Why You Should Never Drink Water from a Hotel Water Fountain

You’re better off bringing your own water bottles.

  • Bring a reusable bottle.
  • Buy chilled water or use ice cubes.
  • Bottled water isn’t a great option because it can be wasteful and you might have to lug it around, but in certain cases it might be the best choice for your health.

Fountains are breeding grounds for bacteria, fungi and viruses.

In a study conducted by the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, researchers found more than a dozen types of bacteria in drinking fountains.

The worst place to drink from? The actual nozzle where people press their lips. Researchers tested water from all over the fountain, and it was most contaminated at the point where people sip directly from. They also found that the longer water sits in a stagnant tube leading to the spigot, then more bacteria will grow there because it has time to do so.

You might get sick from fountain water.

Although it is obviously always best to avoid drinking water from a hotel water fountain, you can use some of the following tips to keep yourself safe if you do so:

  • Use bottled water. You can purchase bottled water from most hotels and convenience stores using the cash you would have spent on an overnight stay in a hospital, but since even hotel-provided bottled water has been known to cause sickness (due to the presence of harmful bacteria) it’s best not to risk your health by drinking it.
  • Boil your own filtered water at home or buy a filter for your faucet instead. You can also boil unfiltered tap water for at least one minute, but boiling for longer may increase the chances of contamination if your stove gets too hot and starts heating up harmful particles.
  • Carry an empty reusable Water Bottle with you and fill it with filtered tap water before leaving home—this way there won’t be any chance that something bad happens while staying in the hotel room (although keeping bottled water in case of emergencies is still recommended).

Hotels regularly disinfect their rooms, but not fountains.

If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel before, you know how careful housekeeping is about disinfecting beds and bathrooms. If a hotel has its act together, cleaning crews regularly make their way through rooms to change out linens, scrub sinks and toilets, vacuum carpets and wipe down countertops. In other words: there’s no better place to pick up on germs than your own bathroom at home. But this tidiness doesn’t always extend to the public water fountains around your hotel (assuming they have them).

Even if your hotel does have drinking fountains, it may not clean them as frequently as the rest of the property. According to a study by Global Hygiene Council, almost one-third of hotels do not keep their water fountains clean and hygienic. While some hotels have regular fountain cleaning services in place, others rely on guests or patrons to report an issue before springing into action (if at all).

The lack of regular maintenance means that germs are free to grow within the jets of water. This makes sense when you consider how stagnant water functions as a breeding ground for bacteria like E coli, which can cause diarrhea, fever and nausea in humans—not exactly what you want immediately before jumping into bed for that good night’s rest!

There are healthier alternatives to fountain water.

Fortunately, there are some remedies that you can take to avoid getting sick. First, always bring a water bottle with you. It’s easy to keep in your suitcase and it saves the environment. Plus, you don’t have to worry about buying bottled water at the store or wait until a restaurant gives you free tap water. You can even buy reusable water bottles that fold up so small they can fit in your pocket! Second, always check the seal on your bottled drinks before drinking from them to make sure they’re secure. Third, if possible, purchase bottled water from stores that are close to where you’re staying rather than taking what’s available in the hotel lobby or vending machine.

Fourth, try not to touch anything inside of public restrooms except for toilet paper and hand towels (you may also want to carry around hand sanitizer). Fifth and finally, refrain from drinking fountain water unless it was just filled; this is because bacteria grows most easily when fountains are allowed to sit unused for long periods of time.


Don’t drink from a hotel water fountain.

Simply put, don’t drink from the hotel water fountain.

Instead, bring your own reusable water bottle and refill it using your hotel room’s tap water. If you’re really concerned that your hotel’s tap water is contaminated, consider using one of the various home water filtration products that are available online or in stores. Remember: while staying in a hotel may mean going on vacation, it doesn’t mean you can be irresponsible about what you ingest. Don’t let a little bit of laziness lead to an unfortunate trip to the hospital!While I was in a hotel the other day, I decided to grab some water from the water fountain. After all, it’s free, and that’s always a good thing. But then I got to thinking about how often that water fountain is cleaned, and I started wondering if maybe it might be better to just buy a bottle of water from the lobby store or restaurant instead.

And after looking into it, my concerns were validated. As it turns out, hotel water fountains are absolutely disgusting, and you should probably never drink the water from them unless you want to get sick.

Think about it: everyone who walks past that water fountain puts their hands on it. And those hands aren’t clean; they’ve been handling everything from toilet seats to floor grates—and let’s not even talk about what happens when someone sneezes or coughs in the vicinity of your water source.

