INDIANAPOLIS – We’ve all heard horror stories and news reports about how gross the average hotel room can be. A new testimonial by a former housekeeper might make you want to bring your own cleaning supplies.

Former hotel housekeeper Tara Richardson told Well + Good that hotel staff members are generally expected to clean between 15 and 20 rooms during their 8-hour shift.  Once the bed is remade to perfection, the floor is vacuumed, towels are replaced, trash is emptied, soap and shampoo are refreshed and mini-bar is restocked — there isn’t a lot of time for much else.

While hotel room sheets are laundered after each guest stay, Richardson says blankets and bed spreads may only be sent down to laundry once a year unless there’s a visible stain.  She recommends avoiding contact with the blankets and bed spreads.

Other things to avoid include the coffee maker.  Richardson says the outside of the coffee maker usually gets wiped down, but there could be germs and even mold, growing on the inside.

You might also want to skip using the ice bucket. Richardson says she has seen hotel guests in pet-friendly establishments use those as dog bowls.  And in general, she says ice buckets usually get a simple wipe-down with a dust rag.

Drinking glasses are also a possible source of germs in a hotel room. Richardson says those may only get rinsed out and wiped out in the bathroom sink.

You might also want to consider bringing your own towel.  In Richardson’s experience, housekeepers are often told not to replace towels if they appear unused by the prior guests.  You could also find the house cleaning crew on your floor and simply ask for all fresh towels.

Even if you were not a clean freak, it may not be a bad idea to bring along some of your own cleaning wipes just to be sure items you come in contact with are sanitary.