The Down and Dirty: What's in Your Hotel Bed?
"GMA" teams up with Trip Advisor to make sure you have a clean night's sleep.
Jan. 22, 2010 — -- Before you flop into the hotel bed after a long trip, you might want to take a second, closer look at just what you might be jumping into.
A new user-based survey from TripAdvisor.com identified the "Ten Dirtiest Hotels in the United States," and listed complaints about them -- from bed bugs in the bed to mold in the bathroom.
According to the online vote, nearly 90 percent of respondents said they have been surprised by the lack of cleanliness in a hotel room. While only 11 percent changed hotels because of dirty rooms, 57 percent said they changed hotel rooms because the first was too dirty.
But according to Trip Advisor spokeswoman Dr. Donnica Moore, there are steps you can take to make sure you stay clean the next time you stay the night.
When you enter a hotel, you may not know if the bed is dirty or not -- so Moore says you should never put your luggage or any carry-all on the bed.
"My pet peeve is don't put the luggage on the bed," Moore said. "Put your luggage on the luggage rack. You don't want to bring home any unwelcome visitors."
If there are bugs in the bed, they can make their way into your bag, Moore said.
In the TripAdvisor survey of more than 1,000 respondents, more than three quarters said they had stayed in a dirty hotel and the bedspread was the number one concern.
There's no definite way to know how often bed spreads get washed, but according to Moore, they don't get washed after every guest. She suggested taking it off the bed right away and keeping it off. If you get cold, it's a better bet to ask room service for more blankets.
Moore said that since bedbugs are so tiny, the best way to see if they're around actually is to look for what they leave behind.
"What you might be more likely to see is the bed bug dander, residue," Moore said. "They're messy bugs."
Moore said you can spot bedbug waste, skin and shells if you look closely. The most suspect areas of the bed include the baseboards and in the creases of the mattress.