Pillaging the Ritz

lanesborough.jpgWhen I’m checked into a hotel, I like to take home the little mini toiletries they provide. At the nicer places, they usually give you around three bars of soap- one for each sink and one for the shower. I just use the very smallest bar for both the sink and shower so I can leave the big bar and other small bar unused.

Or if they provide a body wash lotion in addition to the soap bars, I’ll use that and keep all three unwrapped bars of soap. I also sometimes don’t use the shampoo. I’ll just wash my hair with the soap or the body wash so I can keep the shampoo bottle brand new.

soap.jpgEvery morning, I take all the unused mini toiletries and tuck them away in my bag so that they are not visible to the housekeeping staff. They must wonder how one traveller can go through three bars of soap, a bottle of shampoo, a bottle of lotion, and eight Q-Tips every single day.

Despite the obvious doubts they must have, housekeeping never fails to restock my room every day when they see that all the toiletries are gone. Sometimes, if I’m feeling obnoxious, I’ll ask for more toiletries when they come in for turn down service. And if I’m feeling super duper obnoxious, I’ll call housekeeping and ask for extra soap and shampoo. Because, you know, I “ran out”.

I’ll only take the toiletries if they’re sorta fancy. Hopefully with some fancy packaging (“Lavender Hand Milled Soap in Recycled Natural Fiber Packaging” … made by some 14 year old in some Asian sweatshop I’m sure.) Call me a soap snob if you will. Well, cheap and snobby. That’s the best combination because you are always too cheap to achieve your snob goals.

ritz.jpgI once also took a box of Kleenex. I had to pry it out of the built-in Kleenex box holder in the marble and wood countertop (don’t worry, I didn’t damage anything). I also once took a new roll of toilet paper. I really liked how they folded the end of the roll into a pointy tip and fastened it with a shiny gold sticker featuring the hotel’s crest.

I don’t take towels, robes, slippers, furnishings or fixtures though. That’s crossing the line. And you’re liable to be billed for it.

neutrogena.jpgWhen I get home, I take all my winnings out of my bag and place them in neatly organized shoe boxes underneath my sink. Then I wash up with the Suave shampoo and Dove soap that I bought at the supermarket.

And why do I spring for the hotel room, but not the soap? Penny wise and pound foolish, my friend.

So I still have this giant accumulating stash of unused mini soaps, mini shampoos, and mini lotions. Just in case some Lilliputian houseguests ever need to shower. One million times.

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I think they have medication for this disorder.

You should treat yourself and scrub up with some of the good stuff.


hahahahaha! we do the same. only difference is… tony actually tries to use them up at home. so if i’m too slow to put a new bar of normal-sized soap in the shower, i’ll find a mini one there. those little teeny tiny ones don’t last very long, so sometimes there’ll be three little ones stuck together. gross!

Jack, In case you didn’t know, you’re a cleptomaniac. LOL

i have a stash myself… cheap minds think alike…

Chantel: I can’t afford to take any additional medication. I take a lot already and Medicare just changed everything around and I’m having trouble figuring out what’s covered and what’s not. O wait, I’m not on Medicare. I just get my drugs from some dude named Tito down the street.

Soong: You should squish together a white one, a green one and a pink one. Then it’d be like a soap layer cake. Yummy looking but not yummy tasting. But your dog may still eat it because she eats everything.

Nikkie: Yes, I am a clepto and a narcissist, which is an awful combination because every time I burglarize a place I leave framed pictures of myself everywhere.

DietChiliCheeseFries: Yes the best way to see how cheap a person is is to check their soap stash. We should start a support group.

Actually, I grew up thinking that was normal. Well, really…I still think it’s normal! And there was a Friends episode about taking things from hotels, and where to draw the line… I believe they concluded that stealing the lamp is across the line, but taking the lightbulbs is not (I hope you don’t go quite that far…)

Honey, when you leave the room, I hope you’re hiding your toothbrush, too.

It only takes one righteous maid, annoyed with your super duper obnoxiousness, to clean the toilet with your toothbrush.

I’m sure you are not alone, my friend 😉

I do it too, hard to resist those cute little bottles!

