Cookie Dough Comforters and Itchy Bed Bugs

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

When staying in a hotel, the comforter is the first thing that you should peel off the bed and throw into a corner. The unassuming background in six shades of beige and the colorful spray of roses and soft foliage may lull you into a doughy hibernation, but don’t let that distract you from the stiff fabric and the scratchy texture.

Two weeks ago at the Action Sports Retail (ASR) trade show in San Diego, I went to stay with my husband at the Embassy Suites. Upon entering the room, the first thing I noticed was the comforter lumped in the corner like some kind of cookie dough ball and my hubby resting atop two thin sheets in an ice cold room. He’s some kind of polar bear, I guess, whereas I am a dainty flower with poor circulation.
Soon he drifted off to sleep, above the covers, and I was shivering and hungry. So I went into the front room, threw on the TV, and gorged on some leftover chicken and fries, all the while snuggling under that lovely comforter I’d drug in from the other room. Long story short, I was itching like crazy the whole next day. Strange bumps appeared, like bug bights, and I remember seeing these same things before…when I stayed in another hotel room and ignored my husband’s requests to discard the comforter. It all makes sense…now.

Comforters are the least washed, if washed at all, item in a hotel room. To quote an ex-Janitor, “For your own good, sleep between the sheets! Those blankets and comforters are NEVER washed, (unless there is a pressing need, like a huge brown stain, or an outbreak of the Ebola virus).”
And an article from the Washington Post states, “While hotels changed the sheets daily, or as often as guests requested, some major chains cleaned the bedspreads only once every three months or instructed housekeepers to remove them only if they saw spots or soiling.”
Hmmm… that sounds remarkably similar to the ex-janitor’s testimony. I’m a believer now, but had to learn the hard way. Hope you all don’t have to!


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