Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Hotel Rooms and Your Holiday Health


Traveling over the holiday? Keep this in mind when entering your hotel room. The average hotel room is filthier than a typical home, school or even a plane, according to some studies. 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. The hotel cleaning staff has a quick turnaround for rooms and rarely do they have time to disinfect the random items in your room. 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 another study “uncovered hotel drinking glasses that were so dirty they could pose a serious risk to your health.” Many glasses were cleaned with a quick swipe of glass cleaner for a shiny, but un-cleaned look.

Some of the most frequently touched places – phone, light switches, pillowcases – 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. One scary fact states: 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 also 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 enough. 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 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 cubes filled with harmful bacteria.

So when traveling, remember to bring disinfectant wipes and wipe down the hotel remote control, doorknobs, sink counter and phone. It will take just a few minutes of your time to make sure your room not only looks clean, but also is sanitary. And if you’re wondering what does the cleaning maid do – remember they are underpaid, overworked and all on a time constraint to do the most work in the least amount of time.


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