7 Hidden Hotel Room Germ Magnets

From the TV remote to the water glasses, beware of hidden hotel dangers.

ByABC News
May 11, 2010, 6:04 PM

May 12, 2010— -- Hotels, with their daily housekeeping, might seem like a haven from the dust, grime and filth of home. But be warned: germs can lurk in even the cleanest-appearing rooms. And you would be shocked where.

Just think about how many past guests have hit that alarm clock with their dirty, sweaty hands?

And then there is the TV remote control, probably the most touched item in the room. Not everybody is great about washing their hands and how thorough of a cleaning do you really think the remote gets?

"There definitely can be hidden dangers in any hotel room, so you want to be smart," said Anne Banas, executive editor of travel Web site SmarterTravel.

For the TV remote, she said, "put it in a plastic baggie and then use it. Then you don't have to worry about it and you're good to go."

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Want a nice cold glass of water before calling it a night? Think twice about that, too.

"One of the ones that's really, really bad that people wouldn't even think about is the hotel glasses," Banas said. "A lot of times the cleaning crews will clean those glasses with the very same chemicals they're using to clean your toilet."

Other times they might have their gloves on from cleaning the bathroom and not take off the gloves before touching the glasses, he said. There have even been examples of luxury hotels where the staff has used Windex to clean the glassware.

"My advice is to never use the hotel glasses or to wash them yourself," Banas said. "I just tend to avoid them entirely."

Brooke Ferencsik, of user-generated review site TripAdvisor, also avoids the glassware.

"If it is not in a plastic wrap, I am not using," he said.