On top of that, many hotels don’t regularly clean their fountains—which means that all those germs remain on the spigot until someone comes along and cleans them off (hopefully).

So what are your alternatives? Well, you can always drink bottled water—but that can get expensive fast (not to mention wasteful). Instead, bring

If you’re on vacation or a business trip and have a craving for some refreshing H2O, don’t bother heading to the hotel water fountain. It’s really not worth it.

Instead of risking your health, just go to the vending machine! Or better yet, bring your own water bottle and fill it up in the tap. You can also just drink water from the tap itself—it’ll be clean enough for most people (though it won’t hurt to wash your hands before and after drinking).

You might think that drinking out of a hotel water fountain is no different than drinking from any other public water fountain, which is true—but it’s also arguably worse. The water fountains at hotels are usually in high-traffic areas where many people pass through. Add that to the fact that hotel guests are more likely to be sick (or contagious) than people passing through other public spaces like parks or malls, and you get a high likelihood of germs being left behind.

Hotel water fountains are also rarely cleaned so they can get pretty gross pretty fast. And even if they do get cleaned regularly, there are still going to be bacteria lurking around because there isn

This may come as a shock, but when you go to your hotel’s water fountain and stick your mouth under the spout…

You’re not just drinking clean water.

In fact, you might as well be sticking your mouth under the toilet.

(If you’ve never done this before, trust us: you don’t want to know.)

The problem is, hotel water fountains are gross. They’re typically in high-traffic areas (the lobby, near the concierge desk) and they’re not cleaned that often. In fact, they can contain mold, mildew, bacteria… even viruses! In one study of hotels in the US, 100% of water fountains tested positive for coliform bacteria. Yikes!

Plus, many people cough and sneeze into their hands—and then touch the spigot of the water fountain. So if someone goes to grab a drink of water and doesn’t wash their hands after using the restroom or coughing into their hands… well… it’s pretty easy to see how germs can spread quickly from person to person.

Don’t worry though: you don’t need to go thirsty in order to stay healthy! There are plenty of other options for getting clean water on

When you’re on the road, it can be tempting to skip the hotel mini-bar and just get your water from the water fountain down the hall. After all, it’s free, right?

Well… yes and no.

Hotel water fountains may be free, but they’re also quite often filled with germs that can make you sick. That’s why we’ve put together this list of some of the most common problems with hotel water fountains:

1) They’re used by a lot of people

2) They’re not cleaned very often

3) They don’t have filters

4) The water supply is unregulated in most parts of the world

5) It’s unknown what kind of pipes are used for the plumbing system

These factors combine to create a perfect storm for spreading germs around, so if you don’t want to spend your trip sick in bed, you could do worse than to grab one of those expensive bottles from the mini-bar instead.

You’re on vacation. You’re thirsty, and a hotel water fountain seems like an easy way to get a quick drink.

But hold up over there in your bright and breezy Hawaiian shirt—before you go sticking your mouth anywhere near that water fountain, read this article. We’ve got some news for you: those things are gross.

Oh, and we’ve got some information about some other ways you can hydrate without getting sick.

If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, you’ve probably seen the water fountain. It’s that thing in the lobby that looks like a gargantuan water cooler from 1989. And when you’re desperate to hydrate after being on a long flight, it can be tempting to grab a glass and fill up. But you should stop yourself right there—because that water might not be as clean as you think.

In fact, it’s not even filtered! When water fountains were popularized in offices in the 1980s and ’90s, their filtration was an expensive and complicated process that required a lot of upkeep. As more people started drinking bottled water instead (and therefore demanded less from the water fountains), filtration fell out of fashion. That means that in many cases, the only thing separating your bottle from the tap is the tap itself—which means you’re still getting all the contaminants that have built up over time.

And if you do get sick? It’ll probably happen about a week after your stay—long enough for whatever caused it to incubate and give you symptoms, but short enough for its cause to be hard to identify. Chances are, you won’t immediately connect your illness to the hotel’s water

There’s a lot to be said for the hotel drinking fountain. It’s there, always ready to provide you with free, cold water in your travel-weary moment of need.

But don’t do it! Don’t drink that water!

We’re not saying it’s poisoned. We’re not saying it will kill you. What we are saying is that it’s dirty as all heck, and if you’re thinking about skipping the bottled stuff and opting for a quick sip from the tap, think again.

The science behind why this is true is actually pretty interesting—and we promise it won’t take long to read.

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