May 11, 2016
Hotel Room Hot Spots : What to Clean + How to Clean It
With travel and vacation season upon us, I have a couple tips for what to quickly clean when you check into a hotel room. In my opinion and after seeing some icky things in hotel rooms, I think it’s fair to say that there are a couple things I keep in my overnight/carry-on bag just for doing a quick once-over of germy hotel spots. Let’s face it. No one likes to be sick on vacation and if taking a couple steps to prevent catching something icky, sign me up. Bonus: if you’re flying, grab an alcohol wipe and give your airplane tray and seat handles a swipe if you’re so inclined.
Bring these things along:
- small bag or pouch (to hold items)
- zip top bag – some experts recommend putting the tv remote in a zip top bag in lieu of cleaning it since it’s probably the dirtiest thing in the hotel room
- cleaning wipes or spray (look for travel size if you’re flying) – if you like to DIY your cleaners, put your favorite cleaner in a little travel sized spray bottle.
- alcohol wipes (my preference is to use these wipes for all my hotel cleaning so I bring along a little stack)
Clean these areas:
CLEAN THE BATHROOM – spray or wipe the seat, wipe the toilet handle, wipe the sink and handles, counters, and rinse out the bathtub (squirt a bit of shampoo or bring along some dish soap and rinse thoroughly).
WIPE MOST TOUCHED AREAS – door knobs, light switches, phone, alarm clock, tv remote, mini refrigerator…
CHECK FOR BEDBUGS – remove the bedspread and put it on a chair (these don’t typically get laundered in between guests), check under the sheets and mattress pad (ew, I know). If you spot anything suspicious and bedbug-esque, request a new room or leave the hotel.
DRINKING GLASSES – these don’t always get washed in between guests (yuck). Either look for sealed glasses or wash them thoroughly with soap and hot water.
Once you’ve given your hotel room a quick once-over, relax and enjoy your vacation! Anything you’d add to the list?
The tv remote!!!!
Rachel Linebaugh Says
I bring along my own laundry pods, and fabric softener stuff, when I travel, and kindly request that EVERYTHING on all of the beds get(s) washed before I accept sleeping in the beds. That way, I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT EVERYTHING IS SUPER AND FRESHLY CLEAN. AND I can sleep peacfully and healthy!!
Patti Alexander Says
I wipe out the drawers before I put my clothes in there, if I am on a long-term stay trip. I use a washcloth rinsed in hot water and leave the drawers open to air dry.
Pamela Rodriguez Says
On my last vacation, after we checked into our room I started to get a headache. I chalked it up to hours of driving, but it got worse, with sinus pain and signs of allergy attack. I laid down to rest and my kid went to take a bath. As she relaxed in the tub she noticed black mold/mildew all around the underneath part of the tub surround. She knew my allergy to it, so she jumped out and came to tell me. I went up to the front desk and complained and asked to be moved but was told there were no other rooms available. So all we could do was block off the bathroom and sleep with facemasks. I wish I had your list then! Who knows what else we were exposed to.
EXCELLENT LIST!! Getting ready to be in 2 different hotels in the next 2 weeks… putting my bag together this weekend!! Thanks for the reminder!
As a student I use to clean motel units and i can assure you to clean before you start! Bathtowels used to mop up the water and dry the walls in the shower and used to clean the glasses! That is why I will never ever stay at a hotel without washing everything down! I stayed in a fancy hotel in Hamilton New Zealand and when I turned back the bedspread a most revolting sight to behold, it was black with mould! Needless to say I rang reception and told them to get me a new room and a clean bedspread, am now known as a difficult customer, hahahaha
If I have to do all this cleaning on vacation I might as well stay home! ????
Juan N. Dupre Says
I appreciate your tips, im going to bring may cleaning bag to my next trip. It may not be fun to be cleaning when you are on vacation, but i think it should be a must to check and clean your hotel room, especially if you have kids, with those new viruses such as the zika and others.
Please know that Zika is from mosquitos and not hotel rooms.
Just getting ready to travel later this week, so this post was very timely. Great suggestions, gonna take my stash of cleaning supplies with me!
Bennett Carol Says
Ooooh!!! You are forgetting the coffee pot. The same cloth is used in every room for every coffee pot without washing cloth in between in many, many hotels (a clever maid wanting a good tip passed that along to my coffee-loving husband on a business trip!)
Becky SaysPost author
I spray everything with Lysol spray including the carpet, mattress and bathroom floor.
Don’t walk barefoot on the carpet ! Everything you can imagine has been there !
I find hotel waste bins to be a) too small, and b) too flimsy. I get a pop-up laundry basket from the Dollar Store and line with a tall kitchen trash bag. At most hotels the maid will leave them alone, so when full, I tie it off and set in hall-way. I plan on two trash bags per day in case we have an emergency. Most times, I toss the laundry basket at the end of the trip so I am not taking home something extra to clean.
