Bacteria that breed in hotel rooms

10th of November 2020 Article by Christian Bouzols
Bacteria that breed in hotel rooms

In order to reassure guests, hotels have put additional hygiene measures in place, reports Christian Bouzols in France for ECJ.

In order to encourage clients to resume their use of hotels at a time when travelling has dropped so badly, many hotel groups have established health protocols to stem the spread of the Covid-19 virus. However, a study has shown that your average hotel room is far from being free of bacteria.

In their eagerness to ensure the safety of their clients, some hotel groups have put in place health measures that vary from the closure of minibars to the removal of the second pillow and to the enhanced cleaning of every touchable surface.

In France, some hotels go even further, but the other way round, by cleaning their rooms only once the client has checked out.

But despite these protocols, much remains to be done, stresses the UpgradedPoints website, which has recently conducted a survey by analysing the presence of bacteria on the jointly used equipment of a series of hotels ranging from two stars to five stars. Its results are rather worrying. “Even if your house isn’t immaculately clean, you’ll find that items in a hotel are probably far dirtier that those of your own home,” said Alex Miller, the founder and director of the site.

Here are some examples that appear in the study. On average, there are 737 times more germs on a hotel lift button than on a home toilet seat. There are 918 times more germs on a hotel door handle than on the seat of your toilet at home.

It also turns out that paying more for your hotel room won’t give you added protection. On the contrary, the study showed that in three-star and lower rated hotels there are far fewer germs on lift buttons and door handles than in top-of-the-range establishments. Additionally, lift buttons in five-star hotels contain seven times more germs that lift buttons in four-star hotels. Why is that?

Because top-of-the-range hotels register higher occupancy rates - even though that may not be the case in the current pandemic. As a result, more people use the lifts, press lift buttons, and turn door handles.

Hotbed of germs

Also, any traveller will know that the remote control in his or her hotel room may be a hotbed of germs, but here are other surprisingly dirty items you need to be aware of in a hotel.

• The chairs of your room are covered in difficult-to-clean material and are certainly not cleaned as often as towels and bed sheets. Stains on upholstery fabric are usually soaped and scrubbed but that treatment leaves lots of invisible germs in place.

• The desk - respiratory viruses car remain active on desk surfaces for up to four days.

• The curtains. Don’t think that the curtains in your hotel room are clean. Remember that work is required to remove them, to clean them and to put them back in place. This can’t be done on a daily basis.

In these times of Covid-19 it is therefore recommended to give preference to hotels that have instituted enhanced cleaning protocols, and to take disinfecting wipes with you.


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