Dirtiest items of hotel rooms revealed
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If you want to stay away from germs during your next hotel stay, just don't turn on the TV or lights there because TV remotes and light switches are most dirtiest items in hotel rooms, a new study has found.
Researchers, who took bacteria samples from several items in hotel rooms in three regions in the US, found that the TV remote and the switches of the bed-side lamp have surprisingly high contamination levels following the toilet and the sink.
Hotel rooms "don't have to have it ready for surgery," said study researcher Jay Neal, a microbiologist at University of Houston, but there certainly is scope for improvement in their cleanliness.
The amount of bacteria on the remote may not mean that it's "any dirtier than at home, but there's a stranger factor" in a hotel room, said Neal, who oversaw the research.
According to lead researcher Katie Kirsh, housekeepers spend about 30 minutes cleaning each room. If researchers can pinpoint the most contaminated parts of the room, the cleaning process could be made more effective, he added.
The highest levels of contamination were found in the maid's cleaning cart, specifically, on the mop and sponge.
This means the bacteria are being carried from room to room, the researchers said. But such cross-contamination could be reduced, though, by replacing cleaning liquids during housekeeping shifts, they said.
The lowest levels of germs were found on the headboard, curtain rods and bathroom door handle, LiveScience reported.
For their study, the the researchers tested for bacteria in general, and did a separate test for cloriform bacteria, which are found in feces and are more likely to cause illness.
Both tests showed that bacteria levels in hotel rooms were between two to 10 times higher than the levels accepted in hospitals, the researchers said, adding that the presence of bacteria's doesn't guarantee that people will get sick, but it makes it more likely.
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