Gross Things in Your Hotel Room You Should Avoid
Many of us see vacation as a time to kick back, unwind and maybe enjoy some of the perks of a hotel stay. For those of us who worry about cleanliness, however, a hotel might not be the most relaxing place to sleep.
With so many people passing through a room, some things are bound to get dirty — but you'd at least hope they change the pillowcases, right? Prepare to discover the most germ-laden items in the average hotel room.
When staying at a hotel, not many people think about what they're walking on. That's why the carpet is the dark horse of the dirty objects in your hotel room — but when you think about it, it's not hard to see why.
This dirty hotel item is one of the most shocking — and might make you want to swear off of hotels forever. That's right; according to a study by Today, many cleaners don't change pillowcases when re-making beds. Instead, they toss the pillows aside while changing sheets and then put the pillows right back where they were.
It might not surprise you that light switches tend to be hotspots for bacteria accumulation. After all, everyone needs to turn the lights on, and not everyone washes their hands on a regular basis. In a hotel room, you'll want to be especially wary of the light switches on your bedside lamp.
Most hotels provide welcome cards or booklets inside their rooms. These can be quite useful, giving you information on everything from the Wi-Fi password to the best pizza place in town. Before you peruse the pamphlet, however, consider cleaning it first.
The bedspread is one of those gross hotel items that many people know to avoid. Depending on the quality of your hotel, it's not usually something that gets cleaned between stays, so previous patrons' germs can remain in the fabric.
While bedspreads can be great homes for germs, hard surfaces aren’t immune to germ intrusion. That's why the phone — which lots of different people use — can carry nasty viruses, especially because housekeepers don't always bother to clean it.
Another item you should probably avoid using in your hotel room is the drinking glass. Undercover studies on hotel cleanliness reveal that drinking glasses are some of the dirtiest things in any hotel room. Cleaners working in a hurry often bypass a thorough cleaning, using a dry sponge or even dirty towels to wipe down the glasses.
Yes, the idea of taking a hot bath while on vacation is quite tempting. Put on a face mask, throw in a bath bomb and relax, right? Unfortunately, this is the worst thing you can do if you're trying to avoid bacteria.
Chairs and Sofas
These items aren’t the worst on our list, but they’re worth avoiding if you're worried about cleanliness. You know the padded chair off to the side, the one where you might be tempted to have your morning coffee? Well, it's a spot that usually harbors germs.
The hotel ice bucket is the picture of luxuriating: You pad down the hall to fill it and place your bottle of champagne inside. According to Minnesotan health inspectors, however, ice buckets don't legally need to be cleaned between stays, and they can collect bacteria.
When you consider the objects in a hotel room, a remote control probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. They're so common that we don't even realize we're using them — but remember, almost everyone uses one during a hotel stay.
The bathroom is a risky place in general when it comes to hotels. Lots of unsanitary stuff goes on there, and some people aren't as hygienic as others. It may not come as a surprise to you, then, that the toilet handle is one of the dirtiest spots in a hotel.
Moving from the toilet handle to the bathroom sink isn't a big leap, and it's for precisely this reason that you shouldn't leave things all over it. One study found bathroom counters to be the number-one dirtiest areas in hotels, even surpassing the toilets.
You might think that the hotel desk is one of the cleanest areas in a hotel — its surface looks smooth and spotless, after all. And who even uses the hotel desk, anyway? As it turns out, lots of people use the desk.
Ah, the hotel jacuzzi. It's something you may have excitedly sought out during your stay, only to find it occupied by another group of people. That's because people love hot tubs, but the tubs’ popularity doesn't do anything for their cleanliness.
Pool chairs at a hotel are certainly not cleaned as often as hotel rooms, and they can carry many bacteria. People use them before, during and after swimming, which means they're transferring germs from the pool and hot tub to the chairs. Plus, because the chairs are out in the elements and are usually wet, they can harbor algae.
They’re in almost every hotel room, and almost everyone uses them. Drapes keep out the bright sun and help keep the room warm overnight, and you’ll probably want to use them — just be careful with how you handle them.
As you may know, any hard surface that people frequently touch is a spot where bacteria are likely to build up. This even applies to pool ladders. Plenty of people need to hang on as they enter and exit the pool, and that means numerous hands touch the same area.
Pools in General
It turns out that the most dangerous part of the pool (germ-wise) isn't the ladder or the pool chairs — it's the pool itself. Public pools don't have a great reputation when it comes to cleanliness, and they're actually the cause of many illness outbreaks a year.
Another thing that gets a lot of use is door handles. Anyone concerned about germs and bacteria knows to avoid door handles, and hotel rooms are no exception. Surprisingly, though, they might not be as dirty as you think.
Most people are so focused on avoiding the contaminants in their hotel rooms that they don't realize they're exposed to germs before they even set foot inside. Your hotel room key is something that is positively crawling with germs, and these keys are rarely cleaned.
Have you ever been to a hotel that had a cool lounge room or game space? Perhaps it had a pool table and board games — a fun space where guests can come to hang out when they have nothing big going on.
Yes, they're cute, and yes, there’s often nothing wrong with using them. A hotel's complimentary toiletries are one of the perks of your stay, and you might even have a habit of taking them home with you. This is all well and good until a hotel neglects to replace the stash.
If you've ever opened your coffeemaker at home to find some mold starting to grow on old coffee grounds, then you know why it's a risky item in a hotel room. Coffeemakers need regular, thorough cleanings to remain bacteria-free and safe to use.
And Now, the Cleaner Spots: Headboards
Now that you're sufficiently terrified of entering your hotel room, let's take a look at the items and places that are least likely to hold bacteria. Fortunately, not every surface is crawling with germs. Just many of them are. You might be happy to know, however, that your headboard is a pretty clean place.
You may be surprised by this clean hotel appliance. But wait! Don't hard surfaces that get touched a lot tend to have high levels of bacteria? They do, but alarm clocks aren’t one of those items. People simply don't use them that much anymore.
According to bacteria researchers from the University of Arizona, nightstands have low levels of bacteria, right along with alarm clocks. The researchers took measurements after a regular hotel cleaning took place, and while they warn against using the hotel phone and bathroom counter, the nightstand is pretty decent.
Like headboards, guests rarely touch curtain rods. Therefore, they earn a spot on the list of cleanest surfaces. The drapes that hang off of them may not be clean, but hey, at least the rods are! This ranking comes from a study done by Purdue University, where researchers tested many hotel surfaces.
Sheets are typically some of the cleaner items in a hotel room, and for good reason. In some states, it’s the law that housekeepers have to change the sheets between each guest’s stay in a room. Cleaners and professional laundering services typically use heavy-duty detergents to wash these linens, too.
In addition to clean sheets, every decent hotel gives its guests clean towels. Even if the tub is grimy and the bathroom counter is crawling with bacteria, at least you can dry yourself off with confidence. They may bleach the heck out of the towels, but as long as they're clean, who cares?