Health & Wellness

How to Sanitize a Hotel Room

Don’t spend the night with the last guest’s germs. As soon as you walk into your hotel room, you should clean these germy areas (after you check for bedbugs, of course). Don’t know how to disinfect a hotel room? Here’s what to do.

What to Pack to Disinfect a Hotel Room

A pack of travel-sized disinfectant wipes can come in handy no matter where you travel. Use them to disinfect your airplane seat and your hotel room. Look for ones that are specifically disinfectant (meaning they kill viruses) and not ones that are just cleaning wipes (which may only remove visible dirt and grime).

How to Disinfect a Hotel Room

Thoroughly wipe down all high-touch areas in your hotel room. These areas include:

  • Light and lamp switches
  • Doorknobs (including the exterior handle to your hotel room, bathroom doorknobs, and closet door pulls)
  • Bathroom sink handles
  • Shower handles
  • Toilet lid and flush handle
  • Remotes (television remote, any smart remotes for closing drapes or turning off lights)
  • Nightstands
  • Alarm clocks

Glasses and ice buckets can also be germ hotbeds, but you never want to sanitize a drinking glass or ice bucket with a disinfectant. You can wash these with soap and water, or just use your own water bottle instead. The ice bucket should come with plastic liners, which you can use to line the inside and outside of the bucket.

[st_related] The 10 Germiest Places You Encounter While Traveling [/st_related]

Follow the instructions on the disinfectant wipe packaging to properly clean the area—note that most require the surface to stay wet for at least four minutes to completely disinfect.

Bedspreads may not be washed in between guests and can be germ vectors as well. Remove any decorative bedspreads and pillows and stash them out of the way in your room (possibly with a note on top asking the housekeeper not to put them back when they make up the room), sleeping with just the cleaner top sheets and non-decorative pillows.

Products to Help You Stay Healthy While Traveling

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By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

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