Do you ever find yourself tempted to take home the hairdryer or other toiletries after a hotel stay? You’re not alone – many travelers debate whether pocketing these seemingly insignificant items really amounts to stealing.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine whether taking hairdryers or other bathroom amenities from your hotel room is ethically or legally permissible.

The quick answer is: No, it is not okay to take a hairdryer from a hotel room. Hairdryers and other bathroom amenities provided for guests are property of the hotel and removing them is considered theft.

Why Hotels Frown Upon Taking Hairdryers

When staying at a hotel, it may be tempting to take home some of the amenities as a memento of your stay. However, hotels generally frown upon guests taking hairdryers from their rooms. There are several reasons behind this frowning upon, including:

Loss of Revenue from Replacing Items

Hotels provide various amenities for their guests’ convenience, such as hairdryers, toiletries, and towels. These items are included in the cost of the room and the hotel expects them to remain in the room for future guests to use.

When guests take these items, it leads to a loss of revenue for the hotel as they need to replace them. This can add up over time, especially if multiple guests take hairdryers or other amenities.

Principles of Ethics and Morality

Hotels operate on principles of ethics and morality. They expect guests to behave in an honest and respectful manner while staying in their establishment. Taking a hairdryer, or any item, without permission goes against these principles. It is considered unethical and dishonest behavior.

Hotels rely on the trust of their guests to maintain a positive reputation and taking items from their rooms can damage this trust.

Reputational Damage and Distrust of Guests

When hotels discover that guests have taken items from their rooms, it can lead to reputational damage. Guests who engage in such behavior may be seen as untrustworthy by the hotel staff, which can impact their overall experience.

Additionally, word of mouth travels fast, and negative experiences shared online or with friends and family can deter potential future guests from choosing that hotel. Hotels strive to provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all their guests, and taking items from the rooms can disrupt this goal.

Is Taking a Hairdryer Illegal?

When it comes to taking a hairdryer from a hotel room, the question of legality may arise. While it may seem like a harmless act, it’s important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding theft and property rights.

Laws Against Theft and Petty Crimes

In most jurisdictions, taking items from a hotel room without permission is considered theft. Laws vary, but generally, if you intentionally take a hairdryer without the hotel’s consent, you could be charged with theft or petty larceny.

These charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the value of the item taken and the local laws.

It’s essential to note that theft is a serious offense and can have legal consequences. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and respect the property rights of others.

Prosecution Policies Vary by Hotel

While theft is generally frowned upon, the policies regarding taking items from hotel rooms vary from one establishment to another. Some hotels take a lenient approach and may not pursue legal action if small, non-valuable items like hairdryers are taken.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s acceptable or legal. It’s ultimately up to the hotel’s discretion whether they choose to pursue charges or not.

It’s worth mentioning that many hotels have started implementing technology such as RFID tags or inventory management systems to track and monitor their inventory. This makes it easier for them to discover missing items and potentially take action against those responsible.

Unlawful Taking vs. Accidental Packing

It’s important to differentiate between intentionally taking a hairdryer and accidentally packing it. Sometimes, guests may mistakenly include hotel items in their luggage without any intention to steal.

In such cases, it’s recommended to promptly inform the hotel and return the item to avoid any misunderstandings or potential legal consequences.

Hotels generally understand that accidental packing can happen and appreciate guests who are honest and take responsibility for their actions.

It’s always best to check with the hotel’s policies and ask for permission before taking any items from the room. Remember, honesty is the best policy, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Hotel Policies on Removal of Amenities

Rules Printed on Walls and Menus

When it comes to taking amenities from hotel rooms, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the hotel’s policies. Many hotels have clear rules printed on the walls or menus in the rooms. These rules typically outline which items guests are allowed to take and which are strictly for in-room use.

For example, some hotels may allow guests to take toiletries such as shampoo and soap, while others may specify that these items should remain in the room. It’s important to respect these rules to avoid any potential charges or consequences.

Charges Added to Bills for Missing Items

Hotels often keep track of the items in each room and may charge guests for any missing items upon checkout. This includes not only larger items like hairdryers, but also smaller items like towels, robes, and even coffee mugs.

