8 Things You Should Never Touch In A Hotel Room
Hotel rooms are magical places. They are our portals to another world — or, at the very least, a place to crash when you’re in the middle of an awesome vacation.
However, the hotel room may be a lot less awesome than the vacation. It may give you the worst kind of souvenir — like a nasty rhinovirus infection that sends you to the doctor!
Why are hotel rooms so dangerous to your health? They are a breeding ground for germs. In fact, in a study by the University of Houston, researchers found fecal bacteria present on 81 percent of all hotel room surfaces!
The only way to really play it safe is to understand what you should never touch inside the hotel room. Here are eight things you should avoid like the plague unless you want to become patient zero for a contagious infection.
Beware the Bedspread
Most travelers love to plop down in the hotel bed. It’s where the magic happens… even if the magic is just finally getting a good night’s sleep!
Sadly, though, the bedspread itself is quite dangerous. That’s because the bedspread isn’t washed as much as the rest of the sheets. Just how often do most hotel chains change the bedspread? Apparently, just four times a year.
Try to gently remove the bedspread and stick to the sheets to make your sleep a little safer.
Don’t Reach for the Remote
Depending on the hotel wifi, the TV may be your main source of entertainment. In that case, we have some bad news: you should really avoid touching the remote. Why? Because it’s the single most-contaminated object in the entire room!
Think about it. Everyone who doesn’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom or sneezes into their palm eventually touches that remote. And unlike the laundry, it’s not like this thing is ever really getting washed!
If you need to watch something, you may be better off finding the buttons on the TV itself. Or just stick with streaming things from your smartphone.
Make the Phone ‘Hands-Free’
Speaking of phones, the in-room telephone is still a hotel staple. Even though almost everyone brings their cell phones to the hotel, the staff would like people to have an easy way to ring for the front desk or for room service.
However, you should avoid the room telephone for the same reason you should avoid the remote: everyone touches it and it’s almost never wiped down. That turns the phone into a bacterial bomb that is waiting to explode as soon as you touch it!
Keep That Bucket ‘On Ice’
Sooner or later, guests always make their way for the ice bucket in the room. It’s a great way to keep champagne on ice or even just cool down your soda on a hot day.
Sadly, the ice bucket is dangerous for a couple of different reasons. The bucket itself is unsafe because the buckets are very rarely sanitized. That means that you could be drinking down the germs of countless guests when you use the ice!
“But what about the bucket liner, you say?” Even if you keep the ice from touching the bucket, the ice itself is often contaminated by dirty machines. You’re much better off getting a room with a fridge and letting your favorite drinks cool down inside!
Bring Your Own Cups
Speaking of drinks, most hotels provide glasses for guests to use. These glasses are meant for water, soda, spirits… pretty much whatever you want to put in them.
But you really shouldn’t be putting anything in them. That’s because more hotels than you imagine fail to properly clean and sanitize the glasses. And while it’s bad enough drinking from a dirty glass at home, you can imagine how much worse it is when you’re drinking a dirty glass that has been used by hundreds of people.
Remember when we said you should avoid the bedspread? While you’re at it, you should also avoid contact with the pillowcases.
Why? Simple: pillowcases are often re-used instead of being washed with the rest of the sheets. Putting your head on such a case is a surefire way to feel dirty. From bed bugs to head lice, you never know what problems previous guests will share with you via the pillows.
How to solve this problem? Ask for fresh pillowcases from the front desk, or bring your own from home.
You know how some people hate to use public bathrooms because they are nasty and dangerous? The sad truth is that this also applies to hotel toilets.
Even if the toilet looks relatively clean, it could be hiding an invisible army of bacteria. And every flush helps spread those bacteria throughout the entire bathroom.
Obviously, you can’t avoid using the bathroom the entire time you’re in a hotel. But you should play it safe by sanitizing all of the surfaces that will come in contact with your body. Bring a can of Lysol with you and spray both sides of the toilet seat to be safe.
It’s a rookie mistake to think the hotel bathtub is clean. Even though it is constantly filled with soap and hot water, the tub surface never really gets clean. That’s because the surface eventually develops a nasty film that is hiding dangerous bacteria.
While a bath sounds relaxing after a long day, you’re better off sticking with a shower. If you let the water heat up before hopping in, you’re likely to remove any annoying bacteria from the showerhead before it can come in contact with your body. And wear a pair of shower shoes before you step in the tub.