Video:Avoid Germs in Hotel Roomswith Charlyn Keating
No matter how well a fancy hotel cleans up, the fact still remains: numbers of people have slept in your room before you. But don't fret - with a little precaution and a few tips, you can avoid the germiest parts of a hotel room with ease.See Transcript
Transcript:Avoid Germs in Hotel RoomsHi, I'm Charlyn Keating, for About.com Travel. Think about the last hotel room you stayed in. It may have looked clean, but imagine all the people who stayed in that room before you checked in. And what they left behind:
- Germs, whether they're bacterial, viral or fungal, that can make you sick.
- Bed bugs, those nasty little creatures that bite you while you sleep.
- And other invisible surprises left behind by strangers in strange places - let's just call them DNA samples.
Dirtiest Places in HotelsWhat are the dirtiest places in a hotel room? Most people guess those infamous bedspreads, which never got washed more than once a year. Or you might guess the toilet handle. You might be surprised to learn the bathroom faucets are likely dirtier. Shower floors are also hotspots for germs.
Hotel rooms, particularly bathrooms, are cleaned every day. But surfaces like walls and carpets don't get a regular deep-cleaning unless they show stains.
Other surfaces that are particularly germy? Anything in the room that is used by most guests, but may not be cleaned after every stay. Watch out for the TV remote, the telephone, alarm clock, ice bucket, the Bible, pens, shower curtains and door handles. You'll also want to avoid the walls around light switches and thermostats.
How Much Should You Worry?Now that you are disgusted, how much should you worry? Well, your risk of getting sick is pretty low. In fact, you're more at sitting on a plane next to someone with a cold. Still, if a sick person stayed in your room days before you checked in, they've left behind germs that can make you sick. There are several precautions you can take - and one secret weapon in the fight against germs.
Protecting Yourself From GermsGet rid of the bedspread and decorative pillows. White duvet covers are cleaned more often, but not necessarily after every guest. If there's a fabric throw at the end of the bed, toss that too.
Pack disinfecting wipes to clean hard surfaces like the TV remote, bathroom faucets, telephone, and alarm clock.
Don't walk around the room barefoot. Pack socks or slippers, and wear plastic flip flops in the shower.
Bed Bugs at HotelsPull up the sheets and check the mattress seams for bed bugs. You can also aim a blow dryer at one spot on the mattress for a couple of minutes, as heat will attract the little critters.
Don't put your suitcase on the floor, on upholstered furniture or on the bed. You don't want any little hitchhikers following you home. Put your suitcase on a luggage rack or on the desk. And keep your clothes off the floor.
Finally, don't cheap out. Experts say paying above $50 per night does make a difference in how clean the room is.
Your Secret WeaponThe more important thing you can do about germs in your hotel room? Wash your hands. Germs can't make you sick unless you get them on your hands then touch your mouth, eyes, or nose.
Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at travel.about.com.