Do You Steal Shampoo and Soap From Hotels?

I have a confession to make. You know those little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotions and those little single use bars of soaps that you find in hotel rooms? Well, we take them. All of them! We don’t go to the extremes of raiding the maid’s cart, as others may do, but if it is in the room, we take them. Of course, bathrobes, slippers, and towels are off limits, as that is just plain stealing. But those little bottles and soaps, we will clean them out.

While some of you may think “What’s the big deal, we do the same thing,” others may be shocked at our criminal behavior. I read an article awhile ago that called the act of taking those little bottles and soaps criminal and was appalled that anyone would commit such a heinous crime. But we see things a little differently.

Some people actually collect those little bottles and soaps, while others take them just to take them. I believe the people that take them just to take them are wannabe kleptomaniacs that don’t want the guilt of stealing more tangible items. So why would we risk hard prison time over the taking of these little bottles of shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and soaps? Because we use them! That’s right, we actually use shampoo and soap and they are the perfect size for travel and camping. So instead of having to buy those overpriced trial sized bottles in the store, or buying small empty bottles and dealing with the hassle of having to refill them and spilling the contents all over the place, we just stick with the little hotel bottles and mini bars of soaps.

Now the big moral question regarding the taking of these little hotel shampoos and soaps is if in fact it is truly stealing, or do they want you to take them? I think the answer is they want you to take them. The little bottles and bars of soap are little mini billboards that you will see each time you use them. They are usually branded with the hotels name and logo, and not that of a skin and hair care company. I believe they want you to take them and so each time you see that little bottle you can think, “Wow, I had a great time at Hotel XYZ and I should go back there.” That is unless the hotel has crappy shampoos or soaps, and then you will think, “What a bunch of cheap bastards and I am never going back to Hotel XYZ.”


Dreamer. Photographer. Sailing addict. World traveler. I left my desk job in Portland, Oregon to travel the world...


  1. says

    Hahaha I’m a TOTAL thief when it comes to hotels – but like you, only take the shampoos/conditioners/soaps. They’re useful! Plus, what if you only use it just a little bit? They’d just get thrown away when the maid comes to clean the room after check-out.

    I’d be too scared to take the bath robe, towel or slippers.

    My Nana used to be a more advanced thief – she once managed to swipe an ashtray from a hotel lobby in Cyprus. It proudly sat on her coffee table for many, many years!

  2. says

    I totally take the mini bottles for the same reason, but I have also taken a towel and a pillow. Shameful, yes, but I still have the pillow I took over eight years ago! It holds sentimental value. =) And yes, I cleaned the pillow and is in a permanent ‘inner’ pillowcase.

  3. Caleb says

    Well, they do put them in the rooms for you to use. So is it really stealing if they’ve given them to you? They expect them to be used, and like you mentioned, they are advertisements for the hotels.

  4. says

    Ahah nice confessions. I think everyone does it :) I do at least… It’s so convenient when you are on the road to stock up on soap when you are in a nicer hotel then you can use it in hostels 😉

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