My routine upon arriving into a new hotel room, thanks to a advice from a frequently travelling mum and a not-so nice encounter with bed bugs as a backpacker, usually involves popping my bags in the bathroom while I do a quick survey of the room.
I whip all decorative cushions and throws or bed spreads off the bed and check the mattress for signs of bed bugs. I rarely use the TV remote, but if I do, I wipe it down first.
But according to a man who spent 300 nights in hotels and the like, the best barometer of a clean hotel room is the kettle or coffeemaker.
“Almost every hotel room has one and it can tell you a lot about how detail-oriented the housekeeping is,” Harrison Jacobs, Business Insider‘s international correspondent wrote.
“If they aren’t cleaned regularly—and I mean with vinegar, not rinsed with hot water—they quickly become gross. As such a small item and a tedious one to clean, I’ve found that coffeemakers and electric kettles are frequently overlooked by less diligent hotels.”
“If they’re leaving a rusted kettle in the room, it’s a signal to me that no one is keeping a close eye on the room’s long-term upkeep. If there’s mould in the coffeemaker or kettle, what else hasn’t gotten a thorough cleaning?”
But author of The Germ Code, Jason Tetro told Well+Good that people should “focus more on the smell of the room”.
“Vacuuming and disinfecting will leave a clean smell in the room. If you happen to recognise other odours—such as mould or body odour—you might want to find out if the room has really been cleaned.”
Tetro also suggests that travellers pack disinfectant wipes and wipe remotes, light switches and table surfaces. I’d add door knobs just in case.
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