I’m a germophobe. I can’t help it! I come from a long line of “germ conscious” folks. Sometimes the thought of staying in a hotel room frequented by every type of traveler makes me cringe.
Think about it—where besides a hospital are you going to find as many germs? My answer is—a hotel room. So how does a big-time germophobe like me overcome my fears and manage to stay in hotel rooms while on vacation? Yes, I’ve found a way to travel and use hotel rooms without fear—just by spending a couple minutes.
Before you leave home, do a little research.
Research your hotel online
Look for phrases like:
- Newly built
- Newly renovated
- Modern furnishings
If you see some of these words describing the room, you’ll be more likely to end up with a cleaner room.
Check out the customer reviews
See what the reviews say about cleanliness (or a lack thereof). In general, if most of the reviews are favorable you’ll be okay. Keep in mind that every hotel will have a bad review or two. Look at what the majority of people are saying about the hotel. If only 50% of the reviews recommend the hotel, you may want to look somewhere else.
When you arrive at you room, take a few minutes dealing with the most potentially germ-infested things in the room.
Here are the 6 dirtiest things in a hotel room.
The Bedspread or Duvet—Take It Off Your Bed
The bed sheets will get washed in between each customer. But have you ever thought of the bedspread? Don’t count on it being clean because most of the time they won’t be. Those are usually kept in the room and only cleaned when absolutely necessary since they’re harder to wash.
The TV Remote—Wipe It Down
There’s no question that the TV remote is probably one of the most touched items in your hotel room, so bring along some disinfecting wipes and wipe it down, along with the telephone, right when you check into your room.
The remote is one of the 6 dirtiest things in a hotel room
The Table, the Desk or Workstation—Disinfect It
These are areas that people use all the time for God knows what—eating, changing diapers—and it never gets cleaned. I use those same disinfecting wipes to clean these surfaces.
The Hotel Room Floor—Never Walk on It with Your Bare Feet
Speaking of surfaces that can’t be easily sanitized, a hotel room floor is probably the most disgusting surface of them all. The mops go from room to room to room when the housekeepers clean, spreading germs from each bath to the next. Bring a pair of flip-flops to wear when walking on the floor and when you step out of the shower have those flip-flops ready.
The Complimentary Glasses—Always Bring Your Own
The first time I found lip prints on the glasses was the last time I used a hotel glass. Drinking glasses in hotel rooms are not often washed, or at least not washed to the standard we may expect (more often they are simply rinsed). They will “wash” them by spraying them with an ammonia based window cleaner (like Windex) and wipe them down with the same cloth they used on all the other surfaces in the bathroom. Thank goodness some hotels are moving to individually-wrapped, plastic disposable cups but not all of them. I’ll keep traveling with my own,
The Ice Bucket—Use Your Own Cooler for Ice
Another area of concern in a hotel room is the ice bucket. They don’t usually get washed between room bookings and people use these for all sorts of things besides holding ice. (I once watched a hotel ice bucket being carried back into a nearby room by a family who had gone fishing. They had used it to hold live bait.) Opt to use your own cooler. If you have to use the ice bucket make absolutely sure you use the plastic bag included. Also, make sure that the ice machine is clean if you’re planning to actually put ice in drinks or near food!
If you weren’t germ-conscience before you read this, you probably are now. I apologize for that but by just spending a few minutes doing these simple things I’m able to rest my head easy—on my own pillow.
What do you consider to be the dirtiest thing in a hotel room? Please join the discussion in the comments below.