This Is By Far The Nastiest Thing In Your Hotel Room (And It's Not The Toilet)

When you walk into a hotel room, the places many people look for dirt are on the bedsheets and in the bathroom, but these are likely to be cleaner than something that is kept in a drawer. According to an ABC News investigation where they swabbed various items in hotel rooms for bacteria, the hair dryer was found to be "pretty germy," said microbiologist Chuck Gerba.

The toilets however, had about the same amount of germs as yours would have at home, because it is cleaned regularly. The Conversation reports that the most common illnesses which people pick up in hotel rooms are stomach bugs and respiratory viruses which is why cleanliness is so important. As sickness can really ruin your vacation, avoiding harmful bacteria can be key to having a good time. This is why it is worth investigating whether your room is clean as soon as you step inside it.

How to know if your hotel room is clean

One way to check the cleanliness of your accommodation is to look under the mattress, as this isn't on public display so it's a good way to see how thoroughly it has been cleaned. This is also a useful trick to check for bed bugs while you're at it. If there is dirt or debris underneath it then that is a strong indicator that items like the hair dryer might not be clean either.

A layer of dust is a sign that the item hasn't been cleaned for a while and if it's gathering grime, it could be covered in germs too. Another issue is that housekeepers don't always know if the hair dryer has been used so if it is put away they may ignore or forget about it. If you leave it out to show that it has been used or that you plan to, it is more likely to be wiped during turndown service. Behind the toilet or sink are other places to check if your room has been thoroughly cleaned and you can ask to change rooms if anything is amiss.

Tips for a cleaner hotel room

When looking for a hotel, check out their reviews on Google, Tripadvisor or the booking website first. This can be a good way to look out for any other red flags too. If you use their filters, you can look for keywords such as "clean" or "dirty" to find out what other travelers think. Many of them will post photographs so you can see it for yourself!

If you are concerned about the cleanliness of certain items in your room then you can bring your own hair dryer, iron or any other gadget that your hotel would usually provide. Some guests even come equipped with their own kettles as these also have a bad reputation for being nasty. For a worst-case scenario, you can bring your own disinfectant wipes if you are not able to move rooms or you arrive late and don't want to complain. By following these tips you can sleep better, knowing you're in a room that is as germ-free as you can make it.