I worked in the hospitality industry for over a decade, a large portion of which was spent in the hotel business. During my time in hotels, I saw things that would make you cringe regarding the way in which hotel rooms were cleaned. I started my career in hotels off in housekeeping, which lent itself to doing many room inspections, sometimes during the actual cleaning process.
Let's just say that ever since, I've been very cautious about what I let my family - especially our young son -do, touch and use when staying in hotel rooms. Here are my top five items that I don't let our son touch when staying at a hotel.
It still gives me shudders recalling just how often - or maybe seldom - bedspreads in certain hotels are washed. The thought of numerous other people laying on, touching and doing other things on a bedspread or comforter before we arrive gives me the willies, and there is no way I'm letting myself, let alone my child be exposed to such an item. This is why whenever we stay in a hotel, one of the first things we do when we arrive is remove the bedspread and sometimes even secondary blanket before using the bed.
Remotes can be one of those often overlooked items when a room attendant is cleaning a room, but are also things that almost every guest will touch - often without the cleanest of hands. From left over food bits to all sorts of other germs and bodily fluids, the remote - if not cleaned properly and regularly - can be one of the dirtiest things in a hotel room, and there is no way our son is going to handle it when we're watching television. He can make a request through one of us if he wants to have the channel changed.
The Floor…at Least not without Shoes or Socks
Some hotels do a decent job at their cyclical cleaning of room carpets. Even then though, the thought of all the different things that can be dropped, dripped or spilled on a carpet, and how that carpet can act like a big sponge to absorb such offerings, can be a big deterrent to walking barefooted or even in socks across it. The white sock test is often a good way to determine just how dirty a floor is. However, I've also found staples, pins, tacks, nails and all sorts of other things that a vacuum cleaner might not pick up on a hotel carpet, so shoes for us is typically the best bet, whenever and wherever possible when staying in a hotel room.
Areas Under the Bed
Many hotels have a base upon which a bed sits. However, in those that don't, you can imagine just how often the area beneath the bed gets cleaned or vacuumed. I've found all sorts of nasty little items beneath a hotel bed and it's certainly not an area I want our son exploring. At home, fine, at a hotel, a big no-no.
I don't consider a rinse with some water and a quick wipe dry with a cleaning rag or washcloth a sanitary cleaning of drinking glasses. And I can assure you that not every room attendant is going to ensure open glasses or coffee mugs have been properly sanitized from previous guest use. Sure, as a guest entering a hotel room, it can be easy to come in after a long day or trip and want to grab a glass off the vanity for a quick drink of water. However, this is not something I would recommend, and I definitely wouldn't let our son drink from such items unless they were wrapped in packaging that I was sure could not have been previously used by another or if I had washed and sanitized the glass myself prior to his using it.
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The author is not a licensed education or parenting professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, educational or parenting advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.