From public transit to airports to taxis, there are plenty of germs to go around when you're on the road. You may think once you check into your hotel room, you’re finally in a safe space away from infectious diseases. But you are wrong; nowhere is safe. Hotel rooms are filth incubators just like everywhere else.
According to one study, approximately 81 percent of surfaces swabbed in a hotel room had at least “some” fecal bacteria. But the most egregious surface was that of the TV remote control. Light switches weren’t much better.
Anywhere near the toilet is likely to have some filth. But perhaps the most alarming part of the hotel room is one of the places that’s supposed to be most comforting. While hotels change the bed sheets between guests, they are far less likely to change the actual bedspread.
“Your best bet is to avoid contact,” Kelly Reynolds, an associate professor of environmental health at University of Arizona, told Time. “A lot of people will recommend just folding the bedspread back or throwing it on the chair and don’t use it while you’re there.”
Reynolds went on to explain that while hotels generally clean between guests, there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Hotel guests who want to remain vigilant about coming in contact with germs should travel with disinfecting wipes. But the most practical piece of advice is to wash hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth after touching a foreign surface.