Significance of cotton ball taped to water bottle in hotel room?
July 23, 2011 2:01 AM   Subscribe

I'm staying at a hotel in Taipei. After the last time my room was cleaned (that is, earlier today), I noticed that a partially-consumed water bottle I'd left in my room had had a cotton ball taped to it. Any idea what the significance of this might be?
posted by Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Taped how? I would suspect that it's so you can put the cotton ball in the mouth of the bottle to keep dust out, or to show you that the cleaner did the same.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:04 AM on July 23, 2011

Do you mean taped on top at the inlet? I have no idea why something so fancy as a cotton ball, but the cleaning lady of my boyfriend always stuffs tissue paper inside unfinished bottles of wine (instead of a cork...); we're not sure why except she has done that to over 6 unfinished bottles now. We thought it's cause she thinks it "airs" out the wine, but a bottle of water is strange. Might be the same concept.
posted by peachtree at 3:11 AM on July 23, 2011

Response by poster: Sorry for being unclear -- the cotton ball is taped to the side of the water bottle, maybe 1/4 of the way up from the bottom. The tape is parallel to the ground.
posted by Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh at 3:27 AM on July 23, 2011

Are you sure it was the cleaning staff? And are you sure it was your bottle of water?
posted by mdonley at 4:05 AM on July 23, 2011

Response by poster: I'm sure it's my water bottle that I'd left in my room, yes. I can't know that it was the cleaning staff; I was only out of my room for about three hours, and I know that they entered my room to clean it, so the association is definitely there in my mind, but it's possible that someone else also entered my room during that time.
posted by Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh at 4:28 AM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm just making stuff up here, but is it possible that it's a reminder to cleaning staff if the bottle is still there tomorrow, it needs to be thrown out? Was the cotton ball taped at the level of the remaining water?
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:02 AM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wild guess: if you're drinking a bit every once in a while it's annoying to have to open and close the cap, so they're giving you the option to plug it with a cotton ball? It actually seems like a useful idea I haven't thought of and I think I'll try it, especially since the new eco poland spring caps are so hard to deal with.
posted by rainy at 6:47 AM on July 23, 2011

The cotton ball doesn't signify for you. It's an indicator from the first maid to the second maid that the water bottle belonged to the occupant, not the first cleaner (left by accident and should be packed out). The second maid simply forgot to remove the cotton ball on the way out.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:20 AM on July 23, 2011 [11 favorites]

I wouldn't drink the water again, and double-check with the front desk. But seanmpuckett seems to offer the most reasonable explanation.
posted by easilyconfused at 9:15 AM on July 23, 2011

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