It doesn’t matter how much you pay for a hotel room, there are often a few dirty areas that rarely receive the attention of housekeeping staff. In fact, to the naked eye, these areas might look spotless; but in reality, they are often teeming with bacteria and general nastiness.
While packing your vacuum cleaner and handheld steam cleaner may not be at the top of your travel checklist, this could be a good move if you’re worried about bacteria and allergens ruining your stay.
If you’ve ever watched an investigative show highlight the hidden dirt and bacteria that lurks in many hotel rooms, you’ve probably seen ultra-violet lights uncover hidden dirt, bodily fluids and all manner of nastiness. If you don’t trust the housekeeping staff to keep your room spotless, there are six areas you might want to clean yourself.
1. Drinking glasses
Unless your drinking glasses are covered with plastic, you should clean them thoroughly before using. As they’re often stored by the bathroom sink, they get splashed every time people wash their hands after using the toilet. So if the previous guest didn’t use them, there’s a very good chance they’re splattered with urine and faecal matter. Clean them with some washing up liquid and rinse thoroughly before you drink out of them.
2. Light switches
As good as the housekeeping team in your hotel might be, the chances of light switches being cleaned and sanitised after each guest checks out are remote. As a result, the switches in your room could be harbouring some very nasty — and potentially dangerous — pathogens and viruses. Always pack a few sanitising wipes when you leave for your hotel, and give all of the light switches a quick wipe when you check in.
3. The remote control
Nothing in the average hotel room harbours more dirt and bacteria than a TV remote control. People use this ubiquitous gadget whilst eating, after using the toilet and after touching their mouth and nose. As a result, it can harbour a wide range of viruses and bacteria — even if it looks brand new. Before you switch on your TV, give the remote a thorough wiping down with an antibacterial wipe.
4. Tea and coffee equipment
While housekeeping provide clean cups and teaspoons in most good hotels, they only do so if they believe the existing items weren’t used by the previous guests. So, who’s to say your coffee cups weren’t manhandled by a stranger before you arrived? And the same goes for brewing equipment — which will often go months without being properly sanitised. Instead of worrying about how dirty these items are, wash them before using them. Use antibacterial wipes to sanitise areas such as kettle handles and espresso machines.
5. Bedspreads and comforters
Although you won’t have the opportunity to wash these items yourself, there’s nothing stopping you from calling reception and asking for them to be replaced. Whether the bedspread or comforter looks clean or not, these items often don’t get washed after every guest checks out, as they are heavy and cumbersome. Just tell the housekeeping staff that they look or smell a little old, and ask for replacements when you get into your room. This way, you’ll know that your bed toppers have come straight from the laundry.
6. Toilet flushes
While most good hotels will take the time to clean and sanitise toilets and toilet seats after guests check out, things like flush handles are often forgotten about. This is one of the dirtiest items in any hotel room, as it is handled (before hands are washed) every someone goes to the toilet. Play it safe, and thoroughly sanitise the flush handle in your hotel room with an antibacterial wipe.
No hotel room will ever be completely spotless. However, by paying attention to the areas that are often missed by housekeeping staff, you can ensure that germs and general nastiness are kept to a minimum.