Memorial Day marks the traditional beginning of the summer travel season. If you’re planning to travel over the holiday weekend or this summer, then chances are you’ll be spending some time is a hotel. While staying in a hotel provides a welcome break from cleaning chores, there are a few sanitation tips you’ll want to consider to reduce the risks of exposure to Staph and MRSA.
You’ve probably seen the recent news reports and videos about hotel room germs and lack of good hotel sanitation. Unfortunately, many hotels have lax cleaning practices that can potentially put your family at risk of infection. The good news is you can quickly and easily protect your family from Staph, MRSA and other hotel germs with a few simple precautions.
Hotel sanitation safety tips
Staph and MRSA bacteria can stay alive on surfaces for many days or weeks, and are most commonly found on high-contact, high-touch objects. The following simple tips for MRSA hotel room prevention and Staph hotel sanitation will help you protect yourself and your family while traveling:
- When you first enter your room, inspect it for proper cleaning and request another room if it’s not visibly clean. Dust, hairs, food crumbs, mold and bad smells are all warning signs of improper cleaning.
- Take a few minutes to sanitize high-contact surfaces. These include door knobs, remote controls, keyboards, toilet seat, light switches, drawer handles, faucets, counter tops and telephone, along with any other high contact surfaces. I use an essential oil spray and a cloth.
- Avoid using hotel room cups and glasses. Non-disposable cups and kitchenware can be poorly cleaned or not cleaned at all by hotel staff. It’s best to bring your own cups from home, or wash hotel dishes well before use.
- Comforters and carpets are rarely cleaned well between guests, other than a quick dust-off or vacuum. It’s best to avoid sitting or lying on comforters or remove the comforter altogether. Also wear socks or slippers on the carpet and consider wearing sandals in the bathroom and shower too.
- Use natural or homemade sanitizers to avoid chemical laden disinfectants and antibacterial products. I prefer silver-based disinfectants and sanitizers containing essential oils. And good old fashioned natural soap and warm water is still the best choice for hand washing.
- Carry a small hand sanitizer with you while traveling and use it often, especially after touching things in public places.
- Be conscious of touching high-traffic surfaces, such as toilet handles and doors, elevator buttons and door handles. Wash or sanitize your hands before eating, applying makeup or going back to your hotel room.
Keep things in perspective and have fun
Remember to keep things in a balanced perspective and avoid going overboard on cleaning. The goal is NOT to make your hands or hotel room sterile (which is impossible by the way). Over-cleaning can dry out your skin and make you more prone to infections. Equally important, excess exposure to harsh chemical cleaners and odors is not good for your health either. A good strong immune system is important and can go a long way towards your protection against infections.
It’s better to adopt a sensible and balanced approach to sanitizing, and to be conscious of the risks without becoming a “germ-o-phobe”.
To your best health,