One reader bbphx dropped these stats about Phoenix's Clarendon Hotel and Suites in 2010:
"We currently dispose of 125,000 little plastic bottles per year.. most are only 1/4 to 1/2 used, sending loads of unused chemicals into our groundwater supply. The caps of little bottles increase risks of slip/fall. Again, this should be the law - shame on hotels that continue to carry small bottles past the end of this year!"
Fast-forward to 2011, and this reader voiced a continuing concern about the unsanitary nature of dispenser bottles:
"The dispensers are in a wetmoist location so waterborne bacteria will certainly arise. Unless housekeeping cleans them thoroughly each day, which is unlikely, people will likely be infected. Just like mildew on the tiles."
When one commenter suggested hotels try cleaning out the dispenser bottles each time a new guest arrives (for fear of contaminated soaps/shampoos being left in the bottle), another reader fired back this response:
"I think some people are confused. When you refill a dispenser you refill from the top. And when someone pumps product from the dispenser they are pumping from the bottom. Twist off the top and see that tube attached to the pump...yes, the one that reaches all the way to the bottom of the bottle. The product pumps through that tube, which is at the bottom, which means the product is properly dispensed according to when it was added to the bottom. Refill from the top, dispense from the bottom.
That said, the argument of old product being left in the bottle and only new product being dispensed is baseless. You're just mad because you can't take them home with you!"
Amen, brother! Luckily, we're letting hotels take their time with their toiletry dispenser decisions. As our list of 2012 hotel resolutions showed, we're more concerned with things like hotel art, free wifi and paperless check-ins. It's a long road to the perfect hotel.