Dear Maid: Thanks for NOT Replacing My Towels!

Ever hang up your hotel towels to be used for the next day and the maid replaces them with clean towels anyway? More often than not, my attempt at helping to reduce water usage is thwarted by a maid who ignores the hanging towels, ignores the sign posted in the bathroom suggesting “Help Save the Environment” and insists on replacing the towels. I’m really not sure why. You would think they’d be happy to leave the towels hanging – it’s less work for them.

I’ve talked with other travelers and hear this same frustration often. One traveler told me that he’s tried all sorts of things to keep his towels for another day of use. He has written a note to leave the towels, pinned the “Help Save the Environment” card to them … even hung up the towels in the closet. Finally this last solution worked for him!

I can understand the replacing of the towels if the hotel does not have a stated program for reducing water usage, but my experiences are with hotels with such a program. That’s what is all the more frustrating.

Today, however, I am happy to report that my used and hanging towels were left right where I hung them – and no new towel replacements were brought in!

If a hotel is going to have a program for helping the environment and saving water and promote it to their guests, they ought to ensure that their employees are following it too! So thank you to the maid who left my towels for me to use another day.

What’s your experience – have you had the towel-nabbing maids, too?


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  1. I bet it’s from having gotten complaints when people don’t pay attention to the sign, hang their towels, still expect new ones, and get mad when they aren’t changed. The housekeepers may not feel like it’s worth the risk.

  2. While traveling abroad we had the opposite problem. They had the usual “help us conserve by hanging your towels” card, but my towel had gotten dirty, so I intentionally left it balled up and wet on the floor. After the maids came I found my dirty towel had been hung up to dry on the shower rod for me to re-use. Maybe our maids were too green that day.

  3. The only sure way to keep used towels is to put out the do not disturb sign. At fancier hotels you may get a phone call asking if you need housekeeping service.

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