ever checked the inside of my hotel coffee maker. If there’s ever an occasion when I’m unfortunate enough to need to drink the coffee in my room (I’m too hungover to get dressed and go to the lounge, it’s raining outside and the closest Starbucks is too far) I just unwrap my plastic-paper hybrid cup, put it on the tray and press “brew.”

But I can also say that I’m never going to do that again. I am both grateful that I found this coffee post on the internet and deeply unhappy about it. But once you’ve seen something like this, you can’t really unsee it. And now you have seen it too:

That’s at least three different kinds of fungus? If I’m wrong, please don’t explain further in the comments. And, if you want to be really grossed out, you should check out the comments on the Reddit thread where I found this hotel horror.

What do you always check when you get into your hotel room? I don’t really want to know, but I also need to know:


[Image Source: Reddit]

View Comments (16)


  1. Global Adventurer

    August 23, 2019 at 4:18 am

    First thing I do is put my luggage in the bathroom and then thoroughly check the mattress and surrounding areas for bed bugs!

    I generally don’t use the coffee maker, as I carry a small immersible water heater that boils water directly in my own sea to summit silicone collapsible cup and I use a small collapsible drip coffee cone and make my own.

  2. Tino

    August 23, 2019 at 4:46 am

    I can’t WAIT for community toiletries in hotels!

  3. Mike Rivers

    August 23, 2019 at 5:50 am

    I’ve never seen one that ugly, and I always look. and always wash the filter basket and carafe before I use it.

    Lately, though, I’ve had to get creative about making my in-room coffee. The coffee they provide is usually poor quality and the disposable coffee-in-basket or even Keurig, is always too weak. At Hiltons, I use one basket with half a cup of water and then do it again with the second basket. That usually works.

    Though lately I’ve been bringing a filter cone, filters, and ground coffee of my own choosing and heat water in the in-room microwave oven. I got foxed once at a Best Western where only suites had microwave ovens, and I didn’t know that when booking. They insisted that they didn’t have one they could bring to my room (what would they do if someone’s didn’t work?????).

  4. alexmyboy

    August 23, 2019 at 5:57 am

    my wife would freak out

  5. geminidreams

    August 23, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Bonus, gets a cup of noodles and add the fungus for extra flavour!

  6. Danwriter

    August 23, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Which hotel? What was management’s response when informed? This is a repeat of “news story” from a questionable source. Does it happen? Probably, but without some factual basis, it’s just more clickbait internet noise.

  7. FlyingHighlander

    August 23, 2019 at 6:39 am

    I know of a situation where sometime took a shit in the coffee maker. Thankfully, I dont drink coffee, but the rest of you need to know this is a possibility.

  8. pdsales

    August 23, 2019 at 7:52 am

    A more subtle problem: Coffee drinkers who make a second cup of coffee for themselves. And use the cup they just drank from to refill the coffee maker.

    Hot enough to make coffee won’t be hot enough to kill all those germs.

  9. canyonleo


    August 23, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Uh, how can one use that type of coffee maker without first checking it (as one must input water)?? I use all sorts of makers in rooms, I travel with my own beans, hand grinder, and filters. Often I only make hot water, then place two cups together with the top cup having holes punched into the bottom, and put the filter and beans into the top cup. …pour in the hot water, let it steep for a minute or two, the pull the cups apart and the coffee drains into the second cup for drinking. Also works great in the airplane galley on international flights… I won’t drink hotel or airplane (or Starbucks) swill.

  10. fleagle

    August 23, 2019 at 9:13 am

    I use a thing called an aero press, take your own coffee and just use the in room kettle.

  11. brobin

    August 23, 2019 at 10:22 am

    I use a thing called room service.

  12. nadabrainiac

    August 23, 2019 at 10:24 am

    ” I just unwrap my plastic-paper hybrid cup, put it on the tray and press “brew.””

    Without putting coffee in the machine? Without putting water in the reservoir? All you end up with is an empty cup sitting on a coffee machine.

  13. seattlebruce

    August 23, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    Don’t most coffee machines brew at 195 to 205 degrees F? That would kill most germs. Not that you want mold in your coffee, but no need to freak out about sterilizing everything.

  14. IsleSeat

    August 24, 2019 at 1:11 am

    I bring my own electric coffee machine, a small Bialetti along with my favorite grind. Beats everything.

  15. ontherun

    August 24, 2019 at 7:27 am

    I stayed in a Residence Inn in Harrisburg PA a few years back that had the traditional Mr Coffee style coffee pot with carafe. I checked in on a Sunday and Monday morning as I went to make my in-room coffee I noticed that the carafe was half filled with coffee. I assumed that it was just missed by housekeeping from the last users stay but as I looked in the carafe I noticed grey floating islands of mold throughout the top of the coffee.

  16. msben

    September 13, 2019 at 9:25 am

    For the immune suppressed among us, that could be life threatening! I take my own travel kettle and mugs. Not to mention the disinfectant wipes……..

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