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#21375 - 03/17/04 10:31 AM Bacteria
Anonymous
Unregistered


Did anyone see the special on the Today show on NBC the other day? It was all about bacteria in hotel rooms. I'm not a complete germaphobe but this report made me take notice. According to their expert, the first thing you do when getting to your room is throw the top bedspread off the bed. Apparently these don't get washed every time and are one of the dirtiest things in the room. Rounding out the top three dirtiest things were, the remote control and the phone. It was recommended that you spray or wipe these down with a disinfectant immediately, and the table they sit on. When you think about it, everyone touches that remote, whether or not thay have washed their hands. Suprisingly the bathroom was not at the top of the list, however it was recommended you sterilize any drinking glasses that are not prepackaged and you should probably clean the shower/tub yourself before using. It was also recommended that you never walk in bare or stocking feet on the rug, always wear slippers or shoes. Just thought I'd post this, not trying to freak anyone out, just found the results suprising, especially the remote control being one of the worst items.
Keith.

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#21376 - 03/17/04 12:02 PM Re: Bacteria
Chandra Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/00
Posts: 707
Loc: Grants Pass, OR
I didn't see it but it doesn't surprise me at all. Remember though, the more you sterilize your environment, the more likely you are to make yourself susceptible to something when you are exposed to it. You also end up creating an environment that breeds bacteria that's much more resistant to disinfectants if you're constantly disinfecting everything. You're exposed to a lot of the same stuff at home, too. For example:

Do you have dogs like I do that you let up on the furniture, especially your bed? How often do you wash your bedspread? How often do you wash your couch or your carpet or your throw rugs? Just think what the dogs have walked in each and every day and then hop up onto your furniture. Just think about what YOU have walked around on today and are tracking in on your shoes. Even if you take your shoes off, you still step in places where you wore your shoes.

If you don't have a dishwasher, unless you're dunking your dishes after you wash and before you rinse into a water and bleach solution, your dishes still have bacteria, too.

How often do you clean off your remote? Ore the end/coffee table? Wipe down your doorknobs and lightswitches?

We're exposed to the same stuff in our own homes. A bottle of Clorox wipes and some baby wipes is never a bad idea, just don't freak out over it all 'cause if you do, you need to be just as vigilant in your own home trying to keep your own place germ free. It's enough to make anybody become Obessesive Compulsive over it!
_________________________
I am female, and was born in 1972 with Lamellar Ichthyosis.

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#21377 - 03/17/04 06:53 PM Re: Bacteria
Anonymous
Unregistered


We've all got natural bacteria, and bacteria that we bring back home with us. I don't believe it hurts to disinefect the most commonly touched places in your surroundings, doctors advise it during the cold and flu season so it can't be too bad. When it comes to germs like staph and strep, no matter how times you are exposed you can still contract it again the next time you come in contact with it. I'm far from being a germaphobe or a clean freak, but a little extra effort in public places has to be beneficial.
Keith.

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#21378 - 03/18/04 09:15 AM Re: Bacteria
Beth Engerman Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 106
Loc: Indianapolis, IN USA
My college job was as a hotel housekeeper. It was the hardest job I have ever had. I will say that those are some good tips about hotel rooms. I know that when I go to hotel rooms now I wipe down the phone and remote as well as the light switches. I don't ever worry about the bathrooms becasue I know how and what the bathrooms are cleaned with, but I will pull any blankets that are not the sheets off the bed, because they can go for months without being cleaned and bring and extra blankets of my own from home. I never use the extra blankets and pillows they leave in the rooms because those never get changed or cleaned. I will also check to see the way the beds are made to see if they actually changed the sheets. I know this may sound crazy, but I have seen housekeepers not change the sheets.

Anyway I would recommed that when staying in a hotel room that everyone should check these things. When I worked as a housekeeper I always kept in mind what I would want the room to be like if I were staying in it and I would get in trouble for taking too long to celan a room. I would have to clean 14 rooms in a 7 hour period. That is not any easy task, and some "short cuts" would be necessary. You all probably think I am crazy now! Anyway just something to think about on your next trip.

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"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequte; but that we are powerful beyond all measure." Nelson Mandela
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"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequte; but that we are powerful beyond all measure." Nelson Mandela

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#21379 - 03/21/04 05:40 AM Re: Bacteria
Sofie Offline
Member

Registered: 07/22/01
Posts: 118
Loc: Switzerland / USA
Dear all

What you saw on TV, Keith, is certainly accurate and is true for all public places & things. The worst things are those that are touched often: door knobs, phones, remote control, money etc. That is one of the reasons I always wash my hands when I come home...
Having a degree in Facilities Management and having worked in hospital cleaning I have some experience in that field like Beth as well. Usually cleaning those things (remote control etc.) just with soap and water is enough and you do not need to desinfect them. There are studies regarding desinfecting toilets and comparing the germ growing rate after cleaning it with soap and the result is sort of the same. It does not really matter whether you use soap or a desinfectant. The difference is in the price of the desinfectant and what it does to our environment and our own health. This is one of the reasons why in many hospitals there is almost no more desinfecting in daily cleaning in patient rooms or the like (of course in the operating theatre or if there is some body fluid like blood or urin you have to desinfect it). Additionally it is important to know that not all desinfecting products can kill all the germs. Depending on the germ or virus you want to kill you need a different desinfectant. I guess I could go on for ever on this subject... To make it short: the best you can do is clean stuff (regularly) with soap and water.

All the best,
Sofie

[This message has been edited by Sofie (edited March 21, 2004).]

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#21380 - 03/21/04 11:31 AM Re: Bacteria
Chandra Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/00
Posts: 707
Loc: Grants Pass, OR
To add to Sofie's post, on the topic of expensive cleaning materials, most folks don't realize that bleach is environmentally safe. So is vinegar. Vinegar has recently been tested and found to be 99% effective (same rate as bleach, lysol, whatever) in killing bacteria. I think Heloise and Good Housekeeping combined resources to fund the test for vinegar.

Thus, instead of paying a lot of money for cleaners, buy two spray bottles. Put a little bit of either bleach or vinegar in, fill the rest up with water, and voila, you have your cleaner. You can buy bleach and vinegar by the gallon for anywhere from $1-$3 in the US. So you save money and the environment.

Oh, and yes, money is REALLY nasty stuff. In most states, food handlers are required to wash their hands after handling money before handling food again, and with darn good reason.

My orignal post on this thread was to point out that what you do in the hotel room should probably be done at home, too, and also to encourage folks not to wig out about staying in a hotel room seeing as how the conference is coming up this summer.
_________________________
I am female, and was born in 1972 with Lamellar Ichthyosis.

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