Hotel Room Germ-Fighting Guide
Travel expert Peter Greenberg
has slept in hotels all around the world and knows just where germs are lurking.
Pop quiz: What's the dirtiest thing in your hotel room? If you said the toilet, or even the door handle, you're wrong. In fact, it's the remote control! Think about how many people have used the remote control before you and whether anyone has ever thought to clean it.
When you travel, always carry a pack of disinfecting wipes. You can use them to clean not just the dreaded remote control, but also the phone handset and doorknobs. The big risks you face from these surfaces are E. coli and enterococci, bacteria that can be transmitted on public surfaces and lead to unpleasant problems.
And since you have them, go ahead and use the wipes to clean off the armrest and tray table on the airplane too.
I also always carry hand sanitizer. The cool thing about this stuff is that it's easy to find portable bottles that are 3 ounces or less—meaning you can confidently carry it on the plane without hassle.
Now, in most hotels, you can assume that the sheets and blankets have been washed. But what about that bedspread? Every time I enter a hotel room, I do not stop; I do not pass go; I grab that bedspread and toss it into a corner. Then I never look at it or think about touching it again!
Are you worried about the bathtub or the bathmat as a source of germs? There's something even dirtier in your bathroom—the water glasses. When a hotel maid is cleaning your room at the end of an eight-hour shift, don't fool yourself into thinking those glasses came straight from the dishwasher. The most you can expect is a quick wipedown of those glasses. Your job? Rinse them under hot water for a couple of minutes before using.
And how about that ice bucket? You guessed it. These buckets are rarely cleaned, so always use the disposable liner that comes with it, or give it a good scrubbing yourself.
The lesson here? You can't always assume that a hotel room is up to your standards, despite how it looks on the surface. And if you end up in a really dirty, dingy and downright disgusting hotel room, alert the general manager immediately to request a refund.Keep Reading:Dr. Oz's warning about the deadly bacteria MRSAGreen ways to kill the germs lurking in your bathroom and kitchenIs your house making you sick?