Hotel rooms are simply gross! As a healthcare professional, infection control educator, and child of a mom who strongly believed in hand washing, I too, clean the room. – BUT NOT with alcohol. Alcohol is limited in its microbial activity & it does not kill spores. C-Diff spores can remain viable for months on contaminated surfaces and their
resistance to traditional disinfectants requires the use of disinfectants capable of killing spores. Bleach kills! There is a linear relationship between how long a disinfectant remains wet on a surface and how much disinfection you get. Don’t dry. Spray with a bleach solution when available otherwise use bleach containing wipes. Now Google why we should NEVER wear our shoes in our homes. EWEEH!! Enjoy your vacation. ????
Bleach is my absolute fav, but, Unfortunately it also bleaches and oxidises (will cause steel to rust… Perhaps damaging metal taps etc) and you definitely don’t want to get hit with damage bills. Vinegar and ethanol both have a high rate of disinfection so you might have to settle on those for things like metal, upholstery and carpet….
My sister is always cold when we travel together. She gets a towel and lays it across the top of the blankets & comforter so that she is not touching any part of them while she sleeps. (I’m always hot so I have all the covers kicked off.)
Let’s face it, they are what they are: public bedrooms! You are sleeping in a bed that hundreds have slept in before you and who knows what happened there. While in a hotel in st Louis last month, we saw a roach crawl up the tub wall! A roach ! Which is worse a roach or bedbugs?my gut told me it looked dirty when I walked in, even though the hotel came recommended. We demanded a refund and went to a high 4 star, only 1 yr new hotel. It looked beautiful on paper, but I lifted up the new couch cushions only to find a booze bottle and crumbs. I immediately called for service. Face it, Peoe don’t clean like us, or they are responsible to get 10 other rooms ready before check in so they have to rush and stick with the surface stiff, forget deep cleaning! I’d rather stay home or at VRBO private homes or bed and breakfasts which are sometimes cheaper in the long run and hire out for private cleaners.
Not to gross you out even more but Also besides roaches and bedbugs, lice can also be lurking in comforters, chairs and coaches, pillows..
Am I the only one who also cleans the curtain “wands” (the rods used to open and pull back the curtains) in addition to all the stuff listed?
Christine Bergman Says
Nope!! Or I take a washcloth or hand towel and hold it over the wand!!! ???????????????? I do that with light switches and the remote as well!
The AC filter, especially on those combined heater /AC wall units! I always check for overall mold and mildew by shining a flashlight down through the vents. If everything looks clean I just remove and wash the filter. However, black specks or white powdery fuzz means a call for maintenance to come and service the unit.
Rachel Linebaugh Says
I wipe down everything light switch, door handles, sliding glass door handles, the mirrored doors on the closets, toilet, sink, and shower handles toilet seat, toliet gets cleaned ALL over, as does sink, tub and shower area – germophobe with horrible allergies, I febreze the hell outta the bedspread, sheets, pillows, pillowcases, and curtains/drapes. I even requested to have the sheets and bedspreads washed when I traveled with my first pregnancy – germophobe with allergies, and I washed it all with Tide, Downy, and Bounce Free and Clear Sensitive laundry detergent and fabric softener. That way, I KNOW it is clean, fresh, and safe for me. Last vacation, I did that for all the beds in our rented cabin, and it worked, b/c my boyfriend got sick, and we were able to have clean, fresh beds when we arrived, and before we left. Dishwasher top and washer and dryer top, lint trap, and all knobs and buttons are wiped down as well. I leave every place I choose to stay organized, cleaner, and better than before I came. Boyfriend is a mattress flipping pro, so we do that, too. Makes for some GOOD sleeping!!!
Great list!! I also if we driving, we bring our own pillows or I go to Walmart and get them for $3, I just can’t sleep on anybody’s pillow, sorry.
Christine Bergman Says
I am glad I annoy the only one who THINKS about all these germs!!
Christine Bergman Says
Sorry!! I meant I AM NOT
LOL! I WAS wondering!
Leslie Dey Says
I check for bugs first, spray everything with Lysol, remove bedspread and never use the classes unless they are plastic and sealed in more plasic. I do what I can !
On an airplane, I read that the seatbelt clasps are also super germy and should be cleaned with a disinfectant wipe. Disinfecting the trays and seat handles is also important, and never put anything in the pocket of the seat or touch anything in the pocket. That’s where used barf bags often end up – eeeewwww!!
I read that if you lift the corner of the mattress up and turn a blow dryer on under there that the bedbugs will come out from the heat – if there are any! Always check the bars of soap. Once a bar had been used and placed back in the box. So gross. I generally just buy a small container of hand soap with a pump to use. I bring my own shampoo and conditioner etc – just never know!