It will take more than the average bottle of hand sanitizer to avoid getting sick on your next vacation. Can you guess the biggest culprit of those woeful travel bugs? Surprisingly, it isn’t germy public restrooms or disease-ridden handrails and doorknobs. When it comes to staying healthy on the road, you might want to start with where you sleep.
Yep—your hotel room hosts a plethora of invisible germs and bacteria. And according to an investigation by ABC, you should be particularly concerned with the germs in your hair dryer. (WAY too many people don’t wash their underwear, either.)
ABC teamed up with microbiologist Chuck Gerba to swab items in nine different Los Angeles-area hotels. In terms of hygiene, hair dryers turned out to be the filthiest.
“There must be some things you can do with a hair dryer that I am not aware of, because some of them were pretty germy,” Gerba said.
Although state codes mandate that hotels sanitize the obvious areas like toilets and drinking glasses, the same can’t be said for less evident items such as hair dryers. As a result, those items won’t be cleaned by housekeeping as often, and most could go days, weeks, months, or even years without ever being disinfected.
Unfortunately, even those willing to shell out a couple hundred bucks for a luxury suite can’t rest easy. The hotels used in the experiment ranged in price from $98 to $500 per night—and they all came up short for cleanliness.
That isn’t the only germ-ridden spot in your hotel room, either. New research recommends that you should never, ever use hotel ice buckets or take a bath in a hotel tub. Looks like we’ll be wiping down our entire hotel room from now on.