The average hotel room is filthier than a typical home, school or even a plane, according to a study. The cleaning staff has a quick turnaround for rooms and rarely do they disinfect the random items such as your ice bucket.
As if there weren’t already plenty of things about hotel rooms that should scare you, now we add germs and the possibility of contracting an illness to the list.
A study titled Hotel Hygiene Exposed found the highest bacteria filled areas were the bathroom counter and remote control. While an ABC News Investigation “uncovered hotel drinking glasses that were so dirty they could pose a serious risk to your health.”
Don’t let a clean looking room fool you; even the most expensive and attractive hotel rooms have hidden germs. Just because the bed is nicely made, doesn’t mean the sheets were just cleaned; and although your carpet may look spotless, that doesn’t mean it was just vacuumed.
Some of the most frequently touched places – phone, light switches, pillow cases – are contaminated with harmful bacteria and germs. Always remember to properly inspect your room and bring disinfectant wipes with you so that you can wipe down all of these germ infested objects.
Believe it or not, one of the dirtiest items in your hotel room is the remote control. The cleaning staff has a quick turnaround for rooms and rarely do they disinfect the random items, such as your remote. Scary Fact: Your remote may have the same amount of bacteria as your toilet seat.
According to an investigation at five of the top hotel chains in the country, phones were teeming with bacteria. People touch them a lot, but they also breathe into them, which causes germs to spread easily. The truth is that most maids don’t clean them often. If you’re trying to avoid the cold and flu, bring disinfectant wipes with you and wipe down the phone before you use it.
Be careful before you touch the bathroom counter, especially the sink. According to a study titled Hotel Hygiene Exposed, in the 3-star hotels they tested, yeast, gram-positive cocci and gram-positive cocci, type 2 were all found on the bathroom counter.
Whatever you do make sure you check your mattress and comforter before sleeping in it. Better yet, bring your own comforter to the hotel with you instead. Bed bugs like to hide in the crevices of the mattresses, headboards and box springs; don’t be surprised if they have made their way to the comforter.
The Ice Bucket
This is another item hotel maids tend to skip over. They are full of contamination and germs. If that’s not enough, the ice machine itself is another item that rarely gets cleaned. Tip: If you really need ice, call the front desk and ask for plastic bags to hold ice. This way you are avoiding drinking ice cubs filled with harmful bacteria.
Although your hotel room floor may look clean, you have no idea who or what has been on it last. The cleaning service only does so much, and while yes, they should be vacuuming the floors, when they are in a rush they may decide not to do so. Make sure that you are always wearing slippers or socks when walking around your hotel room.
Many hotels wash and change their bed sheets on a regular basis, but the truth is that pillows sometimes get left out. According to research, a 3-star hotel chains cleaning schedule showed that it only requires mattress pads, blankets and bedspreads to be cleaned once every three months. Imagine how many peoples germs, illnesses and drool are embedded in your pillowcase. Do yourself a favor and bring your own pillowcase to the hotel with you.
Drinking Glasses Near the Sink
You may be thirsty, but be aware that the drinking glasses sitting next to the sink may not be as clean as you think. They probably haven’t left the room in ages. Studies have even shown that a common hotel practice is cleaning glasses with toxic chemicals such as window cleaner. Before you drink from them make sure you clean them with soap and water, or better yet simply ask the front desk for plastic cups.
This is one of the worst offenders – the light switch. The main light switch and bedside lamp switch are among the most frequently touched places by guests, which makes them two of the most contaminated things in your room. Tip: If you forgot disinfectant wipes, use a tissue, or your elbow…just don’t touch it with your bare hands.
The Coffee Machine
As temping as these machines are to use, you may want to consider going to a coffee shop instead. An ABC News Investigation “found a housekeeper who used a spray bottle to douse the…coffee pot in the sink with a bottle of Lysol mildew remover." While another housekeeper was caught on camera using a dirty hand towel to clean the coffee pot – the same towel that was used on the bathroom floor.
Your body will be thankful when you don’t touch the germ-infested items in a hotel room. While we hope they are clean, it isn’t always the case. Avoid these items at all cost!