Tami: No I don’t take bulbs. I also leave behind the shampoo unless it’s pretty good, because one broke in my bag once. Was not worth the thimbleful of shampoo!

Annie D.: I’m sure all kinds of nasty stuff happens to my brush in hotels when I’m not there. And I’m sure there’s all kinds of nasty on the duvet, couches and chairs.

Missy: I suppose not!

Jodie: Yes those darn bottles. I am discovering that everyone does it. Hmmm…

I have read that they mean for you to take those things — the soap, the shampoo, etc. That is why they have no problem restocking those items. I like to use hotel soap as guest soap in my bathroom at home.

hehe we do tht too:P…in fact we dont spare the pens and the fancy writing pads either…a guy once got caught trying to sneak out the bedspread while we were at a hotel!!…i like dagny’s suggestion tho…use them as guest soaps:P

You disappoint me Jack…why don’t you take towels, and stationary, and bibles?

When Soong and I moved to our new home, I was hauling two huge boxes of miniature shampoo bottles and soaps, I knew it was time for them to go….plus three rolled up toothpaste tubes that still have enough toothpast for one more brushing.

I’m…what they’d call…”vertically-challenged”. So I guess that kinda qualifies me to be a Lilliputian of some sorts. Could ya be a kind soul & Fedex all your mini toiletries over here to Singapore? 😛

I think it is only an issue if you try to take a computer from the front desk on your way out.

Or a porter.

I know of this amazing hotel where even the mini bar is included in the price of the room so I usually take all the alcohol. Well the hard liquor. I figured I could use it on a rainy day. Plus if I have to pay the obscene price for the room, the least I can do is take it you know?

My sister works at a soap factory. Every time we see each other I get about two boxes of mini toiletries. Soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, shower caps. I even get moisturisers!

You sound just like me! I have a collection in the garage from my travels, souvenirs from luxury hotel I have stayed at and some from not so flashy hotels (I don’t discriminate!). Wanna swap? 😛

I have none, does that make me a saddo? I do however have 3 shower tokens for the campsite we go to. Will that do?

I think you were channeling my dad when you wrote this. Well, except for the fact that my dad wouldn’t spring for a nice hotel room to begin with!

Hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

wow…just wow….u’ve got a cool blog out here…like the way u write/

I used to do this too until I spent two wks of my school vacation (back in oh so long ago) working in housekeeping for a local hotel. Tat experience really opened my eyes to all the ways the housekeeping staff can have their revenge on cheap guests…Beware! ;-P

You have the right to remain silent, anything you say may be used againt you in a court of law…

Don’t you take the stuff in airplanes too!? You should! i do that and sometimes the cutleries and the earphones.
I know, we’re oth very crazy people! That’s why we understand each other so!


We collect those little soaps and shampoos and lotions for the homeless shelter here. It’s amazing how much of this stuff some people have. And we’re here for them when they’re ready to unload it :)

I screwed up and didn’t realize it until I got home Saturday. I went to Florida and when I got home I realized that I had a hand towel in my computer bag. I was using it to wipe off the screen when I was sitting outside and just forgot. I bet it costs me 20 bucks for my mistake.

But I did leave the soap in the room.

LOL! We do the “hide the toiletries so the maids replace them with more” trick, too.

that soap is usually so nasty too. especially the 3 in one showergel-shampoo-conditioner stuff. ill admit to having a few bottles stashed in my bathroom though!

Please follow up on Wendy’s comment and find a domestic violence or homeless shelter in which to donate your pilfered bath treasures. Someone having a very bad day will thank you (even if hotel housekeeping staff curse your very existance).

Hee hee! You should stack the bars of soap into tiny skyscrapers and then tear through them like you’re Godzilla!

I’ll bet my collection is bigger than yours 😉 Cause I take the cheap toiletries too.

And here’s a use you may not have considered. We use the cheap soaps as deer repellant in the garden. Keeps them from munching the hostas.

I miss your blog, Jack. Hope you’re having a great summer and possibly accumulating even more delightful microscopic toiletries. :)

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