Hotel holidays: The dirtiest items in a hotel room revealed – can you guess the worst?

Hotel stays see holidaymakers move into a new bedroom for a period of time. However, one must always remember that the room has likely been occupied plenty of times before by other jet-setters. This can leave some travellers feeling on edge – after all, how does one know how intense the cleaning was after the previous occupancy?


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Cleaning company End of Tenancy Cleaning Services asked 1,894 Britons about their cleaning habits when visiting a hotel, the dirtiest items found, and what they would do before settling in.

A surprisingly high number distrusted the cleaning methods used at the hotel.

A whopping 42 percent said they cleaned a hotel room before using it.

Some items in a hotel room were of particular concern to guests.

Bed linens were deemed as the dirtiest item in the room by those surveyed.

Ninety-two percent Britons said they worried about the bedding.

The glasses and mugs provided in a hotel caused a lot of stress, too.

Eighty-eight percent thought the vessels were the dirtiest.

Close behind this, 87 percent thought remote controls were the filthiest.

In fact, remote controls were found to be the most contaminated items in hotel rooms in a study on contamination levels in hotel rooms led by the University of Houston, USA.

It’s recommended to use a disinfecting cleaning wipe, or at least a damp hand towel, to clean the remote control.

Meanwhile, 84 percent in the survey were worried about light switch hygiene.


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Also in the top ten ‘dirtiest’ items were telephones, upholstered chairs and sofas, decorative cushions and blankets, window and windowsills, and curtains.

Some experts caution against sitting on upholstered chairs in hotels room – you don’t know who or what has been placed on them.

“Chairs can often be made of hard-to-clean fabric and upholstery,” Dr Nidhi Ghildayal, PhD, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, infectious disease specialist, previously told Fox News.

“They definitely are not cleaned in the same manner as sheets and towels, which are consistently thrown into the laundry.”

“Often, stains on chairs are dabbed and rubbed until they are removed, but other germs that are not noticeable to the eye remain.”

Hotel bed coverlets also come with a warning.

“Let’s say a hotel is not a good place for germaphobes,” wrote hotelier Ken Lim on US knowledge-sharing site Quora.

“Stay out of the coverlet, it’s never cleaned.”

Ivan Ivanov, Managing Director of End of Tenancy Cleaning, who also provides Coronavirus cleaning services, said of the findings: “Now more than ever, travellers will be looking at customer reviews and hotel policies to ensure where they intend to stay is upkept to the highest level of cleanliness and hygiene to ensure a safe stay.

“If it’s not, then hotels could find their businesses suffering, and once the factor of cleanliness is reviewed, it can be very hard to bounce back. 

It’s quite clear that Brits are keen to inspect their own hotel room, even if they trust it to have been cleaned to the highest standard. The fact more than half are willing to do so, just goes to show how important it is for hotels to thoroughly clean the rooms before customers arrive and avoid complaints and issues of compensation if the standards are not met.”

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