Study: TV Remotes Among Germiest Surfaces In Hotel Rooms

hotel room


Yes, yes, there are germs everywhere. You and I have more bacterial cells than we have human ones. Still, hotel room bedspreads give me the willies. It’s always a dilemma: Do I sleep under just the sheet and freeze, or pull up the bedspread with its untold quantities of previous people’s sloughings?

New research suggest that maybe I should worry about the TV remote and light switches rather than the spread. Presented at the current general meeting of the American Society of Microbiology, the study also includes a finding that housekeeping carts can spread germs from one room to the next, on sponges and mops. Sigh. There goes the lazy pleasure of coming back to a sparkling room.

From the press release:

“An experiment of surfaces in hotel rooms finds television remotes to be among the most heavily contaminated with bacteria and items on housekeeping carts carry the potential to cross-contaminate rooms. Researchers from the University of Houston report the findings today at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.”

Surfaces with the lowest contamination included the headboard on the bed, curtain rods and the bathroom door handle.

University of Houston undergrad Katie Kirsch, who presented the study:

“Currently, housekeepers clean 14-16 rooms per 8-hour shift, spending approximately 30 minutes on each room. Identifying high-risk items within a hotel room would allow housekeeping managers to strategically design cleaning practices and allocate time to efficiently reduce the potential health risks posed by microbial contamination in hotel rooms,” says Kirsch. Continue reading