Last Updated on April 29, 2024 by Ben

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You walk into your hotel room and it’s spotless. You appreciate a clean room and want to express that through a tip to your housekeeper. But are there guidelines on how much to tip hotel housekeeping?

Why You Should Tip Hotel Housekeeping

Tipping is important because most hotel housekeepers barely make more than minimum wage, hitting around $33,870 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is just above the federal poverty line for a family of four. A recent industry survey found that only 30% of hotel guests actually leave a tip for their housekeepers.

Considering that they are cleaning up nasty messes and dealing with harsh chemicals daily, housekeepers appreciate tips. Think about the last time you were in a hotel room. You took a shower and left wet towels and washcloths on the floor or in the bathtub. That bed where you sleep needs to be changed every day.  You probably ate in your room and had leftovers that went into the trash. There could be food crumbs in the bed or on the floor, and you probably put the remnants of a meal in the trash. If you’re attending a convention, it’s highly likely you threw away papers in the trash. And if you have a baby or toddlers, housekeepers have to handle those diapers.

Someone has to clean up all those messes. And that someone, on average, cleans at least 12 rooms a day in different states of need. While housekeepers are paid an hourly wage and their services are part of your hotel rate, it’s become the norm to show appreciation with a tip.

What is the Norm for Tipping Hotel Housekeeping?

The American Hotel and Lodging Association suggests that housekeepers should receive between $1 and $5 per day. According to the Emily Post Institute, hotel housekeepers should be tipped between $2 and $10 per day, depending on the type of hotel you’re staying in (budget to luxury) and the level of mess left in a room. Etiquette expert Lisa Grotts advises between $2 and $5, while Annie Davis, president of the boutique travel agency Palm Beach Travel says “$5 is the new $1.”

Between all of this advice, the current norm falls between $2 at budget and mid-range properties up to $5 per day at luxury properties.

And don’t wait until the end of your visit to leave a tip, suggests travel experts, since you may not have the same housekeeper every day. Put the tip in an envelope clearly marked for the housekeeper. A nice touch would be to leave a note for the housekeeper saying thank you. Put your tip in a place where the housekeeper is most likely to see it — on the bathroom sink, on top of the bed or next to the coffeemaker.

Is It Mandatory to Tip Your Housekeeper?

Some hotels are nudging guests to tip. Many are including envelopes with a housekeeper’s name for tips. Others are allowing housekeepers to leave a note in the room introducing themselves.

In the end, however, tipping isn’t required of hotel guests. If your housekeeper didn’t do a good job, you’re under no obligation to leave a tip. But if they did, tipping is expected and a really nice thing to do for someone who literally sets the tone when it comes to your hotel stay.