Winter travel and weather-related travel delays often mean that people spend more time indoors in confined spaces, like hotels and on public transportation, which can enable the spread of illness-causing germs between travelers, especially during cold and flu season. This increase in the spread of germs means that hotel staff must be prepared to step in with a foolproof cleaning regimen to prevent guests and staff members from becoming ill.
According to a recent study by Travel Math, even 4 and 5-star hotels can have illness-causing germs in places where you wouldn’t expect it. The most significant spots for germs were commonly touched surfaces such as the bathroom counter (1,011,670 colony-forming units in 5-star hotels) and the TV remote 2,002,300 colony-forming units in 5-star hotels).
While each hotel has its own unique cleaning protocol, regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as phones, TV remotes, bathroom fixtures and even soft surfaces such as bedspreads and furniture are essential to help prevent the spread of illness-causing germs.

Clorox Professional Products Company offers the following tips for tackling cleaning and disinfecting challenges in hotels this winter season:

 • Target High-Touch Room Surfaces. Objects and surfaces that are frequently touched by hotel guests such as doorknobs, light switches, nightstands, phones, TV remotes and bathroom countertops need to be disinfected at least once a day. Germs like influenza can survive on surfaces for hours, providing ample opportunity for the spread of infection between guests and staff, so it is important to use products that are EPA-registered to kill germs of most concern.

 • Eliminate Unpleasant Odors. No one likes to walk into a hotel room that smells musty or harbors other unwanted odors that make it seem unclean, such as urine odor. Cleaning professionals can remove odors directly from the air by selecting an aerosol product with an active ingredient that kills 99.9 percent of airborne, odor-causing bacteria. In the bathroom, odors can persist on porous, damp surfaces such as grout, which trap the bacteria sources that feed on urine. Humid conditions or wetting the surface can also reactivate the odor. Look for ready-to-use hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners, which are a better choice for removing stains and breaking down odor-causing uric acid crystals. Ready-to-use formulas are also quicker and easier to use because there is no need for dilution.

 • Don’t Neglect Soft Surfaces. Hotels change the sheets and linens after each guest, but other soft surfaces such as curtains, bedspreads, upholstered furniture and pillows may only get a good washing on a quarterly basis. In between deep cleanings and launderings, quickly refresh and sanitize these items before each new guest with a one-step, multiuse product.