Hotel rooms may look spic and span, but there’s a difference between tidy and disinfected. Unfortunately, most hotel rooms are full of things the hotels aren’t cleaning as they should. The worst offender? The light switch – which isn’t a spot housekeeping is likely to wipe down – is home to 112.7 CFU, almost all of which were faecal bacteria, according to a report presented at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. TV remotes were also pretty germy, harbouring about 68 CFU, but a separate investigation microbiologist, Dr Luisa Ikner, conducted found that the remote was the main spot for germs to lurk. Can’t hurt to wipe both down with disinfectant wipes after you check in.
British car retailer Motorpoint took swabs of 20 spots in a ‘typical’ car (the owner had dogs and typically ate in his car) and found that the highest concentration of bacteria was in the back of the car, possibly because that’s where the dogs would sit when riding around. The area where the driver’s feet would go was teeming with bacteria, too, along with the seat belt buttons and handbrakes. You probably aren’t as diligent about giving your car interior a deep clean as you are with your house, but it’s worth disinfecting those high-contact surfaces every once in a while.
Parents, take note: you’ll want to watch how your kid drinks from the water fountain. An NSF study of two primary schools found that classroom water fountain spigots were the most bacteria-infested spots, carrying 2.7 million CFU per square inch. Cleaning and disinfecting brand, Lysol recommends telling your kids not to put their mouths right against the spigot (of course) and to let the water run for a couple of seconds before taking a sip.
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