Study names dirtiest surfaces in hotels

Share Adjust Comment Print

A new U.S. study to determine the dirtiest objects in hotel rooms found TV remotes, lamp switches, and items on housekeeping carts to be the most heavily contaminated with bacteria.

Researchers at the University of Houston, Purdue University and the University of South Carolina tested surfaces in hotel rooms in Texas, Indiana and South Carolina.

Also on the list of the filthiest objects, not surprisingly, are the toilet and bathroom sink.

But the researchers said the most troubling find was the bacteria on the sponges, mops and other items on the housekeepers’ cleaning carts.

"Hoteliers have an obligation to provide their guests with a safe and secure environment. Currently, housekeeping practices vary across brands and properties with little or no standardization industry wide," said study co-author Katie Kirsh, an undergraduate student at the University of Houston.

The least contaminated surfaces are headboards, curtain rods and bathroom door handles. The researchers tested three hotel rooms in each state and 19 surfaces in each room for aerobic bacteria and fecal bacterial contamination.

The findings were reported Sunday at the 2012 general meeting of the American Society of Microbiology.