Keeping Things Clean While Travelling

Keep your shoes shiny

If you can’t get your hands on a traveling shoe shine kit or don’t want to carry one around, pick up a few packets of white vinegar (your hotel restaurant may even have vinegar you can use) and use that to clean, condition and shine your leather shoes.  Rub the vinegar in with a washcloth from your hotel washroom.

Packing shoes

To keep dirty shoes from mucking up your clothing, wrap shoes in a plastic shopping bag and lay flat on top of clothing, or use a shower cap to store the shoes in and then lay flat on top of your clothing.

Packing toiletries

I place all of mine in zippered plastic bags.  That way, in case something explodes or breaks, it’s all contained.  I’d rather that than a fancy traveling cosmetics and toiletries bag getting gross in transit.  I pack a few extra bags in the event there is an ‘explosion’.  This one is pretty obvious but it works so well and is worth mentioning.

Mini laundry detergent packets

If you want to pack light but have a few days of travel planned, consider picking up a few packets of laundry detergent.  I found a Tide 3 pack suited for sinks at Walmart in their travel toiletries bins.  It was very inexpensive and a great idea, since there’s always a reason something needs to be laundered while traveling.

On that note, I want to take a moment and recognize hotel bar soap.  Hotel bar soap is miraculous stuff.  Recently, my niece got a huge oil spill on her favourite pair of pants while we were away on a girls weekend.  I told her the pants were goners, but my sister-in-law disagreed and touted the awesomeness of hotel bar soap.  It got every lick of oil off those pants, I’d never seen anything like it before.  They took that bar of soap home.  Don’t underestimate the powers of hotel bar soap.

Stain remover pen

Yes it’s nerdy, but if you travel around with one of these, you’ll be able to catch, remove pre-treat stains that you may not be able to tackle for a while.  They are worth it.  Stick it in your purse, you’ll be glad you were able to catch that ketchup or red wine stain when you did.

Alcohol wipes

I prefer these to Wet Wipes, because they contain a disinfectant, don’t smell like fake lemon and I can use one of these before eating on a plane or eating at a food cart while out and about.  I also find them easier to carry around than a small bottle of hand sanitizer and believe it or not, I’d rather smell rubbing alcohol than hand sanitizer.  They were super cheap too. I found them in the first aid section at Walmart.

These can also be used if you encounter something you don’t like in your hotel room, i.e. a dirty remote control.  They are great for quick, disposable cleaning wipes.

Dryer sheets

Place a dryer sheet somewhere in your suitcase (i.e. a mesh zippered pouch) and your clothing will smell nice throughout your travels.  If you are combining shoes and clean clothes, you’re bound to have some smell activities going on that are unpleasant.

As well, if you are going somewhere which has a mosquito or bee issue, keep a sheet in your back pocket.  The bugs can’t stand the smell and it will keep them away!

Dirty laundry

I use the hotel’s laundry bag (you know, the one they give you to place your laundry in for them to wash for only $20 per load or something like that) and store my dirty items in there.  That way, at the end of the trip I can easily drop that bag into my laundry sorter when I arrive home.  It makes unpacking easier.

Baby powder

If you are heading to a beachy locale, consider packing a small container of baby powder along with you.  When you are done at the beach, sprinkle it all over your body and your beach gear, stand on a non-sandy area and shake all of the sand off.  The talcum powder dries your skin and instantly separates the sand from your body and your gear.  That way, you won’t be dragging sand as a souvenir home with you!

Drinking Straws

Simple and easy!  Take a drinking stray and feel your necklace chain through it.  That way, your necklaces won’t become tangled during your travels.

I hope that makes for an easier, cleaner traveling experience for you!

What can (and can’t) you take from hotel rooms?

When you’re packing your bags and checking out of a hotel, you might be tempted to grab a few extra soaps, a notepad, or maybe even a towel. Is that stealing or does the hotel expect you to swipe a few items? A hotel manager responds and lets us know what’s okay to take with you.

Michael Forrest Jones previously worked as a general manager in the hotel business before starting his own company, and took to Quora to answer this oft-pondered question:

Let’s start with the obvious: We expect guests to either use or to take consumable items—soap, shampoo, stationery, etc. You’re welcome.

Things like towels, hair dryers, lamps, TVs, and TV remotes (I think some guests are mutant aliens who eat TV remotes—like, gee, the remote can’t be counted upon to work with any TV anywhere except the one in the room), alarm clock radios, comforters, coffee makers, bedspreads, blankets, etc., are obviously intended for the next guests, are part of the furnishings, and we don’t want you taking them. They are also a bit more costly—in a cheap motel, almost as much as you paid for the room in some cases, and definitely more than our profit margin in many more cases—so yes, we go a little nuts when people help themselves to them.

Bathrobes occupy a gray area, depending on what sort of hotel you’re staying at. Modestly priced hotels provide them as part of the bedding, and want to launder them and hang them for another guest when you check out. However in a more upscale property, some people actually assume that they’re gifts—with the hotel’s blessing. Something like that is a good promotional item, if a little on the pricey side for a midscale hotel. If you did it at all, you’d only do it for your most important customers. I wouldn’t provide them in every room to every guest, but a VIP might find a bathrobe monogrammed with the hotel logo left in the room, as a gift. (Not all of them get opened or taken in places where I’ve seen it done that way.)