These charges can vary depending on the hotel’s policies and the value of the missing item. To avoid any unexpected charges, it’s best to leave all hotel amenities in the room when you check out.

Bans from the Hotel for Repeated Theft

Repeated theft of hotel amenities can have more serious consequences than just charges on your bill. Some hotels may have a zero-tolerance policy for theft and may ban guests who are caught taking items from the room.

Being banned from a hotel can not only ruin your current stay but also affect your future travel plans. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and respect the hotel’s policies to ensure a positive experience.

How Hotels Can Curb Hairdryer Theft

Affixing Items in Rooms

Hotels have come up with various strategies to deter guests from taking hairdryers from their rooms. One effective method is affixing the hairdryer to the wall or drawer using secure brackets or adhesive.

By doing so, hotels make it more inconvenient for guests to remove the hairdryer, thus reducing the likelihood of theft. This method has proven successful in many establishments, as it ensures that the hairdryer remains in the room, ready for the next guest to use.

Asking Guests to Return Items

Another approach that hotels have taken is to kindly request guests to return borrowed items, including hairdryers, upon checkout. Many hotels have implemented a policy where guests are asked to leave the hairdryer in the room or return it to the front desk before leaving.

This simple reminder serves as a gentle nudge for guests to do the right thing and reduces the chances of them accidentally or intentionally taking the hairdryer home with them.

Using Lower Quality Supplies as Deterrent

Some hotels have resorted to using lower quality hairdryers as a deterrent against theft. By providing hairdryers that are less powerful or not as reliable as those found in retail stores, hotels decrease the incentive for guests to take them.

This cost-effective strategy helps hotels save money on replacing stolen hairdryers while still providing a functional amenity for their guests. However, it is important for hotels to strike a balance between discouraging theft and providing a satisfactory experience for their guests.

It is worth noting that while these methods can help reduce hairdryer theft, they are not foolproof. Some guests may still attempt to take the hairdryer despite the deterrents in place. Nonetheless, implementing these measures can greatly minimize the occurrence of theft and contribute to a better experience for all guests.

When It Might Be Okay to Take an Item

While it is generally not acceptable to take items from a hotel room, there are a few circumstances where it may be considered okay. It’s important to remember that hotels provide these items for the convenience of their guests during their stay.

Taking items without permission can be seen as theft and is not a good practice. However, there are some situations where taking an item may be acceptable.

Obtaining Explicit Approval from Staff

If you find yourself needing an item from your hotel room, it’s always best to ask the staff for permission. Many hotels have policies in place that allow guests to purchase or take certain items under specific circumstances.

For example, if you have fallen in love with a particular brand of toiletries during your stay, you can inquire at the front desk if it is possible to purchase some to take home. Hotel staff are usually more than happy to accommodate such requests, as long as the item is replaceable and the guest is willing to pay for it.

Special Circumstances Like Forgotten Items

Sometimes, guests may accidentally leave personal items behind in their hotel room. In such cases, it is usually acceptable to contact the hotel and ask if they can send the forgotten item to you. However, if the hotel is unable to locate the item or if it is not of significant value, they may give you permission to keep it.

It’s important to note that this is not a common occurrence and should not be taken advantage of. It’s always best to double-check your belongings before leaving the hotel to avoid any misunderstandings.

Donating Almost-New Supplies

If you have unused toiletries or other supplies that are still in their original packaging, you may consider donating them to a local charity or shelter. Many hotels partner with charitable organizations and encourage guests to donate these items, as they are often left behind and go to waste.

By donating these supplies, you not only help those in need but also contribute to reducing waste. Before donating, make sure to check with the hotel staff to see if they have any specific guidelines or preferred organizations for donations.


While it may seem harmless to slip a hotel hairdryer into your bag upon checkout, this action can have serious repercussions. Taking items without permission is unethical and illegal. Hotels implement various policies and practices to deter guests from removing in-room amenities like hairdryers.

However, it is possible for staff to grant approval or special exceptions, like allowing guests to take accidentally left behind belongings. When in doubt, it’s always advisable to confirm with hotel management before pocketing any ‘souvenirs’ from your stay.

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