Gross, gross, gross! Here's a happy piece of news to send you on your summer travels: According to a recent study, the two places in hotel rooms most likely to be teeming with disgusting bacteria are the light switch and the remote control. So hope you weren't planning on turning the light on or watching any TV on your vacation! Hello, nasty. Oh, and while we're on the subject, the bathroom sink and floor are pretty well contaminated with yuckies too, so, you know -- don't use the bathroom either. Hey, this trip is starting to sound pretty lame!
Just kidding -- the pathogens on those germy surfaces won't necessarily make you sick (but they might!). And you can always travel with a pack of sanitizing wipes. But here's the thing: If you're wondering why those hotels are so dirty, well, it's partly because they're making a housecleaning mistake you're probably making in your very own home ...
Besides swabbing objects and surfaces for bacteria, researchers also swabbed sponges, mops, and gloves used by cleaning staff, which has "the potential to carry germs from room to room." And guess what they found? That stuff was "crawling with all kinds of bacteria." Great!
Of course it makes sense -- it's not like the staff is going to use a fresh new mop or sponge or toilet brush for every room. (Even though I kind of wish they could.) Now think about your own home. That sponge on the kitchen counter that you used to wipe up raw egg this morning -- were you just about to use it again to wash some dishes? Those gloves you wore while you were unclogging the toilet -- are they really the ones you want to wear when you clean out the refrigerator?
Obviously the answer to those questions is "no" -- but all of us probably (ironically) cross-contaminate when we clean to some degree. Or we used to, anyway. I know for my part, I'd rather spend extra money on replacing sponges and gloves and mops than on antibiotics to clear up whatever sickness I caught in the process of cleaning up.
Gross, gross, gross!
Does this study make you want to change the way you clean your house?
Image via espensorvik/Flickr