Dirtiest hotel room items -- the unhygienic side of holidays exposed

Dirtiest hotel room items -- the unhygienic side of holidays exposed

A survey identifies the hotel items most contaminated with bacteria -- stop reading now if you're going on vacation soon
hotel housekeeping
Looks great on the surface, but black-light this bad boy and a world of contamination may be revealed.

Wet towels, toilets and that hard-to-reach-space behind the TV cabinet -- you may think you know where the dirtiest places in your hotel room are, but think again. 

A recent study in the United States identified light switches and TV remote controls as the dirtiest items in hotel rooms.

Other hot spots for bacteria included bathroom sinks and toilet seats, the study, led by the University of Houston, found.

The survey team collected surface samples from a total of nine hotels in Texas, Indiana and South Carolina and measured the bacterial contamination.

Fecal bacteria -- if you're eating, you may want to stop -- was found on an astonishing 81 percent of the 18 surfaces analyzed.

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Ironically, the housekeeper’s cart was found to make the situation worse. Cleaning equipment like mops, gloves and sponges were also swarming with bacteria, potentially transmitting them from room to room.

As a comparison, while a colony-forming unit (CFU) level of 5 is considered the maximum for hospitals, hotel light switches have an average CFU of around 111 for fecal bacteria, according to the report. 

The cleaning staff's sponges were even worse -- measuring up to 500 CFU. 

Dirtiest hotel items

  1. Cleaning mops
  2. Light switches
  3. TV remote controls
  4. Toilet seats 
  5. Bathroom sinks
  6. Bed headboards
  7. Curtain rods
  8. Bathroom door handles

Shocked? We should be. The researchers, who presented their findings to the American Society for Microbiology, hope this will get hotel managers to take cleanliness more seriously.

Had any unhygienic hotel experiences? Let us know in the comments

Daisy Liu has lived in Hong Kong for one year and started to love this city. She likes to walk along Tai Ping Shan Street and drop by a gallery. She enjoys life on the road and is always ready to go. She is an enthusiastic dancer. She dreams to write stories about Chinese minority dances and people in remote areas of China. 

Read more about Daisy Liu
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