Booking a holiday with a lovely hotel room, balcony, TV and fresh water is all fun and games. You know full well you’re signing up to stay in a space where hundreds and if not thousands of people have stayed before you and will continue to stay after you. It’s not old news that those people before you, the same as you, carry germs and bacteria. What you might be surprised to learn is where those germs are lurking.
With 14 to 16 rooms to clean in an eight-hour shift, hotel staff don’t usually get much time to clean a room, from top to bottom ― roughly 30 minutes on average, or less during depending on the season.
It’s also important to note that the germs you’ll find in your hotel room most likely aren’t dangerous. After all, you’re surrounded by bacteria and viruses everywhere you go, and your chances of getting sick from germs left by other hotel guests are low.
The TV Remote
The weather is poor or you may have just woke up and want to listen to the morning news. Whatever your preference, the TV remote is covered in bacteria. Hundreds of hands have touched the device, and it’s probably not high on the housekeeping team’s long list of things to clean.
A team of researchers found that after testing a variety of surfaces in a range of hotel rooms that along with the toilet and bathroom sink, the TV remote contained high levels of bacterial contamination.
The Bed Comforter or Duvet
Staff typically change the sheets between guests, but the turnaround for checking in new guests can be so fast that washing large comforters isn’t an easy task. As we sleep, we release body oils and shed skin flakes, which can get on the bedspread along with bacteria we might be carrying.
It has been reported that bedspread can, in some hotels, be changed only four times per year. We don’t know how true this is but it is gross. If you want to stay away from germs on the bed, getting rid of the comforter is a good start. A lot of people will recommend just folding the bedspread back or throwing it on the chair and don’t use it while you’re there. However, nine times out of ten, the sheets are changed and put on a hot wash to ensure all bacteria from the previous customer is removed. Carpets can also be filled with germs, so maybe bring some slippers or wear your socks.
If your room includes drinking glasses, you might want to wipe them down before drinking from them, especially if those glasses are kept in the bathroom. Majority of the time these glasses are kept in a cover or a bag, but if they aren’t then yes you should wipe them over.
A study confirmed that flushing the toilet can contaminate many other surfaces up to six foot or more. If glasses aren’t properly sanitized with a disinfectant, they can be a great place for germs.
Plugs and Light Switch
Light switches, especially in the bathroom, are prone to collecting bacteria because of the many hands that touch them. A wipe over with antibacterial spray will remove up to 99.9% of bacteria leaving it hygienically clean for the next customer.
All of these areas are fantastic places for germs and bacteria to live. They are also the main areas in which most cleaning staff forgets to clean or simply do not have the time. We would recommend regular hand washing and using anti-bac hand gel to help reduce the spread of bacteria and cross contamination. As a customer, you could also take some antibacterial wipes with you just to give yourself a bit of reassurance that the areas you or your family are touching are clean and germ-free.