Outsourcing your hotel’s janitorial services will cost-effectively eliminate the numerous germs hiding in guest rooms.
High-Quality Janitorial Services Remove More Germs in Five Star Hotels
Given the high cost of lodging in four and five-star hotels, one can not be faulted for assuming the rooms are sanitized to a higher standard than their three-star counterparts.
One would be wrong–as it turns out, very wrong.
Two recent studies–one conducted by the Gerba Lab out of the University of Arizona, and the other by Travelmath–discovered several high-contact surfaces brimming with germs and infectious disease at rates well in excess of three-star hotels.
According to Fox News;
Teams armed with cotton swabs, plastic bags, and strong stomachs tested rooms in nine different hotels.
Three-star, four-star and five-star hotels in a variety of locations were included in the study.
Not only did Travelmath find that hotel rooms had ample populations of those microscopic creepy-crawlies, they discovered that four-star and five-star hotel rooms tend to be dirtier than less luxurious three-star hotels.
Where are the Germs?
While the distribution of germs varied between 3, 4, and 5-star hotels, there were four common areas that were covered in an unacceptably high number of germs.
Of those, specifically pertaining to 4 and 5-star hotels, the TV remote and telephone were the most disgusting.
The study conducted by Gerba Labs used cotton swabs and an onsite tester to check for colony forming units (CFU).
Any CFU over 100 was considered “unacceptable.”
According to an article published by Today;
The light switches were the cleanest areas found, delivering readings as low as 6.
The alarm clocks and nightstands were also pretty good.
But at nearly every hotel, the phones were teeming with bacteria — double or even more than triple the acceptable limit of 100.
Ikner also used an ultraviolet light to look for stains not normally detected by the human eye.
It revealed hidden stains all over the rooms, including a sofa and a curtain.
But the single dirtiest thing was the TV remote control.
All of the remotes in the rooms tested registered sky-high levels of bacteria, with one delivering a 498, the highest reading measured.
That’s a lot of germs.
The most likely reason?
According to Dr. Luisa Ikner;
People touch them a lot and they’re not surfaces that are cleaned by the maids.
Advice for Travelers
Experienced travelers know to be wary of hotel rooms and amenities.
Germs that typically originate from the bathroom have been discovered in high numbers throughout the living areas, beds are sometimes home to bedbugs and other parasites, and the floors are likely none-too-clean either.
- Check surfaces and surrounding areas before setting down your bags, specifically the bed, covers, and sheets. Bedbugs are hitchhikers and commonly spread via guest luggage.
- Pack a container of certified green cleaning wipes, and wipe down the bathroom counter and sink, desk, phone, and TV remote.
- Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer and use it after washing your hands, especially after wiping down the room.
- Bring your own soap and wash your hands often. Areas such as elevator and vending machine buttons, as well as front door panels, are often covered in germs and typically aren’t disinfected regularly.
- Don’t eat at the table or the desk in the room without disinfecting it first.
Green Cleaning Tips for Hotel Managers
Keeping your rooms safe and your guests healthy should always be at the top of a hotel manager’s priority list.
Unfortunately, undercover videos have shown that house cleaning staff employ dangerous cleaning practices, such as cleaning the table and desk with the same towel that was used to clean the toilet.
For hotel managers that wish to take a more conscientious and proactive approach to maintaining a high standard of clean, we advise the following:
- Get rid of the old cleaning towels and mops and switch to microfiber combined with the two-bucket cleaning method.
- Enforce a cleanup routine that includes disinfecting the TV remote and telephone, as well as other electronic equipment.
- Use a commercial-grade HEPA filtered vacuum on the carpet, and have them deep cleaned regularly in accordance with the type of carpeting and floor traffic.
- Place courtesy liquid hand sanitizer bottles in the room for guest use.
References & Resources
- 11 Totally Gross Facts About Hotel Rooms You Probably Didn’t Know, Because They Are Dirtier Than You Think
- Hotel Hygiene Exposed
- How to Degerm a Hotel Room
- KCDC prepares for possible disease outbreaks at 2018 Winter Olympics
- South Korea Prepares Infection Control Efforts for Upcoming Olympics
Deep room inspection, especially for 4 and 5-star hotels, should be a regular occurrence.
Unfortunately, time and cost are the two most common reasons given for not adopting clean-for-health-first initiatives.
However, consumer demand will likely alter that paradigm in the near future, forcing hotel managers to align their practices with requirements of their guests or go out of business.
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