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Study shows the dirtiest surfaces in hotel rooms

Posted by Melanie Nayer  June 19, 2012 08:46 AM

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File this story under "things you wish you didn't know" and then make sure you have enough antibacterial hand wash with you when you travel.

Best-Western-Housekeeping-uses-UV-wands-high-touch-md.jpgA study released by the University of Houston, with participation from Purdue University and the University of South Carolina, showed the most contaminated surfaces found in hotel rooms. The biggest germ culprit: the TV remote.

Other highly contaminated surfaces in hotel rooms include the obvious ones - the toilet and the bathroom sink - but also less obvious places like the bedside lamp switch. The areas that tested with the least amount of bacteria included the headboard on the bed, curtain rods and the bathroom door handle.

“Hoteliers have an obligation to provide their guests with a safe and secure environment. Currently, housekeeping practices vary across brands and properties with little or no standardization industry wide. The current validation method for hotel room cleanliness is a visual assessment, which has been shown to be ineffective in measuring levels of sanitation,” says Katie Kirsch an undergraduate student at the University of Houston who presented the study.

You can read about the details of the testing, what was tested and how they tested it, in the full press release.

In the meantime, if you're worried about what you might not see in your hotel room, take comfort in knowing that most hotels have a very strict policy about cleanliness and room inspections happen daily, sometimes more at luxury hotels.

Best Western hotels recently announced a new “I Care Clean” program, which brings advanced cleaning technologies used in hospitals, such as UV wands and black lights, to the more than 2,100 Best Western hotels in North America. In an effort to address the germy TV remote control, Best Western has a "clean remote" that's specially designed to be easily disinfected between guest stays.

Photo credit: Best Western

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About the author

Melanie Nayer is a travel writer who spent many years in the newsroom before jetting off to see the world. Her goal is to bring readers the best insider information More »

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