When you stay at a regular hotel you probably aren’t expecting to get the royal treatment, but your room should definitely be clean. And nine times out of ten, it probably seems fine on the surface. But there’s bound to be microscopic bacteria lingering that you just can’t see.
Microbiologist Negin Rahanjam and CTV’s Senior Reporter David Molko tested 10 spots in three different hotels around Vancouver to give you a taste of what could be lurking around on your next trip. Swabs were taken at the Holiday Inn Downtown in a Standard King room, the Opus Hotel in a Superior King room and the Fairmont Waterfront in a Harbour View King room. The toilet handle, sink faucet, counter surface, doorknobs, TV remote, telephone, fridge handle, coffee maker and ice bucket were all swabbed for E. coli and other bacteria at each location.
After analyzing the swabs, Bob Hancock, head of the Hancock lab, was generally impressed at how little bacteria some of the samples had. But there were still a few hotel spots that just weren’t up to par.
“The one thing I would recommend is better cleaning of bathroom faucets,” Hancock stated.
With traces of E. coli plus 345 to 500 bacteria colonies growing from each hotel faucet, it’s one hotel surface worth being a bit cautious of.
The ice bucket and TV remote also turned out to be full of bacteria in each room, so you might want to consider giving it another good scrub with soap and water before using it for yourself.
But don’t let these results scare you away from staying at hotels in general. Although some of the hotel surfaces did test positive for bacteria and traces of E. coli, Hancock explained that there wasn’t a dangerous amount of bacteria there. In other words, it’d be unlikely for a person to get sick from it.
“People should do what makes them comfortable,” Hancock said. “Wash your hands properly, and that’s the best protection.”
So as long as you wash your hands from time to time, odds are, you’ll be fine.