Secret Hack: How to Secure a Hotel Room Door with a Towel?

Picture this: you’ve just checked into your hotel room after a long day of exploring a new city. You’re ready to kick back, relax, and enjoy some well-deserved downtime. But, as seasoned globetrotters know, there’s always that little voice in the back of your head wondering, “Is my hotel room door really as secure as I’d like it to be?”

Today, we’re going to talk about a nifty little trick that might just put your mind at ease: securing your hotel room door with a towel. Yes, you read that right—something as simple as a towel can add an extra layer of security to your temporary home away from home. Alongside these methods, we’ll also provide valuable hotel safety recommendations, ensuring your stay is worry-free and your sense of security is unwavering.

How to Secure a Hotel Room Door with a Towel?

Various methods can be employed to enhance the security of your hotel room door using a towel, and the choice largely hinges on the type of lock your door is equipped with. The following are a few approaches you can experiment with:

regular door lock

Method 1: Securing a Regular Lock

This initial and simple trick consists of just two easy steps. To implement it, follow these instructions carefully:

Step 1: Wedge the Towel

Begin by firmly placing the towel in the space between the door and the doorframe. This creates resistance and makes it harder for anyone outside to push the door open. Make sure to position the towel at the bottom of the door where the gap is typically the widest.

Step 2: Wrap the Towel Around the Handle

Next, take the same towel and wrap it around the door handle or knob. This adds an extra layer of protection, preventing the handle from turning even if someone tries to push the door open partially. For maximum effectiveness, ensure the towel is tightly and securely wrapped around the handle.

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Method 2: Securing a U-bar Lock 

Hotels employ various types of locks, such as U-bar locks or security latches. Let’s say your room has a U-bar lock. In this case, you can employ a clear-cut method using a small washcloth or a face towel to hinder the latch from retracting. Here’s how to do it:

U bar lock

Step 1: Towel Preparation

Start by neatly and evenly folding the towel to ensure it’s free of wrinkles, creases, or loose ends. A smooth, compact towel is ideal as it fits snugly into the gap and remains secure. Avoid excessive folding, as it can make the towel bulky and rigid, hindering insertion.

Step 2: Towel Placement

Carefully and gently place the towel over the top of the door and ensure that it spans the entire gap without touching the metal lock bar. Avoid applying excessive force, as it could dislodge the towel or potentially harm the door and frame. Be mindful of the towel’s positioning on the door, avoiding extremes of height that might expose gaps or interfere with door operation.

Step 3: Door Closure and Confirmation

Slowly and gently close the door while monitoring the towel’s placement. Ensure it stays in position without getting caught in hinges or the lock. Confirm its secure placement by gently pulling on both ends of the towel to check for resistance. If it doesn’t offer resistance, make adjustments or replace the towel until it firmly wedges into the gap.

Method 3: Securing a Security Latch Lock

security door latch lock

If your hotel room has a different type of lock called a security latch, it’s somewhat more secure compared to the U-bar lock. However, you can still add an extra layer of security using a hand towel to block this square bar lock. In just a few simple steps, you can fashion your own hotel door lock.

  • Initiate the procedure by gently opening the latch of the lock. It’s essential to make certain it’s unlocked before moving forward.
  • Take a face towel and place it over the lock, making sure it covers the entire latch. This clever trick is to prevent the latch from opening even if someone tries to force it with great strength. Ensure the towel is snugly wrapped around the lock.
  • To keep the towel securely in place, use a hairband. Slip the hairband over the towel-wrapped lock, tightening it to ensure a snug fit. This added step further reinforces the security of your makeshift lock.

Method 4: Crating a Towel Bar Block

Towel Bar Block

One more way to secure your hotel room door with a towel is by creating a tower bar block. For this, you would need a thicker towel like a bath towel. Ensure that the door and the floor are both clean, dry, and free of debris to prevent any slipping accidents.

Step 1: Fold the towel

Fold the towel in half lengthwise, creating a long strip. Roll the towel into a tight cylinder. The tighter you can roll it, the better it will work as a doorstop.

Step 2: Position the towel

Open the door slightly, just enough to slide the rolled towel under it. Place the rolled towel at the base of the door, with the flat end facing inward and the rolled part wedged against the door’s edge.

Step 4: Test the door

Gently push or pull the door to ensure it can’t be opened easily from the outside. The towel should provide resistance and keep the door from swinging open.

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Check the Lock’s Strength

Now that you’ve learned about the different ways to use a towel to secure a hotel room, it’s essential to assess how well these methods work. Before fully relying on the hotel towel trick, it’s wise to test its strength and effectiveness. Here’s a step-by-step process:

  • Gently push against the door, just as you would if you were trying to open it with a bit of effort.
  • If the towel holds its position and makes it difficult to open the door easily, you can trust it to add extra security.

