10 Things At Hotels You Should Avoid Touching

10 Things at Hotels You Should Avoid Touching

The average hotel room is filthier than a typical home, school, or even a plane, according to a study. The cleaning staff has a quick turnaround for rooms and rarely do they disinfect random items like your ice bucket. 

As if there weren't already plenty of things about hotel rooms that should scare you, now we add germs and the possibility of contracting an illness to the list.

*Related: 7 Hotel Safety Tips You Should Never Ignore

Some of the most frequently touched places – phone, light switches, pillowcases – are contaminated with harmful bacteria and germs. Always remember to properly inspect your room and bring disinfectant wipes with you so that you can wipe down all of these germ infested objects.

Remote Control

Believe it or not, one of the dirtiest items in your hotel room is the remote control. The cleaning staff has a quick turnaround for rooms and rarely do they disinfect such a random item. Scary Fact: Your remote may have the same amount of bacteria as your toilet seat.


According to investigations at five of the top hotel chains in the country, phones were teeming with bacteria. People touch them a lot, but they also breathe into them, which causes germs to spread easily. The truth is that most maids don't clean them often. If you're trying to avoid the cold and flu, bring disinfectant wipes with you and wipe down the phone before you use it.

Bathroom Counter

Be careful before you touch the bathroom counter, especially the sink. According to a study titled Hotel Hygiene Exposed, in the three-star hotels that were tested, yeast, gram-positive cocci, and gram-positive cocci, type II were all found on the bathroom counter.

The Comforter

Whatever you do make sure you check your mattress and comforter before sleeping in it. Better yet, bring your own comforter to the hotel with you instead. Bed bugs like to hide in the crevices of the mattresses, headboards and box springs; don't be surprised if they have made their way onto the comforter.

The Ice Bucket

This is another item hotel cleaning staff tend to skip over. They are full of contamination and germs. If that's not enough, the ice machine itself is another item that rarely gets cleaned. Tip: If you really need ice, call the front desk and ask for plastic bags to hold ice. This way you are avoiding drinking ice cubs filled with harmful bacteria.

The Floor

Although your hotel room floor may look clean, you have no idea who or what has been on it last. The cleaning service only does so much, and though the cleaning staff should be vacuuming, they may not do so when they are in a rush. Make sure that you are always wearing slippers or socks when walking around your hotel room.


Many hotels wash and change their bed sheets on a regular basis, but the truth is that pillows sometimes get left out. According to research, a three-star hotel chain's cleaning schedule showed that it only requires mattress pads, blankets and bedspreads to be cleaned once every three months. Imagine how many peoples' germs, drool, and illnesses are imbedded in your pillowcase. Do yourself a favor and bring your own to the hotel with you.

Drinking Glasses

You may be thirsty, but be aware that the drinking glasses sitting next to the sink may not be as clean as you think. They probably haven't left the room in ages. Studies have even shown that a common hotel practice is cleaning glasses with toxic chemicals such as window cleaner. Before you drink from them, make sure you clean them with soap and water, or, better yet, simply ask the front desk for plastic cups.

Light Switches

This is one of the worst offenders – the light switch. The main light switch and bedside lamp switch are among the most frequently touched places by guests, which makes them two of the most contaminated things in your room. Tip: If you forgot disinfectant wipes, use a tissue, or your elbow... just don't touch it with your bare hands.

Coffee Machine

As temping as these machines are to use, you may want to consider going to a coffee shop instead. An ABC News investigation "found a housekeeper who used a spray bottle to douse the... coffee pot in the sink with a bottle of Lysol mildew remover." Another housekeeper was caught on camera using a dirty hand towel to wipe off the coffee pot — the same towel that was used on the bathroom floor.