When using a kettle, the last thing you’d probably want to boil in it would be your underpants. And if you’re staying at a hotel, the last thing you’d probably want to drink would be water from a kettle that someone cleaned their dirty undies in.
Well, folks, the last thing you could possibly expect to happen is actually happening: people are boiling their dirty underpants in hotel kettles all around the world.
Feel free to take a moment as that wave of nausea passes.
After Twitter user @YugSTAR posted a tweet asking about this bizarre phenomenon, the world discovered that this is actually something that people do.
Real question: does anyone I know clean their underwear in a kettle when travelling?
— Guy ‘Yug’ Blomberg (@YugSTAR) August 22, 2017
And for anyone who might be thinking that boiling water would theoretically sterilize a kettle, you’re in for a rude awakening.
Dr. Heather Hendrickson, a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biosciences, told Gizmodo that boiling fresh water in a kettle isn’t enough to kill all the germs. In fact, there are some bacteria that can form spores, making them resistant to temperatures below 120C.
“These don’t cause sickness if they are consumed, but their presence in certain environments can encourage them to produce a toxin that can be deadly,” Dr. Hendrickson said. “However, who knows how long that water, with nutrients that have been introduced and then sterilized, sits around in the kettle before someone else uses it?”
In addition, there’s no way of telling whether or not a stranger’s sick or has the ability to pass on a harmful bacteria to you.
“There are simply too many unknowns and hotel kettle’s are not industrial strength cleaning facilities,” explained Dr. Hendrickson.
So no matter how bad you’re craving a cup of tea or coffee in your hotel room, it just isn’t worth it.