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Why Do People Put Coins In Hotel Sinks?

Have you ever checked into a hotel room and found coins placed in the sink? You’re not alone. This is a common occurrence that many people have experienced. But why do people do it?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: People put coins in hotel sinks for various reasons, including good luck, as a tip, or to test the water flow.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the phenomenon of coins in hotel sinks and explore the different reasons people do it.

Superstition and Good Luck

Have you ever wondered why some hotel guests put coins in the sink before using it? This interesting phenomenon has been observed by hotel staff around the world. Here are some possible explanations:

Warding Off Spirits: In some cases, people may also place coins in the sink to ward off evil spirits or bad luck. This belief is common in some Asian cultures, where coins are believed to have protective powers against malevolent spirits.

While there is no scientific evidence to support these beliefs, they continue to be passed down from generation to generation and are deeply ingrained in some cultures. It is worth mentioning that similar beliefs can be found in other areas of life, such as throwing coins into a fountain for good luck or carrying a lucky charm for protection.

If you’re curious about other superstitions related to hotels, keep in mind that some people believe that staying in a room with the number 13 is unlucky, while others avoid sleeping in a bed that faces a mirror. Unfortunately, these beliefs can sometimes lead to real-world consequences, such as hotels avoiding the number 13 when numbering their floors or rooms.

Superstition Explanation
Placing coins in the sink Believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits
Avoiding room number 13 Believed to be unlucky
Avoiding a bed that faces a mirror Believed to cause bad dreams or attract spirits

While these beliefs may seem irrational to some, they are an important part of many cultures and deserve to be respected. It is important to remember that beliefs and traditions can vary greatly from one culture to another, and what may seem strange or unusual to one person may be perfectly normal to another.

So the next time you see someone putting coins in a hotel sink, remember that there may be a fascinating cultural tradition behind this seemingly simple act.

As a Tip for Housekeeping

One of the reasons why people put coins in hotel sinks is to leave a tip for the housekeeping staff. In some countries, it is customary to leave a small amount of money as a gesture of appreciation for the staff who clean your room. While some people may leave the tip on the bed or a table, others may place it in the sink as a more discreet way of leaving a tip.

It is worth mentioning that tipping culture can vary greatly from country to country. For example, in the United States, tipping is expected for many services, including housekeeping in hotels. However, in some European countries like Spain and Italy, tipping is not as common and may even be considered insulting in some situations.

According to a survey conducted by TripAdvisor, 33% of American travelers leave a tip for housekeeping during their hotel stays. The same survey found that the average tip left for housekeeping is $2-5 per day of the stay.

Keep in mind that leaving a tip for housekeeping is not mandatory, but it is a nice gesture to show appreciation for their hard work. Unfortunately, some people may not realize this and may leave the coins in the sink for other reasons.

On the other hand, some hotels have policies in place that discourage or even prohibit guests from leaving coins in the sink. This is because it can cause damage to the plumbing and lead to costly repairs. Instead, these hotels may provide envelopes or other containers for guests to leave tips for housekeeping.

Testing Water Flow

Have you ever walked into a hotel bathroom and noticed coins sitting in the sink? While it may seem odd, this phenomenon is actually quite common. In fact, many people believe that placing coins in the sink can serve a variety of practical purposes.

One of the main reasons why people put coins in hotel sinks is to test the water flow. By turning on the faucet and observing how the water flows over the coins, you can quickly determine if there are any issues with the water pressure or if the drain is clogged. This technique is especially useful if you’re in a hurry and need to quickly assess the situation.

It is worth mentioning that water pressure issues can be caused by a variety of factors, including clogged pipes, malfunctioning valves, or even the hotel’s location and elevation. In some cases, low water pressure may be a sign of a larger plumbing issue that requires professional attention.

Keep in mind that placing coins in the sink is not the only way to test water flow. Some people also use a plastic bottle or a piece of paper to observe the water pressure. However, coins are often more readily available and easier to use.

If you encounter a water flow issue during your hotel stay, be sure to report it to the front desk or maintenance staff. They can help diagnose the problem and ensure that it is fixed promptly.

Prank or Joke

Putting coins in hotel sinks is a phenomenon that has puzzled many people. While it may seem like a harmless act, there are several reasons why people do it. One of the reasons is that it’s simply a prank or a joke.

It’s not uncommon for friends or family members who are traveling together to play practical jokes on each other. Placing coins in a hotel sink can be one of those pranks that they find amusing. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these pranks should not cause any harm or damage to the hotel property.

Unfortunately, these pranks can sometimes go too far, and the coins can cause damage to the plumbing or even clog the sink. It is worth mentioning that hotel staff members may not find these pranks as amusing as the guests, especially if it causes any damage to the property.

Remember, when you are staying in a hotel, you are a guest, and it’s important to treat the property with respect. If you do decide to play a prank on your friends or family members, make sure to clean up after yourself and not leave any mess behind for the housekeeping staff.


In conclusion, placing coins in hotel sinks is a phenomenon that can be attributed to various reasons, including superstition, leaving a tip, testing water flow, or simply as a joke.

While it may seem like a harmless act, it’s important to remember to clean up after yourself and not leave any mess behind for the housekeeping staff.

Next time you check into a hotel room and find coins in the sink, you’ll have a better understanding of why they might be there.

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