Do Not Touch these Things when You are at a Hotel


Don’t let a clean looking room at an expensive hotel fool you! A study revealed that the average hotel room is dirtier than a typical home, school, or airplane!

The cleaning staff has a rapid and regular turnaround for rooms that rarely involves disinfection of different random items, creating an ideal ground for germs and increasing the risk of illness.

An ABC News Investigation unrevealed hotel drinking glasses that were so filthy they could put your health at risk, in addition to a study entitled ‘Hotel Hygiene Exposed’ stating the highest bacteria filled areas inside hotel rooms.

Certain common things are contaminated with harmful germs and bacteria. After reading this article, you’ll never forget to closely inspect your room and carry disinfectant wipes with you.

Check out the things that you should avoid touching at hotels.

#1 – Remote Control

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Many people never really think about it, but one of the dirtiest things in a hotel room is the remote control. Can you imagine that your remote could have as much bacteria as your toilet seat? Well, it’s time to think before you click.

Moreover, a researcher and professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona found that remote controls found in hotel rooms include high levels of bacteria, and a whopping 20% of them were contaminated with semen.

Just remember to pack disinfecting wipes. Swipe the remote before use or put it inside a transparent plastic bag to avoid direct contact with the germs.

#2 – Phone

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During an investigation to find out the five top hotel chains nationwide, it was found that phones were particularly loaded with bacteria. People don’t only touch phones a lot, but they also breathe into them, which makes the spread of germs easy and effective.

The bitter truth is that the majority of maids don’t clean the hotel room phone as often as necessary. If you want to avoid cold, flu, and other much more dangerous viruses, you should use disinfectant wipes to clean the phone before you use it.


#3 – Bathroom Counter

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Be extra careful before you touch the bathroom counter, particularly the sink. As stated in the ‘Hotel Hygiene Exposed’ study involving certain 3-star hotels, many nasty germs were all found on the bathroom counter. While it’s not so surprising, this is still significant.

Not only the bathroom counter but also the bathroom floor and sink are filled with bacteria.
Also, contamination seems to be linked to housekeeping mops and sponges since surfaces are wiped without disinfectant using the same cleaning cloth for many rooms. Once again, use your own antibacterial wipes.


#4 – The Comforter

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It’s difficult to imagine that those attractive hotel rooms are full of hidden germs. Just because the bed is nicely made, it doesn’t necessarily mean the sheets have just been properly cleaned. Just make sure to check your mattress and comforter before you sleep in it. Even better, bring your own comforter to the hotel with you.

Bed bugs love to hide in the coziest places, such as the comforter. This might be shocking if you’ve never heard it before, but according to the confessions of former and current hotel staffers, comforters are rarely, if ever, washed!

The first thing you should do when you get to your room is to take it off. Also, watch out those extra blankets stored in the closet; you never know when they were last laundered. This applies to pillows as well. You may want to bring your own pillowcases to be extra safe.


#5 – The Ice Bucket

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This is another item that is often overlooked by hotel maids. So, obviously, they’re loaded with bacteria and germs. Even worse, the ice machine gets cleaned very rarely. So, not only is the ice bucket gross but ice machines can be a perfect ground for bacteria to grow and thrive.

Normally, these buckets should be cleaned once per month, at least, but chances are that’s probably not happening. Just say no to the ice bucket. And if you really do need ice, consider calling the front desk and ask for ice in plastic bags to avoid drinking ice cubs along with harmful bacteria.

John W. Roper
John W. Roper is an experienced photographer, traveler, and writer with an immense desire to bring the fun and expertise to you from all the places he visits and travel troubles he experiences. John tells stories of adventures you'd like to have or that are totally worth having. He seeks to excite, educate, and above all, inspire you to “go out there and start living,” as he says.


  1. Hotels hmm comforters are not cleaned daily/correct. We use disinfectant and multiple clean tags when cleaning bathroom sinks/tubs floors are also done with disinfectant and on hands and knees not with a mop. Ice buckets come with plastic bags to put in them. We wipe phone/remote and clock with disinfectant along with dressers/desk/nightstands plastic drinking cups are wrapped in plastic to help keep them sanitary yes sometimes things are missed but for the most part it’s actually not as bad as they say, in some hotels.

  2. Thank you for sending this email. I had a nughtmare of a time. I have pictures showing a large stain that appears to be blood and whatever, mascara on pillow case, drink stains on nightstand and on my first trip bed bugs.

    They was suppose to call me back and followup but they didn’t.

    Comfort INN Airport beware!

  3. I would not trust any hotel or B&B I was served breakfast in a B&B by the same lady that was cleaning the toilets with the same overall on,there was still dirty water in the tea cups that were supposed to washed telling me that the cleaner and just rinsed them under the tap.Don’t trust any public place I work in a hospital and found people soaking there teeth in the tea cups and some men wee in the water jugs. I don’t go any where without my antibacterial wipes.

  4. 29 years of traveling weekly. Never bites or seen bugs. Did have cockroaches ONCE in Hawaii. Never been sick while traveling or after. I think we have become so obsessive is out germs That people haven’t built any amunities

  5. I realize cleaning a room takes time. So, when I check in I ask for an extra set of sheets. I bring Lysol and spray anything I may touch, including all handles on drawers, toilet, door handles, remotes, lights and entry door. Never go barefooted. I fold the comforter and store it. I put the extra sheets on top of blanket, because blankets are not washed daily. I bring my own pillow, because “yuck”, laying my face on a pillow some drooling person used the night before. Then, I sleep tight. And I always straighten up before I leave and leave a $10+ tip.

  6. I live in England and don’t know what a comforter is. In England comforter describes a child’s dummy, but I know it’s not that.

  7. This is ridiculous. The are suggesting you come into the room in a sanitized bag and not touch anything while you are there. Tsk, tsk must not touch phone, remote control, comforter, bathroom counter etc. What in the heck are you supposed to do, stand up in your sanitized bag? Why does someone not take control and demand that rooms are cleaned better than they are. They need a team of people just responsible for this job.

  8. i cant complain about the cleanliness of our hotel bedroom when recently staying at a hotel in hoylake when visiting my son, hotel express i think it was called, instead of glass tumblers for our water , there where plastic ones in sealed plastic covering, but it is an eye opener, especially about the remote control, there where no extra pillows in the room, coffee milk tea and sugar, all in sealed containers, ketttle emptied of water and clean.

  9. Checked in to a Budget Inn after driving 18 hours and this was one of the only hotels we could find open late at night that would take pets. Well our stay was brief–30 seconds. I looked under the comforter to find alive bed bug. Called the manager down to the room to show him the bedbug. Got money back and was on my way. Was ready to sleep in a University parking lot until police pointed us to a nice hotel. Was never so thankful to see men in blue.


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