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Shampoo…OK. My Razor? Not OK.

I just had my very own e-hell experience with some rude guests.  My housemate was having a birthday and had several of her family members and a couple of friends staying in our house.  My housemate has an ensuite, I use the main bathroom and we opened up both bathrooms to the guests.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to spend much time in the house that weekend but upon returning home on Sunday I noticed that several of my toiletry products had been used, including my expensive shampoo and conditioner and my toothpaste.  Had the guests asked they could have used the products without any problems but I was a little annoyed they’d not asked permission.  I mentioned it to my housemate hoping she’d perhaps pass it on – if it had been her family I’d have said something myself but it was only the friends who used my bathroom and I didn’t know them well enough to feel comfortable doing so.

All seemed well and everyone left yesterday.  However when I went to shower last night I noticed that not only had all my products been used again but the guests had also helped themselves to my razor and hairbrush!  Ewwww!  Apparently my housemate hadn’t said anything to them and they’d moved on to using some of my most personal products.  When I told my housemate again she got angry with me for mentioning it and I’m not really sure why.  She did offer to replace the products which was nice but that wasn’t the point.

Was I wrong to mention these etiquette breaches to my housemate?  In my way of thinking they are her guests and she is responsible for them.  Also, what houseguest travels interstate and doesn’t take these essential items with them?  All very strange.  0131-11

Guests sometimes forget to bring items and in your case, they may have assumed that items left in the bathroom were for their use.  Particularly among family and close friends, there seems to be this silent assumption that their host will provide all shower products.   I can’t think of the last time a houseguest of mine actually brought their own shampoo and conditioner or body wash.

I keep a small wicker basket in the bathroom closet for when overnight guests come.  In the basket are sample sizes of soap, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, a toothbrush and a disposable razor.   I leave it on the bathroom  counter when guests arrive and it’s obvious it is for their use.

Next time your roommate has overnight guests, collect and hide your personal hygiene products in your bedroom.  Then, if you find them used, you will discover that you have a much worse problem than dirty, hairy guests using stuff they find in the shower.


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  • jenna February 15, 2011, 7:12 am

    For everyone who said that the host should provide these things, well, I don’t entirely agree (though it is a nice gesture) but that’s beside the point.

    Let us not forget that these were not the OP’s guests. They were the roommate’s guests. If it was anyone’s job to provide toiletries, it was the roommate’s, not the OP’s, and the OP couldn’t exactly force the roommate to do so (seeing as the etiquette of whether you have to is somewhat up for debate, and anyway you can’t make anyone do something they don’t want to do).

  • Elise March 4, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I think the writer is speaking very correctly from a formal perspective. I would absolutely provide those items just as I would fresh sheets, or as a host, ask if they were missing anything like razors or hairbrushes. The host should have asked the guests that, not the OP.
    I have never seen a “room mate” type situation lend to proper etiquette. You can’t. Those were not the posters guests. But I would have hid my own things, and anything I own of value even in my own room if there were strangers in the house and I was not. I might be paranoid but I wouldn’t trust them.
    I would be absolutely disgusted that someone used my razor! Even more so who on earth just uses a razor in a bathroom? I wouldn’t risk using a used one! That is so nasty.
    That aside, I always travel with my own personal care items. I assume that toiletries won’t be provided, and if they are I also consider it polite to not use them. And with hotels I assume what they provide is not of good enough quality.