The Germiest Places in a Hotel Guestroom

Given that a hotel guestroom may house hundreds of different travelers each year, cleanliness is of paramount importance to prevent the transfer of germs from one guest to the next. Room attendants should place extra “cleaning focus” on the following areas:

Door handles. This is the first and last point of contact for any guest upon entering or exiting the guestroom. Metal door handles harbor germs for prolonged periods of time, but they are also the easiest to clean. Don’t forget to disinfect the bathroom door handles.

Sink knobs and toilet flush levers. These are the first fixtures a guest touches after using the toilet; hence, they are logical surfaces to harbor E. coli bacteria. Train room attendants to thoroughly disinfect these areas every day.


TV remote control. This item often contains the greatest amount of microbial germs in hotel rooms. Train room attendants to spray disinfectant on the cleaning cloth and not directly on the remote control in order to sanitize the item.

Telephone handset, handle of the iron, drapery wands, drawer pulls, and light switches. Any other hard surface that guests’ hands or fingers frequently come into contact with is a prime candidate for harboring and transferring germs. To prevent cross-contamination, remember to use different cleaning cloths for disinfecting bathroom and non-bathroom surfaces.

Dr. William D. Frye is coauthor of AH&LEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operations.

Photo credit: Hand With Remote via Bigstock.

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Dr. William D. Frye is a hospitality educator, researcher, consultant, and former hotel general manager. He is the co-author of AHLEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operations.