The Truth About Hotels and Germs

For the traveler, hotel and motel stays provide a large part of the get-a-way experience. Guests and their families want accommodations that are clean, safe and comfortable. Infection from hotel rooms is usually a minimal risk, but it is possible. Here are some commonly asked questions by business travelers and vacationers alike seeking the truth about hotels and germs. Also you can find discount hotel rates to using by the internet.

Are the TV remote and doorknobs really germ magnets?

Areas frequently touched or handled such as the TV remote, doorknobs, light switches, phone, bathroom faucets, toilet seat, and toilet tank handle can carry bacteria and viruses. Before using the facilities, clean with disinfectant spray or antiseptic wipes. Germs can remain active on surfaces for a number of hours—places that are often overlooked by housekeeping. When in doubt, an alcohol wipe is a convenient way to keep microbes in check. White vinegar is also a good disinfectant for areas such as showers, tubs and Jacuzzis. Last, but not least, thorough hand washing can help prevent the spread of viruses such as the flu.

Are the glasses as sparkling clean as they look?

Sparkling glasses
Pristine glassware is not necessarily germ-free—use the sealed plastic cups that the hotel provides instead of hotel glasses in the room. Cleaning standards vary from state to state. Though the glass may look clean, there is no guarantee it has been thoroughly washed with hygienic supplies used only for beverage items. Bringing glasses from home is also an option.

Is using the hotel coffeepot a good way to start the morning?

This is another one of those items that may not get regular cleaning. If the item was cleaned, there is no way of knowing what type of detergent or other products were used. Stories have also circulated online about hotel cleaning staff finding a variety of refuse inside coffeepot filter baskets. Realistically, the guest can’t be sure how sanitary the coffeepot is, so it might be best to grab a cup of coffee from the hotel breakfast area. If it is necessary to use the coffeepot, the guest can wash the filter basket and pot before using. Or, bring a portable coffee maker from home.

When were the bedspreads last washed?

Sheets are laundered after each guest stay, but bedspreads are not regularly changed, so it is a good idea to remove the cover and store it in the closet or corner. Bacteria and viruses can remain in the fabric. Several hotel chains now use washable lightweight bed coverings to ensure cleanliness and comfort—important for a good night’s sleep. In addition, check the bedding for any sign of bedbugs–such as spots on the sheets or mattresses.

Generally, the more expensive the hotel–the better trained the housekeeping staff, but even the finest resort can have problems. Inspect the room to make sure it has been adequately cleaned, and if not, ask for another room. For a pleasant trip, travelers should avoid spending too much time worrying about germs—this won’t ward off illness. Using a few precautions outlined above, it is possible to enjoy a fun-filled, healthy vacation without fear of getting sick from the accommodations. You will enjoy the benefits of discount hotel reservations more if you choose your hotel carefully.

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