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Murder trial unearths dirty secret of hotel bedspread stains

An Iowa murder trial has uncovered some hotels in the state only change bedspreads once every three months.

Division of Criminal Investigation criminologists have told jurors in a murder trial they found 106 stains on a hotel bedspread.

Iowa hotels do not have to provide clean bedspreads, but sheets, pillowcases and towels have to be changed after each guest.

Maids usually do sight tests when they clean rooms. If the bedspread has a visible stain, it's removed. Otherwise it's not.

Catherine Strohbehn who teaches a hygiene course to catering students at Iowa State University said: "What I've gathered from former students who worked in hotels and my own observations are they are washed as there is a need or on some sort of schedule - monthly on the higher end or twice a year or yearly at some budget hotels."

"There are some sanitation issues, especially with the hepatitis B virus, which lives in body fluids and can last a week or longer. But I do think the hotel and lodging organisations are more aware today of these bio-security issues."

Judy Harrison, chief of the state's cleanliness enforcement agency, says bedspreads haven't been a problem during inspections. She says the greatest number of complaints are about hairs left on beds.

"Sometimes we'll pull the bedspread back and look at the sheets, but we don't have any way to test them," she said. "We suspect bedspreads go a long time (between cleanings)."

Manager of the Motel 6 in Des Moines told the city's Register newspaper bedspreads are changed every three months unless there is a "visible" stain.

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001


Aaargh, yuk, something else to worry about! Hell, I change our bedspread more often than that. Well, I have to, it only takes a couple of weeks and it looks like mohair, even though I vacuum it when I do the carpet.

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

Are you taking changing or washing?

I was staying at the Dunes [before they leveled it] and they change them every ear. At that time they were changing them. Every so often you could see a couple spreads go out a window and down towards the dumpster placed there for them. [note: if they are balled up they make it to the dumpster, of not, they float around some and land usually in the bushes]

Another time the Sahara was doing the same. [must have been the same people as they seemed to have the same accuracy as at the Dunes]

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

Don't you normally take off the bed spread while sleeping?

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

Ha, Git, I thought I was the only one that vacumed the the top of the beds, and more furnature ABOVE the floors than below the beds!!!!

I would be so lonely without the critters, but I would have alot LESS work!!!!!


-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

"[note: if they are balled up they make it to the dumpster, of not, they float around some and land usually in the bushes]"

Musta been the same guys I worked with when I did my mail sorting stint with the post office years ago. Liked to see how far they could stand away from the bin and still get the packages in. Oops, that one didn't make it. Now I know to pack for those fellows, and I've had customers complain it took them an hour to get into the package. Heh.

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

Meem, we have to keep a fiberfilled bedspread or comforter on the bed, otherwise if the cats indulge in any contretemps their claws wake us up.

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

This thread shows that cats can get into most anything. LOL

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

I've stayed at a *lot* of hotels in my past career. There were some that had stained bedspreads, stained and grimy curtains, and dust bunnies under the bed. I don't think they were on any 3 month program.

-- Anonymous, July 19, 2001

Gordon, was there a lot of foot traffic on the sidewalk out front of those places?

-- Anonymous, July 19, 2001

Barefoot, sometimes there was, now that you mention it. But you couldn't see it from your window because they were grimy too. Sometimes we were warned not to walk the streets around there at night. I think the main draw for the company to use those places was the low price of the rooms. You get what you pay for though. Pay peanuts, get monkeys.

-- Anonymous, July 19, 2001

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