However, if you find that the towel slips or the door can be pushed open easily, you might need to make some adjustments. You can try placing the towel differently or using a thicker one. Remember, the goal here is to create enough resistance to discourage potential intruders and give yourself more time to react in case of an emergency.

Why Should You Use a Towel to Secure Your Hotel Room Door?

There are good reasons to consider putting a towel under your hotel room door. Let’s explore why this is the case:

Noise and Light Blocker

Firstly, it helps to block out noise and light from the hotel hallway. Hotel hallways are often well-lit, and there can be noise from other guests. Placing a towel at the bottom of the door can reduce these disturbances and ensure you have a peaceful night’s sleep.

Added Security

Another important reason is security. It adds an extra layer of protection to your hotel room. This makes it more difficult for someone outside to tamper with your lock, like trying to use a tool to open it.

Enhanced Privacy

Lastly, it enhances your privacy. Sometimes there’s a gap under the door, especially with certain types of locks. This gap can allow others to peek into your room, which compromises your personal space. Using a towel can prevent this and give you more privacy during your stay.

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Are there Any Pros and Cons to this Trick?

This trick also has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Take a look below to understand them better.


  • It’s really easy to do, and you don’t need any special stuff. Just grab a towel and something like a headband to keep it in place.
  • This trick can stop someone from opening your door with a hook, card, or tool from the outside.
  • It can make you feel safer and more relaxed, knowing your room is more secure and private.


  • It’s not a sure thing and might not stop someone really determined or with the right tools from breaking in.
  • If you do it wrong or too tightly, it could harm the door or lock, and you might get charged extra by the hotel.
  • It could create issues for hotel staff who need to enter your room for cleaning or repairs. You might have to take the towel down or use a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
  • In an emergency like a fire, having the towel there could be dangerous. You might forget to remove it or have trouble opening the door quickly.

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hotel corridor

Additional Hotel Safety Tips

If you want to boost your room’s security, you can consider using the towel trick mentioned earlier. For an extra layer of safety, below are some other hotel safety tips you can keep in mind:

  • Hotel Selection Criteria – Opt for a reputable hotel that has solid security features like CCTV cameras, electronic locks, safes, and fire alarms. Check online reviews or ratings to gauge the hotel’s quality and safety standards.
  • Room Location Strategy – Avoid choosing rooms on the ground floor or close to exits, as they might be more susceptible to break-ins or intruders. Rooms on higher floors or near elevators are often safer, more visible, and easier to access in emergencies.
  • Door Security Practice – Always use the peephole or chain lock before opening your door to anyone, even if they claim to be hotel staff or fellow guests. If you’re not expecting someone, avoid opening the door altogether. You can call the front desk to verify the person’s identity.
  • Valuables Protection – Keep your valuable items and important documents locked in the hotel safe or in your luggage when you’re not in your room. Don’t leave them out in the open or unattended. It’s a good idea to take photos of your valuables and documents as a backup in case they go missing or are stolen.
  • Situational Awareness – Stay aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you spot anything suspicious or feel uneasy, report it to the hotel staff or local authorities. Don’t hesitate to seek help or advice if needed.


Securing your hotel room door with a simple towel can provide added peace of mind during your travels. Whether it’s to block out noise, enhance privacy, or add an extra layer of security, these towel tricks are easy to implement. However, it’s essential to acknowledge their limitations and potential drawbacks, such as the risk of causing damage or impeding emergency access.

To ensure a safe and worry-free hotel stay, it’s crucial to complement these towel methods with other hotel safety practices. Choose reputable hotels with robust security measures, be cautious when opening your door, and safeguard your valuables. Always stay vigilant and trust your instincts, reporting any suspicious activity to hotel staff or local authorities. By combining these strategies, you can enjoy your travels with confidence and security.

How to Secure a Hotel Room Door with a Towel? - FAQs

Is it legal to use a towel to secure a hotel room door?

Yes, it’s generally legal to use a towel to secure your hotel room door for added privacy and security.

Can I use any towel for these methods, or are specific types better suited for this purpose?

You can use most types of towels, but thicker towels like bath towels tend to work better for creating a secure block at the bottom of the door. Thicker towels offer more resistance.

Do these towel methods guarantee complete security?

No, these methods are simple and temporary measures meant to enhance your sense of security. They are not foolproof and won’t provide the same level of protection as a properly functioning hotel room lock

Are there any alternatives to using a towel for hotel room security?

Yes, there are alternatives, such as using portable door locks, door wedges, or door stoppers designed specifically for travel. These products are designed to provide added security without the potential drawbacks of using a towel.

Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!