Spring Break Hotel Rooms: Are They As Clean As You Think They Are?

Is your spring break hotel room as clean as you think it is?Spring break is coming up for many Minnesota schools. Perhaps your family is taking a trip to warmer weather or the mountains for some late-season skiing. Wherever you’re traveling, you are likely staying in a hotel room.

Hotel rooms often look immaculate and housekeeping services are often completed daily. But how clean do hotel rooms really get? Before you head out on vacation, learn about the germs that may be left behind after housekeeping finishes a room and how you can make your stay a little bit cleaner.

Bacteria and Bad Habits

There’s no doubt that housekeeping is a difficult job. It takes an average of half an hour to clean a single hotel room, and a hotel’s housekeeping staff has dozens of rooms to get through in a day. Efforts are focused on the bed and bathroom and floors are often vacuumed. But even the most conscientious staff can’t make sure every room is completely clean every day.

A Purdue University and University of South Carolina study tested rooms in several hotels for aerobic and fecal bacteria. The researchers found that the dirtiest spots in a hotel room aren’t the toilet and bathroom sink, though they are often germy. Instead, the TV remote and light switches are the dirtiest things in hotel rooms.

The team also found that headboards, curtain rods, and bathroom door handles are a room’s least germy items. They discovered that housekeeper’s tools, such as sponges and mops, contain high levels of bacteria, which means there’s a risk of cross-contamination from hotel room to hotel room.

Another investigation into hotel room cleanliness also found that TV remotes harbor many nasty germs. It discovered some hotels reuse bedding and that decorative bedding is rarely cleaned, too.

Keeping Your Hotel Room Clean

Yes, hotel rooms harbor bacteria. But that does not mean you need to cancel your reservation or don a biohazard suit on your vacation. Instead, follow these simple tips to ensure your family stays healthy.

  • Do your research: TripAdvisor and the Better Business Bureau often have comments from past guests regarding the cleanliness of rooms.
  • Check for bedbugs: Take a look under the bedding and between the mattresses; if you find something, say something.
  • Inspect linens. While you’re checking for bedbugs, look to see if your bed linens look fresh; if not, call the front desk.
  • Use slippers. Floors are often vacuumed but not deep cleaned, so pack some slippers or flip-flops to avoid contact with floors.
  • Bag the remote. Bring a clear plastic bag for the TV remote—it’ll work through the bag and you won’t have to touch it.
  • Pack hand gels and wipes. If you’re concerned about surface germs, bring along wipes to disinfect surfaces yourself.
  • Ditch decorative bedding. Toss the decorative pillows, throws, and even comforters into a closet or corner of your room to avoid these rarely cleaned items.

Remember that wiping your hotel room down with a bleach wipe may actually cause more health hazards than the germs themselves. Instead, pack along wipes with natural ingredients so your family stays safe and healthy. Ask me for a recommendation.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

Don’t Roll the Dice on Your Employees’ Wellbeing—Ditch Conventional Cleaners for Natural Products

Are chemicals in the workplace making your employees sick?St. Patrick’s Day is on its way and you may be feeling the luck o’ the Irish, but rolling the dice on your and your employees’ wellbeing is never a good choice. Sacrificing health for cheap but toxic cleaning products and other materials in your workspace will likely cost you in the long run in lost productivity and employee sick time.

Instead, show your employees you care about their health and the safety of their work environment. Invest in products that will keep your workplace clean, inviting, and safe.

Why Employee Health Matters

Aside from the good karma, keeping your employees healthy has many benefits for you as an employer. When employees are healthy, they are less likely to call in sick or use their vacation time for illness. You’ll have more employees at work every day and reduce “presenteeism,” or cases of people working while they’re sick, which decreases productivity and may spread illness around the workplace.

Taking measures to keep your employees healthy improves morale and can even be a selling point for future employees. Being choosy about the safety of the products used to build and maintain your workplace sends a message that you care about employee health and are not willing to take chances with it.

Workplace Health Hazards

Many chemicals are used today to build and maintain commercial spaces, including offices, fitness centers, daycares, and other places of business. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are especially common. They’re found in caulks, sealants, adhesives, paints, wall coverings, cleaning products, carpeting, vinyl flooring, fabric materials, furnishings, air fresheners, and even personal products such as perfume and shampoo.

VOCs evaporate quickly and often leave odors. The levels of VOCs in commercial buildings are often considered safe. But, they can still cause health issues if people are frequently exposed to them. VOCs and other hazardous chemicals can cause skin irritation, itchy, watery, or burning eyes, and nausea, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. These conditions are annoyances at least and debilitating at worst and can lead to decreased productivity and absenteeism.

A Green Workplace Cleaning Alternative

Don’t play roulette with your employees’ health by using cheap, toxic-containing cleaning products. Instead, reduce the presence of chemicals in the workplace while keeping it clean and healthy.

Many natural cleaning products can handle grime, grease, and germs as well as or better than conventional cleaners. Plus, they’re free of hazardous chemicals that may be irritating to employees and your clients.

To learn more about your options for commercial-grade, natural cleaning products, contact me today.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance