Hotel Rooms: 6 Easy Cleaning Steps For Germaphobes

a close-up of a petri dish
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It’s true that hotels are not good places for those who are uncomfortable with germs. If you figure that most hotels generally run at 80-90% occupancy x 40 people per room per month (average 1-2 night stays, some double occupancy) x however many years the hotel has been open, that’s an awful lot of strangers that have slept in the same bed, washed their hair, clipped their toenails in the same room, felt amorous, and…well, you get the picture.

If you’re even the sort that gets the heebie-jeebies after you find a long black curly hair on the hotel towel after you’ve just checked in (and your hair is blonde) or know where the 5 dirtiest places are in your hotel room but don’t know what to do next, here’s a quick guide.

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1. Wash your hands. You’ve probably touched your share of tray tables, door handles, elevator buttons and such before arriving in the room. Washing your hands at least stops you from making the problem worse by bringing new germs into the room.

2. Get rid of the bedspread or runner at the end of the bed. They don’t get washed nearly as often as the sheets, and some sources say only four times a year. If you’re a germaphobe you might want to bring your own pillowcase too, since that way you can make sure you know that the surface your face will come in contact with for 6 hours at night has been washed lovingly in your own home with your own detergent.

3. Pop the TV remote in a plastic baggie if you plan on using it. That way you’ll never have to touch it. If you don’t have a plastic baggie, read on to…

3. Use Lysol. Germaphobes reading this will be nodding their heads emphatically. Perhaps you’ve packed a little bottle or have a packet of wipes. The doorknobs are a great place to start, and then the TV remote, phone receivers, light switches, water faucet handles, toilet seat, etc. It only takes a few minutes to wipe down most of the hot spots in your hotel room.

4. Pass on the bath altogether. Biofilm (an almost invisible layer of bacteria) could have been left behind by a previous bather and unless the housekeeper used a stiff brush and plenty of elbow grease you might end up with it in your bath. Skip the drinking glasses too.

5. Lay down the bath mat before exiting the shower. Even though the tiles might look clean, a bath mat has been provided for a reason. Fungus is more likely to be found in moist areas like bathrooms, and if you have an extra towel you might find it even more comfortable to lay it down too in the bathroom to cover more area.

6. Don’t walk around in your birthday suit. Keeping a layer of protection between you and the bacteria/germs/fungus is helpful when you sit down at the desk, walk across the carpet, or sprawl out on the couch. You don’t need a Hazmat suit either, a simple pair of flip-flops, shirt and shorts will do. Some people take the extra sheet set from the closet and lay it out on a chair or on the floor to cover as much square footage as possible.

Are you a germaphobe? Do you have any great tips to clean your hotel room or make it more comfortable?

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  1. My wife uses Sami wipes to clean the inside the draws, remote etc. We bring our own slippers that are surppplied from some hotels. By the end of the day those new slippers can pickup a lot of grunge on the bottom.

    1. @Robert it sounds like your wife does a great job of cleaning areas that are often forgotten by housekeeping.

      Yuck, I know what you mean about how the bottoms look on slippers after a day even on “clean” hotel room floors.

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