Fact Check

Should Hotel Guests Always Put Coins in the Sink?

The claim appeared in an online ad.

Published April 12, 2021

Image courtesy of Snopes.com
An article revealed an important reason why hotel guests should "always" put coins in the bathroom sink.
What's True

An ominous advertisement pointed readers to an article that explained why it may be useful to put coins in a hotel's bathroom sink. However...

What's False

The use of the word "always" in the ad seemed to hint there was a critical safety reason for placing coins in the sink. In the end, the tip was simply to place the coins on top of plastic, creating a temporary stopper, so clothes could be washed in the sink.

"Here's Why Hotel Guests Should Always Put Coins in the Sink" is the text in an online advertisement that’s been making the rounds since at least November 2020.

Hotel guests likely should not always put coins in the sink.
The key word here appeared to be “always.”

This was not the first such ad about hotels on which we reported. We previously published a story about a similar ad that read: "Why You Should Always Put a Towel Under Hotel Door."

Readers who clicked on the ad about putting coins in a hotel's bathroom sink were led to an 80-page slideshow article. Its headline read: "Use These Hacks the Next Time You Stay in a Hotel":

We all love to travel, but let's admit it - not every hotel is fit for a king or a queen. Sometimes, we have to compromise if we want to have a vacation that fits our budget.

What makes things a bit worse is that the hotel room might not always look exactly as it did in the online photos. The photos might have been misleading - the bed looking bigger than it actually is or the booking website posting photos of a completely different room altogether. The truth is, you’ll never know until you arrive.

That's why sometimes you need to bring some items that will amp up your holiday. With these hacks, you'll always be prepared for a five-star hotel experience!

The picture from the ad finally showed up on page 28. The ad about coins in the sink and the one about putting a towel under a hotel door both appeared to imply some sort of ominous safety concerns:

Wash and Roll

Have you ever paid to have your clothes cleaned by the hotel? There's always the chance that something could get ruined or lost. Even if everything goes off without a hitch, there's still the high price you'll have to pay for this service. Just a few garments can end up costing you a pretty penny.

Instead, use a few coins and some plastic to clog the sink and wash your clothes in the sink, then you can hang them around the room to dry them out.

The article simply advised hotel guests to grab some plastic and coins to clog the sink for washing clothes.

We'll leave it up to readers to decide if they consider it sanitary to wash clothes in a hotel sink with coins and plastic. Also, bathroom sinks typically come with stoppers that can be used to hold water in the basin.

The ad in question appeared in a previous submission on Reddit's r/savedyouaclick subreddit. The top-voted comment read: "Why coins??? Why not just a regular plug? This is insane." Another user jokingly replied to the comment with: "ALWAYS put coins in the sink!"

Perhaps one thing we recommend "always" doing is avoiding ominous clickbait ads that lead to 80-page slideshow articles.

Snopes debunks a wide range of content, and online advertisements are no exception. Misleading ads often lead to obscure websites that host lengthy slideshow articles with lots of pages. It's called advertising "arbitrage." The advertiser's goal is to make more money on ads displayed on the slideshow's pages than it cost to show the initial ad that lured them to it. Feel free to submit ads to us, and be sure to include a screenshot of the ad and the link to where the ad leads.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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