Likewise, I’d keep a few down comforters around, in case I spotted a reservation for someone who might specifically request it or are some sort of VIP. But this is another item that wouldn’t be provided in every room: only for VIPs who I knew ahead of time were coming, and who I knew liked such things. Keep it down to that scale, and you can launder them after every use—which is the way it should be, anyway, but never is. And most people know not to take them although, again, at that scale and given the VIP status of the only people that would have access to them, I wouldn’t fuss too much if someone took one. (They probably wouldn’t find one on the bed the next time they came, but just once? Nah, I’d probably growl a little bit and let it slide.)

Believe it or not, that “should you take it or shouldn’t you?” gray area is occupied by another, somewhat surprising, item: the Gideon Bible in the nightstand. Gideons’ International sent a guy to speak at a church I attended one Sunday morning, and the speaker shared that Christian organization’s dirty little secret: supposedly the Gideons actually want you to steal the Gideon Bible from your hotel room, and can’t get enough people to do it. The hotel’s staff may or may not share the same feelings.

And then there’s the telephone book, although it’s largely an outdated item now. Before internet availability was as widespread as it is now, telephone directories wouldn’t last that long. If I checked into a hotel in a new town and there was a telephone directory in good condition in the nightstand, color it gone. Back in the day, the local phone book was the best that could be had for various kinds of market research, and I knew that the hotel had been provided with a half pallet load from the phone company and could always get more, anyway.

One thing we tried in a hotel where I worked as a general manager (prior to launching my own company) was imprinted coffee mugs. Like the Gideon Bible, we can’t afford to offer it as a giveaway item to everyone, but we won’t fuss if you take one or two (we plan on losing about one of every five or six). Someone determined to collect the whole set from each of our hotels—you don’t have to steal them, we’ll give you a couple of them if you ask—has some potential as good, loyal, customers well worth the price of an occasional cheap coffee mug stolen from the room. The cost to us, even with the logo imprinted, is about two bucks. The promotional value as an advertising impression every time you pour a cup of coffee into your favourite mug in the morning or have guests over for coffee at any other time, is worth much more.

Your room might have some other trinkets that you might be tempted to take. Want to steal the bathtub ducky? These are well-received promotional items in places I’ve been able to use them; seeing the ducky on top of your fresh towels assures you that the tub is clean and it’s also a touchstone and a conversation piece, like the Doubletree chocolate chip cookie. I don’t care if you take fifty of my 28¢ bathtub duckies—in order to get that many, you have to stay fifty times at a hundred bucks, give or take per night. Do the math.

And finally, here’s a relic that you don’t see anymore: imprinted towels with the hotel’s logo. Originally intended as a deterrent to theft of the towels, they actually incentivized it: the hotel’s imprint on the towel gave it value as a souvenir to what otherwise would have been just an unremarkable, plain white towel.

A hotel can still order them if they shop around (and don’t mind paying extra for the imprint so you can go through your terry twice as fast, as more people take them home); but they’re not nearly as commonplace as they once were. In the years since, hotels have gone back to plain, white towels, their advantage being that they are unremarkable.

The Takeaway : Obviously, Michael can only speak from his experience at his hotel chain, and it likely varies from hotel to hotel. But if we’ve learned one thing here, it’s that you might be allowed to take more than just that shampoo. More importantly: if you want something, just ask. In many cases, the hotel may let you take the item with their blessing, and you’ll never worry about being an accidental thief.

Credit to https://lifehacker.com

How to choose the right soap for your skin and the environment

Natural soaps beat the everyday drugstore options for more reasons than you might think. When it comes to choosing between liquids and bars, however, you might want to consider these four specific factors.

Though the labels often allude to lovely natural elements like coconut and lavender, most common soaps aren’t nearly as “clean” as you might think. Bodywashes and other liquid versions tend to contain synthetic ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, a foaming agent that is extremely drying to the skin and can be contaminated with carcinogens. Bar soaps, meanwhile, are based on synethics and petroleum products, which are equally drying as well as toxic to the environment. (When those suds wash down the drain, they ultimately wind up in bodies of water where they stunt plant and animal ecosystems.)

On the other hand, all-natural soaps are typically formulated with organic vegetable oils as their main ingredients. Bodywashes might include some vegetable glycerine and a little guar gum to add thickness, but that’s just about it. Compared to conventional versions, the natural options obviously represent the wiser choice – but is it better to go with liquids or bars?

Below, we’ve broken down four factors to consider when choosing your next sudsy product for the shower or the sink, plus a few surprising tips and tricks.

1. Which lathers best?

Although bars and liquids tend to make the same volume of suds on bare hands, liquid soaps usually create a richer lather on loofahs and washcloths. Regardless, you’ll get more bubbles for your buck and conserve the soap for longer if you use one of those scrubbing tools instead of applying the formula directly to your hands.

2. Which lasts longer?

Bar soaps last longer than liquid soaps. To further sustain a bar’s lifespan, store it in a dry, well-drained spot instead of a damp dish, so it doesn’t melt away when it’s not in use.

3. Which is more sanitary?

A lot of people believe that liquid soaps are more sanitary than bar soaps, but let’s debunk that myth. Numerous studies have shown that even though there’s a tiny bit more bacteria on a used bar of than a brand new one, it all gets rinsed off as it’s being used, right along with the grime on your hands. In other words, we can call this one a wash.

4. Which is best for the environment?

Bar soap usually comes in less packaging, which is a plus. But bodywash in environmentally friendly packaging can definitely hold its own. Look for a bottle that’s made of an eco-friendly material like PET plastic—it’s produced without leaving any toxic chemicals behind, and it’s the most easily and widely recycled plastic in the world.

Credit to https://clementinedaily.com