Five things in your hotel room you may want to disinfect

Planning a hotel stay? Discover five things in your room you may want to disinfect, and other precautions to take to stay clean.

Throughout 2024, 4.7 billion people are expected to travel throughout the world, and many of them will be staying in hotels and motels.

When we check into a hotel, we often take for granted that everything is clean and sanitized. But what if we told you that’s not always the case? While hotels generally maintain a standard level of cleanliness, there are several items that are frequently overlooked.

To help you prepare and avoid germs during your next hotel stay, we contacted Peter Hansen, Co-Owner of Sparrow Estate Management with over 20 years in the hospitality industry, who reveals five of these items his team works to improve so you will be more informed and prepared the next time you stay in a hotel! 

1) Remote controls

Much like our cell phones, remote controls are one of the most handled items in hotel rooms. But even with all that handling, they are rarely cleaned. In fact, according to samples sent to the University of Houston microbiology, remotes had a mean of 67.6 colony-forming units of bacteria per cubic centimeter squared.

While hotel staff is trained to clean remote controls and other high traffic areas, you never know when they might be overlooked. Luckily, all it takes is a handy bacterial wipe, and you have solved that problem. 

2) Light switches and door handles

Much like remotes, light switches, and door handles are touched by every guest and often overlooked during the cleaning process. High-touch surfaces accumulate germs and bacteria, especially if you are traveling during high-occupancy periods.

Again, when you check in, do a walk-through and run a disinfecting cloth over these surfaces, and you will be good to go! 

3) Decorative items

Decorative items such as throw pillows and bedspread covers add a touch of luxury to a hotel room, but they are not always laundered between guests. Hotels do have a schedule to follow to maintain top of bed items clean, but you never know when the last time was that they were washed before your stay.

Soft items like these accumulate dust, skin cells, and allergens, which is gross and concerning for those with allergies. If you are concerned about their cleanliness, remove them from the bed and seating areas, and you are good to go. 

4) Carpets and curtains

Carpets and curtains are also hotspots for dirt and allergens. While vacuuming is a part of a daily cleaning routine, deep cleaning is less frequent.

Most hotels clean their carpets every three to six months. If you notice that curtains or carpets look stained or dingy, there’s not much you can do except wear socks or flip-flops in your room and minimally move the curtains.  

5) Bathroom accessories

Last but not least, let’s talk about bathroom accessories. While towels and linens are regularly laundered, shower curtains and bath mats are not always cleaned or replaced between stays. The worst part is these items harbor moisture, mold, and mildew.

If you forgot your toiletries, this doesn’t mean you can’t use them, but at least give them a once over before you dive in, and consider wearing shower shoes if the shower mat looks discolored or dirty. 

Remember to pack disinfectant wipes when you travel!

You don’t need to cancel your stay if you are concerned about germs. Just be aware of your surroundings. Know that most hotels have strict policies that they need to follow, but you can never be too careful! Pack some disinfecting wipes and flip-flops, and remove those throw pillows, and you are all set.