Is it possible to grow a phobia? If it is, I am in the process of it. Articles on hotel cleanliness to me are like car crash sites to some motorists. I can’t resist reading them. Like this morning, for instance, when the headline for a University of Houston study caught my eye, saying something about fecal matter found hidden in hotel rooms.
And now I am sorry that it did.
According to ABC News online, one of the media outlets that picked up the study, researchers swabbed 19 hotel rooms–focusing on notorious germy areas such as door handles, remote controls, lamp switches and the telephone.
They found E. coli on 81 percent of the surfaces. E. coli lives in the intestines.
But how does it get on door handles and the remote control?
The maid’s cart. According to the study, the bacteria, which can wreak havoc on the body if ingested, was found on mops, cleaning rags and sponges. With the schedules for room cleaning being what they are, maids often have only 30 minutes per room with a bathroom.
So what do you do if you travel a lot and frequent hotels? Not touch anything. Or, if you’re like me, you start googling the heck out of the topic, only to find that tips abound. AARP has a list of do’s and don’t's for hotel rooms, the most obvious, yet often times overlooked, is to wash your hands frequently. (And never use the whirlpool or hot tub, since 100 percent of all samples were found to contain germs that cause UTI.)
Or you could invest in a UV wand, which is supposed to kill up 99 percent of all germs.
Hotels are one thing, but given the cleaning practices of most public places, my mind can’t help but explode when I think of restaurants, movie theatres, the public library, the office….my own house!
See what I mean about phobia.