As you're flipping through different channels, try not to think about how many strangers have touched the remote before you--studies have shown it's the dirtiest item in the room. Considering that many of those germs made their way to the remote via feces, you're probably better off having a TV-free vacation.
Maid’s Mop and Sponge
If your hotel's cleaning tools aren't safe, then what is?? Not a lot, apparently. They’re used in some of the dirtiest places, and the cleaning crew may not switch out the cleaner fluid or soap until the end of their shift.
Not every pillow and pillowcase will be washed after use, but they're usually the hardest hit when it comes to germs. Hope you don't mind sharing makeup, bodily fluids, and much more with the people in the room before you!
Admit it--you probably don't clean your own comforter at home as often as you should. Now multiply that by hundreds of rooms, and you've got your average hotel. Many people don't shower before bed, and since the comforters aren't cleaned after each guest, the dirt, oil, and sweat just accumulate.
Smartphones may be ruining our minds, but at least your dealing with just your own germs when you use one! Hotel phones are a disgusting who's who of bacteria that can cause problems from skin irritation to intestinal distress--which will probably lead to even more germ problems in the bathrom. Skip the wake-up call and room service and avoid the room phone at all costs!
Cleaning crews wipe down bathroom faucets, but is that really enough, considering what normally occurs right before you touch one? You're welcome for that mental image, by the way.
Paradoxically, the bathtub is the one place in a hotel room where you need a hazmat suit the most. You may be washing those germs off of you, but that doesn't mean they're gone for good. Housekeeping rarely has time to scrub the sides and give it a good, thorough wash, which means all those nooks and crannies are probably filthier than they seem.
The shower curtains in the bathroom may only be rinsed once every three months by the cleaning crew. However, mold operates in minutes and hours, not months. Once those curtains are up, they're likely to stay up for the forseeable future. So, they make a great spot for bacteria to flourish without us meddling in their affairs.
Some may think that vacuuming the carpet is sufficient but think about how many sets of dirty shoes and socks touch the floor regularly. Or don't--it will just gross you out.They don’t have time to deep clean the carpets each time new guests check in. You can't vacuum up athlete’s foot.
Room Service Menu
You might be thinking that the worst part of room service is the sky-high prices. But there are better reasons than that to avoid eating in. The room service menu is one of the most used things in your hotel room, but it rarely gets the cleaning attention it deserves. Let's hope the occupants before you used hand sanitizer before ordering overpriced eggs!
Drapes are the perfect environment for dust and allergens to gather. Most cleaning crews dust the curtains, but how often are they washed? GLB Cleaners suggests for hotels to dry clean their drapes once every year--but something tells us most places just ignore this advice.
Your desk might be dust free, but that doesn't mean it's germ free! Most housekeepers use the same cloth to wipe down every surface in a hotel room. Let's hope they hit the desk before they hit the bathroom!
Let's be honest: nothing is safe when it comes to hotel bathroom. But the counter might be the worst place of all when it comes to germs. And even though they get wiped down daily, who's to say that's actually enough to disinfect them?
To prevent mold, coffee makers should be cleaned every month with vinegar and not just washed with hot water. And it's not just your room coffee pots--chances are the one in the lobby hasn't been cleaned in ages, either. Enjoy your continental breakfast!
Think that those little plastic bags that come with ice buckets are just so the melted ice won’t drip everywhere? Think again. There’s no code requirement that makes hotels sanitize their ice buckets after a guest checks out.
Most hotels supply a hair dryer, so we won’t have to pack one and take up precious space in our suitcases. But that space doesn't seem so bad when you think about all the strangers who have touched the dryer before you.
Chances are your room key goes everywhere with you on your trip. That means these little pieces of plastic travel far and wide, collecting all sorts of exotic and disgusting bacteria. And if you were in charge of cleaning, would those keys really be at the top of your list?
Lots of hotels have windows that don't open, which means you're at the mercy of the AC and heat if you want some climate control. And that means your lungs are at the mercy of all the dust and debris gathered in the air vents.
Bed bugs--they're not just for beds anymore! If you thought you were safe on the couch, think again--because all the same gross factors that apply to a bed apply here too.
Glasses and Cups
Ever notice extra cups on the cleaning carts? We haven’t either. Most of the time, they are simply rinsed in the bathroom sink and not washed properly.
Between dirty lampshades and dirty light switches, you're better off spending your hotel time in complete darkness.
People touch light switches all the time, like right before bed, upon awakening, and stumbling to around the bathroom--and we all know nothing clean goes on in there. Light switches aren’t usually on the list of things that get disinfected when housekeepers are pressed for time, so use that table lamp...if you dare!
A quick wipe down with a washcloth won't stop the germs from inhabiting the handles every time we touch them. So, you've got two options: get flexible enough to open doors with your feet or carry some disinfecting wipes with you on your trip.
Think about it: all those germs on the ironing board are now transferred to the clothes your wearing. Pack some anti-wrinkle spray and spare yourself an infectious disease or two.
Since many people use their smartphones to wake them up in the morning, hotels think that people don't really use alarm clocks. Why clean something that isn't used? Well, they can still harbor all sorts of bacteria and germs, and the thing sits right next to the bed. Some people still prefer the classic alarm clock--but they might not for much longer!
These pillows may seem nice and all, but they may require more maintenance than other forms of bedding. The more elaborate the pillow, the more likely the hotel will have to take it to the dry cleaners, and that only happens once in a blue moon. All those tassles and buttons might look fancy, but they're basically an all-inclusive resort for all sorts of bacteria.
In an effort to conserve water, we often hang our damp towels on the rod for the next use so that housekeeping knows to leave them alone. But think about how many wet towels have been hanging on the same rod. Who knew saving the environment would be this disgusting?
If we’re grabbing tissues out of the tissue box, we’re most likely sick--just like everyone who reached for one before us. Bring your own pack of tissues if you absolutely need them. Otherwise you may find yourself even sicker than you were!
Sure, a lot of people grab the little bottles before they leave, but if they don't, the hotel doesn't exactly replace them. Who knows what the people before you did to the bottles. Furthermore, sometimes the soap is an afterthought, and people can end up with half-used bottles or hand soap.
How often is the garbage bin cleaned? Probably far less than we’d like to think about. Most hotel chains don’t use garbage bag liners in their bins, so whatever a guest put in there is still lingering whether it's gone or not – dirty tissues and all.