Before you go into a super-excited mode about your next vacation or hotel say, there’s some important things you need to know. Not everything in that luxurious hotel room is safe for you to touch. In fact, a hotel room could be as filthy and other places like a home, school or plane.
One of the reasons for this is because housekeepers have little time between check-ins to take care of a room, so they miss certain places that should be disinfected. Here are ten things you should never touch during your next stay in a hotel room.
1. Remote Control
This is probably the most dangerous thing to touch in a hotel room. Housekeepers only wipe them without necessarily disinfecting them. The result is millions of germs left behind for the next occupant. An investigation conducted some years ago revealed that remote controls found in the hotel room used for the investigation, contained high levels of bacteria. Scary fact: The research also revealed that about 20% had been contaminated with semen!
2. Pillow Cases
It is easy to assume that the maids change pillow cases and bed materials after each stay, but that is not actually the case. An undercover investigation made with five hotels said housekeepers simply place the pillows on a filthy chair, replace the sheets, give the pillows a fluff, and nicely place it back on the bed without actually replacing the pillow case. Probably the best solution to this is to carry your own pillow case along.
3. The Comforter
It is difficult to imagine that those nicely-made contain germs, but just like pillow cases, those sheets can be filled with hidden germs. Be sure to thoroughly check the mattress before jumping on it. Even the coziest of places can be a safe haven for bugs.
Hotel phones are the hotspots for bacteria. They are rarely disinfected by housekeepers and when you pick up one, you are touching the same surface that has been touched by several people. A study revealed that phones were especially filled with bacteria more than most surfaces in the room. Apart from touching, people breathe into them when making calls, this allows the germs with ease. The only solution is to take disinfectant wipes along with you, or simply make your calls with your own phone.
Another investigation uncovered housekeepers “cleaning” cups by just rinsing them out and putting them back in place. They never bothered to wash them properly. This will lead to continuous accumulation of germs on the cups. You should also beware of drinking glasses near the sink and most of them may have been in the room for a long period of time. The solution is to use small plastic cups if they are available, or just drink bottled water. If none of those are available, you can clean the cups yourself with soap and clean water.
6. Bathroom Counter
This is another place to never touch in a hotel room. As revealed in a study called Hotel Hygiene Exposed, 3-star hotels were investigated and several disgusting germs were found on the bathroom counters of the hotels. Be sure to keep your own antibacterial wipes with you on your next trip.
7. Ice Bucket
Be careful with this item in your room as most hotel maids tend to just ignore it. Ice buckets contain tons of germs that can be easily contacted. The ice machines themselves are rarely cleaned. If you’re really in need of some ice, call the front desk and request for plastic bags with which you can hold ice.
8. The Coffee Machine
Who wouldn’t want a nice cup of coffee in the morning? Well, not from the coffee machine in your hotel room! Several investigations have uncovered the bad habits of housekeepers, and another by ABC News found a housekeeper cleaning the coffee pot with a filthy hand towel. Unsurprisingly, the same hand towel had been used to clean the bathroom floor.
9. The Floor
The floor of your hotel room may look all clean and shiny, and you may even think that you have nothing to worry about. The fact remains that the floors may never have been vacuumed and even if they were, it was most likely done in a rush. Be sure to protect your soles with slippers or socks in your hotel room.
10. Light Switches
Just like the phone and remote control, light switches are some of the biggest offenders often overlook by travelers. The fact is that light switches are frequently operated by guests, making it a comfortable home for germs and contamination. Disinfectant wipes are very important in this case, if you don’t have them, tissues can also come in handy. Whatever you do, never touch hotel light switches with you bare hands.